Kansas freshman wing Andrew Wiggins has been under the proverbial microscope all season long, with every one of his performances arguably analyzed more than any other freshman in the current “one and done” era. One of the biggest complaints about Wiggins was a lack of assertiveness, with him at times giving the appearance of a player coasting through the action.
That wasn’t a problem in No. 8 Kansas’ 91-69 win at TCU, with Wiggins scoring a career-high 27 points (and dishing out five assists) and the Jayhawks avenging their stunning loss in Fort Worth a season ago. Wiggins, who made eight of his 13 shots from the field and nine of ten from the foul line, scored 19 of his 27 in the first half and took full advantage of a team ill-equipped to defend him.
As a team the Jayhawks shot 57% on the night, with Joel Embiid (14 points, six rebounds) and Wayne Selden (12 points) also scoring in double figures and Perry Ellis grabbing 14 rebounds with Tarik Black sitting out with an injured foot. But the story of the night, regardless of the fact that Kansas ran into an overwhelmed opponent, is the fact that Wiggins displayed the offensive aggression many have been clamoring for.
Given how young this team is, there’s the danger that they could take a team that entered the game 0-6 in conference play lightly. That didn’t occur in Fort Worth, with Kansas gaining control during the first half and leading by as much as 27. Beating TCU isn’t going to make waves, as Kansas was expected to do so. But even with that being the case, Wiggins’ outing is certainly a positive for the Jayhawks moving forward.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.