The Kansas Jayhawks have been on a live game hiatus since December 18th when they played Stephen F. Austin at home in Lawrence, Kansas. The Jayhawks were scheduled to play Colorado in Boulder on December 21st, but due to Covid-19, the game was canceled. A similar situation would occur when Kansas was set to square off against Harvard at home on December 29th, but due to Covid-19 again, the game was canceled. Kansas would scramble to find another opponent and came across Nevada.
Head Coach Bill Self Was Pleased with the Performance by the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks were chomping at the bit to take the floor. I believe the fans were just as excited to see basketball being played just like the players. Senior David McCormack would draw a foul and make 1-out-of-2 free throws giving the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead. From there, KU never looked back and held the lead for the entire night, winning 88-61. KU was locked in on defense as they would force 21 Nevada turnovers. The team shot 54% from the field (35-of-65), and Kansas would dominate inside the paint outscoring Nevada 46-14 down in the trenches.
According to kuathletics.com, Bill Self said this on playing Nevada,
"“We did a lot of good things. I was pleased for the most part. We can certainly have our bench play better. In all honesty, Mitch, Jalen, and our starters played pretty well. I think every starter was at least +28 with some of them in limited minutes. A lot of good things happened tonight. I thought we guarded pretty well to start the game. They shot 37%. It sounds like we did a much better job but the fact that they had 21 turnovers, so their effective field goal percentage is closer to 25%. That was better. We got out of here happy. It was good to see Steve. They tried to keep in it for a while, but our guys played pretty well in the second half.”"
The Kansas Jayhawks Were Led by Junior Christian Braun
Junior Christian Braun played another well-rounded basketball game. He led the team in scoring with 22 points, this is now the fourth time this season he has scored 20+ points in a game. He would also add four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. One of the steals occurred with 16:33 remaining in the 1st half leading to a breakaway dunk that would ignite Allen Fieldhouse, giving the Jayhawks a 12-3 lead.
According to kuathletics.com, Braun said this about always finding a way to lead in these types of games,
"“I would say that we have so many weapons, you know you’re going to see things like see games like you said we’ll just kind of put our foot on people you know throughout the game, we got a lot of guys that learn how to play with each other, so I think that’s probably why you’re seeing us get better, you know as the games go on. We got guys like Jalen getting back in rhythm and once all those come together, you’re going to see us get better and better.”"
What Is Next for the Kansas Jayhawks?
The Jayhawks will take the court on Saturday, January 1st, against George Mason. The game was originally scheduled to be the opener of conference play as the TCU Horned Frogs would come to Lawrence, but due to Covid-19, that game was canceled. George Mason was the replacement, and they will come to Lawrence, Kansas. The game is expected to tip-off at 4:00 PM CST and will be aired on ESPN+ and Big 12 Now.