When you’ve been at it as long as 14th-year Kansas coach Bill Self, you get to experience victories in a variety of fashions.
Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse, Self’s No. 3-ranked Jayhawks led him to his 600th career victory by way of the three-pointer.
KU buried 15 of 27 from downtown against UMKC, leading to a 105-62 non-conference blowout.
Senior guard Frank Mason III, a player long respected by Self for his toughness and ability to score inside, once again proved he can score from deep, too. Mason nailed six of seven from long range en route to a game-high 30 points.
Junior guard Devonté Graham nearly matched Mason’s marksmanship, connecting on six of eight from three-point land, while adding 18 points.
Freshman phenom Josh Jackson, though he missed his only long-range try, put up 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting for Self, who picked up wins 300, 400 and 500 at Kansas, too, after reaching 100 at Tulsa and 200 as head coach at Illinois.
The visitors locker room at Allen Fieldhouse is where dreams come to die. Smaller than you might expect, too. The room is the size of the lane on a basketball court, perhaps a bit bigger, just enough for 15 or so folding chairs.
This is UMKC’s best team in years, but the same might eventually be said of Kansas so there was never much doubt about whether this would end with another Rock Chalk chant. Maybe the men in this room expected to win. Maybe some didn’t.
But they sure as heck didn’t expect this, a 105-62 loss on Tuesday, a first half the coach called “an ass kicking“ followed by something even worse in the second half. They sure didn’t need Kansas’ collection of future millionaires hitting 15 of 27 three-pointers.
KC Star Mellinger: Inside UMKC’s ambition at Allen Fieldhouse
He’s played just 84 career minutes in four-plus seasons with the Kansas basketball program, but KU senior Tyler Self, along with fellow fifth-year senior Landen Lucas, has been on the bench for more of Bill Self’s 600 victories than any player on the current Kansas roster.
Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Tyler and Lucas have sat on the bench or checked into a Kansas victory 124 times during Self’s run to 600 wins. That’s 31 more than senior guard Frank Mason (93), 56 more than juniors Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (68), 83 more than sophomores Lagerald Vick and Carlton Bragg (41) and more than 100 more than freshmen Josh Jackson, Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot.
While all of those Jayhawks have some claim on Self’s path to 600 victories as players, none can touch Tyler’s perfect record as a spectator.
Born the same month and year of his father’s first Div. I head coaching victory at Oral Roberts (November of 1993), Tyler, whether he can remember or not, has been around to see all 600 of his father’s wins, the most recent of which came via a 105-62 pasting of UMKC at Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
“I remember Tulsa,” said Tyler of his father’s second stop from 1997-2000. “I didn’t really watch ’em, I was playing my Gameboy most of the time. But wherever he was while he was at Tulsa is when I really started paying attention. I remember a little bit of ORU but not the games or anything.”
Just 10 years old when his father took over at Kansas, Tyler has been in Lawrence for 393 of those 600 victories. And he nearly scored in win No. 600.
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