The disparity in talent was evident immediately. Kansas, streaked out to a 15-0 start through the first 5 minutes and 47 seconds as UMKC simply couldn’t find a way to match up. The Jayhawks continued to create turnovers and run all night on their way to a 99-52 performance.
Despite losing Markieff Morris in the first two minutes to foul trouble, Kansas pulled away immediately. Led by freshman phenom Josh Selby’s 16 points, 7 assists and 4 steal night, the Jayhawks continually bullied a hapless UMKC squad.
The visiting Kangaroos turned the ball over 25 times while converting only 16 of 53 field goals to seal their doom. The Jayhawks 18 steals led to what seemed to be a constant track meet. Senior guard Tyrel Reed poured in three 3 pointers on his way to an 11 point night. The Jayhawks pressed early and often to steal any momentum and disrupt UMKC.
“The goal of the press is to slow them down,” said Kansas coach Bill Self. “It shortens the clock so they don’t have much time to work with.”
The Jayhawks piled up points, but the execution was far from perfect. Coach Self’s team still needs to work on valuing the basketball as they handled the ball carelessly at times while committing 15 turnovers. Their defense should continue to mask this problem as they can minimize turnovers with their transition scoring.
Thomas Robinson was absent from the team while mourning a death in his family.
UMKC was led by the star of their team Jay Couisnard and Bakari Lewis who each contributed 16 points. Center Bernard Kamwa provided a team leading 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Jayhawks is a Sunday afternoon matchup with the 11-4 Michigan Wolverines. Kansas will take its 14-0 record to Ann Arbor for their final non-conference game of the regular season.
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Written by Shaun Albin