Same old, same old. Nothing new to see here. Move on. For the sixth straight time, the No. 18 Kansas Jayhawks pounded No. 25 Kansas State on Saturday. And for the eighth straight time, they did it in Allen Fieldhouse.
When a freshman’s confidence grows as rapidly as Selden’s has of late, the athlete even looks taller, bigger, the space under his feet on his jumper even deeper.
For the second game in a row, Selden put his fingerprints all over an impressive KU victory, this one 86-60 against Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse.
“He’s been as good as any player, maybe in our league, when you talk about just in league play,” KU coach Bill Self said, and then added that he meant other than Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane.
For so much of the season, watching Selden play inspired a question that looped in the brain: Where does he fit? In Big 12 play, that has been replaced by another: Where doesn’t he fit?
He fits with the ball, standing on the perimeter, looking one way and rifling a perfect post feed. He fits on the wing and in the corner, burying three-point shots, or taking hard drives to the hoop. He fits in transition, where he finishes with such mature strength and body control.
…Two games into the grueling, 18-game Big 12 schedule, Selden is averaging 36.5 minutes and 22 points. He’s shooting .592 from the field, .533 from three. Thanks to that quick league start, he no longer has to think he can do it. Now he knows he can do it.
1 - Wayne Selden: He’s playing like a guy whose confidence is soaring. He again cited the confidence shown him by his coach and teammates, who repeatedly reminded him they want him to become a big scorer. He nailed a three from the top of the key in the final seconds of the first half to go into the locker room with 14 of his 20 points. He added four rebounds and three assists. He made 7 of 10 shots and 3 of 5 three-pointers. Two games into Big 12 play, Selden is averaging 22 points and shooting .592 from the field and .533 from beyond the three-point semicircle.
LJW Keegan Ratings
Wiggins played three games this past week. He struggled against both San Diego State and Oklahoma before breaking out in the second half of a rout over Kansas State. Wiggins finished with 14 points (4-of-14 shooting) and five boards in the Jayhawks' loss to San Diego State, had nine points (2-of-9) and six rebounds in a win over the Sooners and 22 points (7-of-13) and five rebounds in the K-State win.
“He’s a guy I might take if we were talking about NBA potential, but not for this year in college. He just doesn’t impact the game enough.” -- Big 12 head coach
ESPN Jeff Goodman
For a freshman who generally chooses his words like a United States senator, rarely offering much, Wiggins’ memory can feel like a vault, filled with tiny pieces of motivation.
For example: In the moments after No. 18 Kansas’ 86-60 destruction of No. 25 Kansas State inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, Wiggins remembered that K-State freshman guard Marcus Foster had entered the day as the second-leading freshman scorer in the Big 12. This meant that Foster, who was averaging 14.1 points per game, was one spot behind Wiggins. And for Wiggins, this was an important piece of information.
So while Wiggins’ offense — 22 points in 33 minutes — carried the Jayhawks to one of their most complete performances of the season, it was his defense on Foster that appeared to break the will of the Wildcats. Foster was limited to seven points on three-of-12 shooting, including only one basket against the 6-foot-8 Wiggins.
“People say he’s one of the best freshmen,” Wiggins said. “So it’s always fun to match up and see where you stand.”
…“I feel like Wayne and Wiggs are just going out there and playing their game, being loose and having fun,”said junior guard Naadir Tharpe, who had nine assists. “When they play like that, you see what happens.”
On Saturday, this is what happened: The Jayhawks shot 65.5 percent in the first half, building a 45-28 lead while committing zero turnovers.
“I thought that was as efficient a half as we’ve played in a while,” KU coach Bill Self said.
And when Wiggins finally made the Jayhawks’ first turnover with 16:44 left in the second half, he promptly responded by scoring 13 straight points, including a monstrous one-handed dunk after a loose-ball scramble.
“I think I was more calm than I was last game and the games before that,” Wiggins said. “I’m just really letting the game come to me now.”
When Tarik Black stepped into Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday morning, he could tell something was different.
The day before, Kansas’ coaches had shown videos while trying to describe the intensity of the Kansas State basketball rivalry. But now, the first-year KU forward could sense it.
“You could tell it was a personal one for everybody, because it wasn’t just walking into the building, ‘Oh, we’re at a KU game,’” the senior Black said. “You could kind of feel and look around and see that, ‘This is the game.’”
The first-year Jayhawks — from places like Memphis and Massachusetts, Canada and Cameroon — seemed to be quick learners, especially when it came to their team’s recent supremacy over their in-state rival.
Even with a mostly turned-over roster, the 18th-ranked Jayhawks looked a lot like their predecessors on Saturday afternoon, overwhelming No. 25 K-State in an 86-60 victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
And so the dominance continues for KU, especially at home. The Jayhawks have won 48 of the last 51 meetings against the Wildcats overall, including eight straight in the Fieldhouse.
“That was our main thing, protecting the home floor first and foremost,” Black said, “and then at the same time, defending our legacy with the rivalry.”
The all-time record was rather obscure, really.
Other marks were easier to recite reflecting the dominance Kansas enjoys in the basketball series against Kansas State.
Maybe the 47-3 advantage in the previous 50 games. Or, the one win the Wildcats have managed now in the last 20 meetings inside Allen Fieldhouse.
But no, Andrew Wiggins went the distance. Asked about the rivalry, the freshman guard recited the entire record dating to the first in-state matchup in 1907.
“It’s tradition. What are we at, 186-91 now?’’ Wiggins said. “We need to extend the lead to show we’re the most dominant team in Kansas.’’
Make that 187. Lead extended. Convincingly. The Jayhawks had 14 assists against no turnovers while building a 17-point lead at halftime before thumping the Wildcats, 86-60, and ending their 10-game win streak.
If any mystery remained early in the second half, Wiggins ended the suspense. He scored 13 straight points on his own and finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, with five rebounds. That spree was as dominant as Wiggins looked all season – worthy of a multi-magazine cover boy.
His personal sizz began with a 3-pointer at the 16:05 mark and concluded with another trey with 11:06 remaining. The onslaught did not build KU’s lead, but it probably made a few of the Wildcats shudder. Especially when Wiggins grabbed a loose ball and converted a monster dunk with 12:33 remaining.
…Signs held aloft by fans, like the one Wiggins must have read – “I never talk like that,’’ Self said – to learn the all-time series record, bragged about how “this is our state.’’ T-shirts, and at the end, chants, seconded the statement, which the Jayhawks authoritatively upheld … though Wichita State may beg to disagree.
“With six freshmen and Tarik (Black) being a newcomer, all we wanted to do was put them in the mindset of the energy and the type of emotion this game’s been played with in the past,’’ Self said.
“It might have helped, I don’t know. I don’t think it made us any more shots, but anytime we can educate our youngsters on certain things … if we’d have gone into the game and had them not understanding that, I think I’d have really been upset with myself afterwards.’’
And as easy as it might be to dismiss what happened Saturday as just another birthright thumping of the Wildcats, it was more than that against a team that remains intriguing itself even if can’t solve KU.
Remember, too, that the Wildcats, 12-4, only a week ago had beaten then-No. 6 Oklahoma State as they were compiling a 10-game winning streak.
For the Jayhawks, this was a meaningful strand in the DNA of a still-forming force just six days after they had fallen for the fourth time in their first 13 games and in Allen, no less, against San Diego State.
Anyone who really thought, or still thinks, Kansas was in jeopardy of a mediocre season would do well to re-examine that after the last two games and accounting for the benefits of the ambitious nonconference scheduling.
Consider Self’s true mastery of psychology and a team oozing talent and wanting to please, Kansas will make for a thorny matchup when it matters most in March.
That doesn’t guarantee a Final Four, or even yet another Big 12 title or even a win on Monday in what figures to be an emotional cauldron at No. 9 Iowa State, 14-1.
But it does mean this team is going to be representative of the sum of its considerable parts.
KC Star Gregorian
Kansas State entered the weekend with a reputation for defense.
During its long winning streak and rise into the national polls at No. 25, K-State regularly held opponents to season-low point totals. The Wildcats were allowing a Big 12-best 58 points per game, and were coming off a sterling performance at TCU, giving up a measly 47 points.
Then the Wildcats entered Allen Fieldhouse, and that reputation took a hit.
…K-State looked nothing like the team that effectively leaned on its defense during the last two months. Kansas hit 56.1 percent of its shots, found space for thunderous dunks and committed just seven turnovers, all coming in the second half. It wasn’t until Shane Southwell stole ball from Andrew Wiggins with 16 minutes, 44 seconds remaining that K-State forced its first turnover.
That was a major reason why the Jayhawks raced to a 45-28 halftime lead.
“When you have no turnovers and 14 assists at halftime, that is obviously pretty good,” Weber said of the Jayhawks. “We got them going a little bit in the second half, but you can’t spot somebody like that 20 points and expect to get back in it.”
How impressive was the first half for Kansas? The Wildcats had been holding opponents to just 53 points per game during their 10-game win streak, yet allowed the Jayhawks to pile up 14 assists without a turnover and shoot 65.5 percent from the field.
As if things weren't going perfectly enough for Kansas, Embiid knocked down a 3 from the top of the key to open the second half — he'd missed the first two tries of his career.
The Jayhawks partied hard the rest of the game.
There was the alley-oop dunk by Wiggins off a feed from Selden, and a nimble post move by Embiid that resulted in another dunk. And even when Wiggins threw the ball away for the Jayhawks' first turnover, he atoned for it with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 58-34 lead.
Then came Wiggins' biggest highlight, a one-handed slam that went through the rim with such force that the ball bounced the entire length of the floor the other direction.
In a sign of just how badly things were going for the Wildcats, they were hit with three charging fouls in a span of just a few minutes in the second half. It's become rare enough to see one offensive foul in a game the way such calls are being made this season.
f you want to get an idea of just how badly No. 18 Kansas beat down in-state rival No. 25 Kansas State, think about it like this: there wasn’t another matchup between two ranked teams anywhere in the country today, this game was on ESPN and it finished before the NFL Playoff games began, yet how much did you actually hear about this game?
How many of you watched any of the second half?
How many of you actually knew that the Jayhawks won 86-60?
This was a statement win for Kansas, one that looks all the more impressive given some of the other results in Big 12 play this season. Kansas State had already beaten Oklahoma State and Oklahoma — coming off of a home loss to Kansas — beat an Iowa State team that was coming off of a 20 point win over Baylor.
Put it all together, and Kansas is the only undefeated team left in the conference. No matter how you slice it, the Jayhawks are still the favorite to win their 10th straight league title.
“(If) you try to take something away, you gotta give them something,” Weber said. “And they made shots. ... You gotta have a game plan and go with it. And they were better than our game plan today.”
K-State junior Thomas Gipson, who played his third career game inside Allen Fieldhouse and finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 33 minutes, said he thought the big stage might have gotten under the skin of his young teammates, especially during that first-half run that put the game out of reach.
“We couldn’t get a stop, we let the crowd get to us and we just froze,” Gipson said.
Added junior Nino Williams, who led the Wildcats with a dozen points: “They’re really talented. They’re pro prospects. I think early the crowd got us rattled. It was an offensive game, and we’re not really an offensive team. They just made plays, and we didn’t.”
Kansas State entered its matchup with Kansas featuring one of the best first-year players in the country in Marcus Foster and another -- Wesley Iwundu -- who has had his moments during a 10-game winning streak that vaulted the Wildcats into the Top 25 poll.
But neither player was a factor during the Jayhawks' 86-60 thumping of the Wildcats. Foster finished with seven points on 3 of 12 shooting and Iwundu managed just four points in 25 minutes.
The freshmen for Kansas? Well, that was a different matter. Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid combined for 53 points on 19 of 30 shooting and added 18 rebounds and seven assists as the Jayhawks won for the 48th time in the last 51 games against their in-state rivals.
K-State sophomore Nino Williams, one of the few players wearing purple to play well, said the lopsided loss was a good lesson for the younger Wildcats, or any young player coming into Allen Fieldhouse for the first time.
"People can say how hard it is to play here, but until you're on the court and when you're in the game, it's different," said Williams, who finished with 12 points in 17 minutes.
"This is the first true road game, and they really didn't know what the atmosphere was going to be like," said K-State junior Thomas Gipson. "They knew they were going up against good freshmen. They played hard, but it just didn't cut out for them today."
KU's freshmen had no such problems.
It could have been worse for KU freshman center Joel Embiid, who was ejected in the second half on Saturday after hitting K-State’s Nino Williams with a quick backhanded shot to the face.
The play came as Embiid headed back down the floor on defense after both players had battled for position. Embiid was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul, which earned him an immediate ejection. The foul, though, won’t warrant any further suspensions because it was not deemed a fight, according to a longtime referee evaluator who attended Saturday’s game.
“Regardless of what took place prior or if there was anything, you got to be tough enough to think next play,” KU coach Bill Self said.
If Williams had retaliated with his own blow, the sequence could have earned suspensions for both players. Embiid, who had 11 points and nine rebounds, will return for Monday’s game against Iowa State. KU did not make Embiid available to answer questions from reporters after the game.
“That’s frustrating to me that that would happen, even if it was a situation where it was retaliatory,” Self said. “And I don’t have any idea that it was. You can’t do it. I thought it was a good lesson for Joel, and a good lesson for our team to learn from Joel.”
Self was asked what he said to one ref as the ref walked to the monitor. “I told him, ‘If he (Embiid) did it, get him out of here.’’’
Embiid had to spend the final minutes of the victory in the locker room.
He will be allowed to play in Monday’s 8 p.m. contest at Iowa State. A Big 12 official told the Journal-World that if Williams had retaliated and thrown a punch at Embiid, it would have been deemed “fighting” and both players would have had to sit out a game. Embiid would have been cited for instigating a fight and Williams for fighting.
The way it stands is Embiid definitely will play Monday night with no additional penalty needing to be served.
…KU’s Embiid wore a different pair of goggles on Saturday than he wore Wednesday at Oklahoma.
“He has those new goggles. He likes his new goggles more,” Self said. “That was important to me to know he actually likes his goggles. It was easier for him to see. I didn’t think he saw very well in Norman.”
Embiid was 1-for-2 from three-point land, sinking his first collegiate three.
“Nice. It was good. It went in. I thought it was great,” Self said with a smile in discussing the first-half three that dropped.
…Naadir Tharpe had nine assists, no turnover in 33 minutes.
“It just shows us being aggressive,” Tharpe said. “If we just go out there and play instead of thinking, there is going to be less chance of us making turnovers. Dudes are just going to the hoop and finishing and knocking down shots.”
…The Jayhawks wore new alternate jerseys on Saturday. The word “Jayhawks” was in script form on the front. KU wore white tops and shorts with blue numbers.
“I like the uniforms. I like them a lot,” Tarik Black said. “It’s cool how they are off-white instead of pearly white. I don’t know if I’m weird (but) that’s kind of unique to me. I think we’ll see them again.”
…Actor Rob Riggle, former KU football players Tanner Hawkinson, Anthony Collins and Todd Reesing, former KU basketball player Moulaye Niang.
Kansas debuted some pretty sweet new adidas uniforms Saturday for its rivalry game against Kansas State.
Superstitious Jayhawks fans might think the new duds had something to do with their team having such an easy time with the Wildcats in an 86-60 romp.
Kansas plans to wear the new look intermittently the rest of this season and next. We're all for tradition, but why not just make this the permanent uniform?
There are two versions. KU wore the CHALK look against Kansas State. They are white with Kansas in blue script in an upward slant. The shorts featured a 1946 blue outlined Jayhawk.
The PHOG version of the uniforms are grey and a reminder of the 1988 national championship season with a circus font outlined in red. Both versions of the alternate uniforms feature tonal pinstripes that read:
Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don't replace work. In this game you don't get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
1/11/14, 12:49 PM
Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU. It's about to go down. I kno Allen Fieldhouse is rockin right now. Wish I was there to watch this one
I love going to Allen Field house...truly college basketball's greatest cathedral. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
The best place in college basketball, Hands Down!
Kansas should wear these throwbacks permanently. Great look.
I remember when K-State fans got my # and left voicemails congratulating us on our win. Thanks Kitty's. #RockChalkMemories
1/11/14, 1:18 PM
Looks like Joel Embiid finally realizes how good he can be. And that should scare the Big 12.
1/11/14, 1:29 PM
Conner Frankamp can make an impact. One of the best shooters in the freshman class. Just hard for shooters to get loose in limited action.
1/11/14, 1:38 PM
#KState purple is like smelling salts for #kubball. Hawks up 16.
1/11/14, 2:09 PM
Joel Embiid just hit a 3!??! ... The college basketball world should fear this.
1/11/14, 2:10 PM
Kansas just embarrassing K State right now. Lead by 20 early second half. Keep your permanent markers handy.
1/11/14, 2:12 PM
This is the easiest I've seen KU score since every time it plays Baylor.
1/11/14, 4:26 PM
It's always personal.#KUCMB
1/11/14, 4:38 PM
And Allen Field House. RT @JonRothstein: Death. Taxes. Bill Self.
1/11/14, 4:47 PM
Don t mess with #KUCMB!!! This is our state.......... #kubball
Always good seeing KU beat up on K-State #rockchalk
S/O to the Jayhawks who chanted 'Rock Chalk!' from the rafters #beatkstate pic.twitter.com/8fNR2IlppY
Jay Jay and Jo Jo after the game. instagram.com/p/jC7kZoAHfC/
Jay Jay and @22wiggins representing CHI TOWN with bulls sully and throwing up the duces. ROCK CHALK… instagram.com/p/jC_WuegHVE/
Hey now @dextermccluster and myself at the KU game @KUHoops / @KUAthletics! Great game! whosay.com/l/IFc7Aq1
1/11/14, 4:52 PM
Snooping around and early reports from Ames are that DeAndre Kane will play Monday.
Self is the best-so honest @BlairKerkhoff: Self on ISU: "Two of 3 games we basically lost but won it on the scoreboard."
VOTE for Coach Self & his Assists Foundation (currently 22nd out of 48 coaches!)
Big 12 / College News
1/10/14, 2:24 PM
Take the top 8 RPI teams. KU, No. 2 in RPI, has as many losses (4) as the other 7 teams combined. That's how strong KU's schedule has been.
Still say the grind of the Big 12 will be hard to match due to the true round-robin. Not all Big 10 schedules are created equal.
NCAA Official RPIStandings
Earlier this week, I was in Ames for Iowa State’s 15-point win over Baylor. The Cyclones fans I talked to were both excited and nervous about their upcoming stretch.
Kansas at Iowa State on Monday is a crucial matchup in the Big 12 race. If the Cyclones could beat and outlast Kansas -- assuming they defeated Oklahoma over the weekend -- the program’s supporters (others, too) figured that Iowa State would be the front-runner for the conference title.
But the Sooners spoiled those plans on Saturday when they recorded an 87-82 win over the No. 9 Cyclones.
The easiest explanation would be one that suggests Iowa State overlooked a solid Oklahoma team. That's not an accurate take, and it’s also not fair to Lon Kruger or the Big 12.
Iowa State lost on the road to a solid Oklahoma squad. It's really that simple. And the Cyclones (14-1, 2-1 Big 12) won’t be the last Big 12 school to have a tough time on the road in league play.
The Cyclones love the 3-pointer, and the Sooners did a great job contesting Iowa State at the 3-point line (6-for-26). The Cyclones also committed 13 turnovers.
But the Cyclones also made 52 percent of their shots and scored 82 points -- rare numbers in a loss.
Other than its 18-for-21 clip from the free throw line, Oklahoma’s numbers weren’t mind-blowing. The Sooners (13-3, 2-1) just fought and hustled and attacked an undefeated team that entered the game with the greatest winning streak in school history.
…That win certainly boosts Oklahoma’s NCAA tourney status and is also a major victory for Kruger as he continues to shape the program in Norman.
But it’s also a statement for the Big 12.
Pound for pound, the Big 12 is one of the strongest leagues in the country. Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Kansas were all ranked in the latest Associated Press poll. Eight of the 10 teams in the conference had top-70 RPIs entering the weekend, too.
The Big 12 has underrated depth.
When a Big Ten contender loses to Illinois or Purdue or Minnesota, the league’s backers suggest that those wins say more about the conference’s overall toughness than about the team that lost.
Well, it’s the same situation in the Big 12. Iowa State’s loss to Oklahoma says plenty about the competition within the league.
Sure, the Cyclones have some issues that shouldn’t be ignored, in Georges Niang's ongoing foul trouble, DeAndre Kane's 16 turnovers in the past three games and a possible ankle injury that could affect him if he’s available Monday to face the Jayhawks. And what’s wrong with Matt Thomas (4-for-14 from the 3-point line since New Year’s Eve)?
But it’s not the end of the world for the Cyclones. Not even close. A shot at redemption will come Monday.
Markel Brown hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds to lift No. 11 Oklahoma State to a 73-72 win over West Virginia Saturday.
The Cowboys (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) trailed for most of the game, but got solid efforts from their top two scorers in the final minutes.
Marcus Smart had 22 points and 13 rebounds. Le’Bryan Nash added 18 points and Brown finished with 12.
For a team struggling in nearly all facets, especially rebounding, Baylor isn’t the place to snap out of it.
Not for TCU on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 7,575 at the Ferrell Center against the seventh-ranked Bears in their Big 12 home opener.
Baylor (13-2, 1-1 Big 12) was coming off a loss at No. 9 Iowa State and by midway through the first half had the look of a team not in the mood to give TCU any quarter.
The Bears’ 88-62 drubbing of the Horned Frogs (9-6, 0-3) not only highlighted TCU’s deficiencies but showcased Baylor’s depth.
Taurean Prince came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points, including 15 in the first half to help the Bears pull away early.
After TCU took an 11-9 lead five minutes into the game, Baylor outscored the Frogs 42-14 the final 14:31 of the first half.
Cameron Ridley made two free throws and a big defensive play in the final 35 seconds, sending Texas to its first Big 12 win of the season Saturday night.
Texas trailed by one when Ridley altered a shot and hustled down the floor for an offensive rebound before he was fouled. His two free throws put Texas ahead 65-64 with 31 seconds left.
Texas Tech had a chance to win. Jaye Crockett missed a jumper. Jonathan Holmes grabbed the rebound, then made two free throws with 1 second left.
Texas (12-4, 1-2) desperately needed the win. The Longhorns started 0-5 in conference play last season and never recovered, tailing off into the program's first losing season in 15 years. A similar start might have doomed coach Rick Barnes' rebuilding project.
Isaiah Taylor scored 14 points to lead Texas.
CBS Saturday Rewind
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule