KU has had a good week. Wayne Selden, Jr. has had a great week. And maybe now we know what we can expect from this Kansas basketball team. The Jayhawks finished a brutal non-conference schedule last week with a home loss to San Diego State.
The Jayhawks hoped that loss number four would be rock bottom. The early slate ended up including 5 games against teams ranked in this week’s AP Top 25. In those games the Hawks were only 1-4. If the team aspired to contend for a national title things would have to improve.
The Jayhawks triumphed in two wins against solid opposition to start Big 12 play last week. A road win against Oklahoma was first for the team. In the game the Jayhawks seemed to pick up the pace in this game.
For different reasons, Selden seemed to represent a lot in this game for the Jayhawks, good and bad. Increased pace seemed to free up Wayne Selden. The freshman guard was aggressive and played one of his best games of the year going 9 for 17 from the field and scoring 24 points. The breakneck pace may have been a bit much to handle for the young KU team as the Jayhawks committed 14 turnovers and 25 fouls.
Andrew Wiggins’ play in the tilt seemed to personify some of places the young team can still grow. Wiggins only shot 22% percent from the field and ended up with 9 points. Wiggins had two turnovers and picked up 4 fouls in the game.
More troubling for the phenom was that his turnovers came in transition play, the space where he had appeared most comfortable during KU’s earlier games this season. But the tide was stemmed, the Jayhawks got a road win in their Big 12 debut. It had it’s flaws but a win is a win.
On Saturday, the Jayhawks played one of their best games of the year in the win against K-State. As in Bill Self on the sidelines saying “I love it when a plan comes together.” The fledglings finally took flight.
The Jayhawks jumped out to a 24-15 by the under 8 timeout and never looked back. They were up by 17 at halftime and won the game by 26.
This game was a showcase of the talent level of this Kansas team. Selden kept the offensive pressure on high and scored 20 points on seven of ten shooting.
Wiggins had a great game and seemed to be Johnny on the spot all afternoon. His 22 points were highlighted by an emphatic one-hand slam when Wiggins seized upon a mishandled rebound.
A steal, four offensive rebounds and two assists rounded out a great floor game for the freshman forward. A spectacular performance on all counts and maybe a springboard for something better.
The two freshman will feature prominently in the rest of the Jayhawks season. If Selden keeps attacking and Wiggins learns to play like the ultimate “glue guy” the sky’s the limit. The grind doesn’t stop here for the ‘Hawks though.
This week KU faces two big games against teams that have been ranked in the AP top 10 during this season. So what’s to come? Can the Jayhawks turn that performance into something better? More on that later this week.