Joel Embiid

No. 8 Kansas fully back on track with win over West Virginia

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Kansas finally lost a Big 12 game last Saturday at Texas, but after a win against Baylor and another home win over West Virginia, the No. 8 Jayhawks are back in control of things and control their own destiny in the conference.

Kansas was impressive on Saturday in an 83-69 win over West Virginia in Lawrence, as they limited turnovers, took good shots and had solid point guard play from freshman backup Frank Mason and a good closing stretch from Naadir Tharpe.

Mason had five points and five assists — with no turnovers — off the bench for the Jayhawks while Tharpe had five points, four assists and one turnover.

When Kansas gets a near double-double performance with one turnover from the point guard position, they are likely going to win.

Wayne Selden had a solid outing with 17 points, looking confident attacking the basket and scoring in a variety of ways. Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and was a menace on defense on Eron Harris in the second half.

As long as the Jayhawks stay steady with the ball, limit turnovers and shoot good shots like they did against West Virginia, they’ll be very tough to beat.

West Virginia played a pretty good game on the road on Saturday. Juwan Staten has really picked up his play at the point guard this season and he’s a terror in the open floor. Eron Harris has a smoothness and a confidence catching the ball off of curls right now and he’s getting in the lane and hitting jumpers.

But this Kansas team is filled with pros and when they move the ball and play smart basketball, you aren’t beating them in Lawrence.

Kansas now has to go into the Sunflower State Showdown at Kansas State on Monday and face a very confident Wildcat team. That should be yet another great Big 12 game.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.