As a fan of college basketball, and particularly a fan of the Kansas Jayhawks (4-0), basketball is seldom as fun to watch as it was during the first half of Kansas’ 88-58 trouncing of the Towson Tigers (3-2) Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks actually played some solid defense in the first half. The pressure Kansas applied on Towson forced the Tigers to take several ill conceived shots. The Jayhawks seemed to capitalize on every one, grabbing the ball, and running down the court at a furious pace. The home team finished with 29 fast break points.
Kansas’ improved defensive intensity caused Towson to shoot just 36.7% from the field, and 22.7% from three. The Tigers even struggled to shoot the ball unopposed. Townson only connected on 50% of their free throws.
Of course, basketball is an easy game when you make shots, and the Jayhawks were nailing their shots on Friday. Kansas drained 60% of the their field goals, and 43.8 from 3-point range. They hit 68.2% of their charity attempts.
In the first half, this team looked like a prototypical Bill Self squad at its best. They defended, they rebounded, they ran, they shared the ball, and they hit shots. After a few games, it seems as this edition is starting to get the whole concept of what Self expects from them as unit.
One of the most impressive stats to emerge from this game is the fact Kansas scored 88 points but not a single individual took more than 8 shot attempts. That is a team effort.
Andrew Wiggins, one of four Jayhawks in double figures, led the team with 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting. He also had the second most rebounds with 7. Andrew White III tallied 13 points, including 9 from behind the arc. Wayne Selden, Jr and Perry Ellis also scored in double figures.
After leading the game 49-16 at halftime, Towson outscored the Jayhawks 42-39 after the intermission. There was a let down in defensive intensity and the offense was not as smooth and exciting as it was in the first half. Maybe it is hard to maintain that level of performance when you are up by 33 at half.
The Tigers were led, as expected, by Jerrelle Benimon, a former Georgetown Hoya. Benimon was the game’s leading scorer with 21, and rebounder with 10. He also led the Tigers with 5 assists. He did all this despite sitting out the final 7 and a half minutes of the first half with 3 fouls.
- Frank Mason has 14 assists so far this season but only 2 turnovers.
- Perry Ellis has hit 25 of his 36 field goal attempts for a 69.4%.
- Andrew White III has connected on 7 of his 12 three-point attempts for 58.3%.
- Starter Tarik Black is averaging less than 13 minutes a game, mainly due to fouls, in which he has 13.
- Kansas Leads the nation in FG% at 56.8%
- The Jayhawks are averaging 87 points a game.
Kansas travels to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis, where they will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the first game on Thanksgiving Day at 2:30 CST. The Deacons are 5-0, and are averaging 85.6 points per outing.