No. 2 Kansas rebounds from slow start to beat No. 15 Eastern Kentucky

1 Comment

South Region No. 2 Kansas has dealt with inconsistent guard play at times this season, and against an Eastern Kentucky team led by guard Glenn Cosey similar play could get the Jayhawks in trouble. Sure enough that was the case, with Kansas turning the ball over 13 times in the first 15 minutes of the game, and they would trial the OVC tournament champions by as much as nine.

However the Jayhawks would do a much better job of handling the basketball from that point forward, and that combined with their ability to work the ball inside resulted in an 80-69 victory.

In the game’s final 25 minutes Kansas turned the ball over just once, with freshmen Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason providing much-needed boosst at the point. In his reserve role Frankamp scored ten points and dished out four assists but the most important number for him was zero, as it represented the number of turnovers committed. As for Mason, he finished the game with four assists and just one turnover.

Frankamp, Mason and forward Jamari Traylor, who racked up 17 points and 14 rebounds, were all important factors for a Kansas team that took a while to get going against a tough Eastern Kentucky squad. Cosey (17 points), Tarius Johnson (15 points) and the rest of the Colonels refused to back down, and that put Kansas on their heels in the first half. The Jayhawks made poor decisions with the basketball and didn’t always work to get the best possible shot, ignoring their size advantage in the front court and their ability to get to the basket.

Once Kansas committed to going inside they were able to take advantage of an EKU defense that is one of the worst in the country when it comes to two-point percentage defense, with opponents making 56.1% of those shots. Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points, with Traylor, Tarik Black and Perry Ellis also taking advantage of their ability to get inside.

Kansas finished the game shooting 60.4% from the field and they also controlled things on the boards, rebounding 56% of its missed shots on the afternoon.

As a result of their victory the Jayhawks will face No. 10 Stanford on Sunday, and how well they take care of the basketball will once again be key. How they reached that point wasn’t pretty, but thanks to their bench Kansas managed to grab control of the game late and avoid the upset.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
Leave a comment

The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State