That’s more or less what Alexander did on Monday night during No. 5 Kansas’ 85-53 decimation of Washburn at Allen Fieldhouse, an expected beatdown in the Jayhawks’ exhibition opener.
In only 17 minutes of work, Alexander finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, a rather beastly night of production on his first test run of Allen Fieldhouse.
…For Kansas, of course, the first exhibition game always doubles as an introduction to a cast of newcomers. So let’s get the pleasantries out of the way. Freshman guard Devonte’ Graham, who started in the backcourt, appears to be the most poised and game ready, while wings Kelly Oubre Jr. (nine points) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (six points) each offered flashes of what they do best.
Oubre juiced the old barn with a thunderous left-handed jam that pushed Kansas’ lead to 65-32 with more than 11 minutes to play. Mykhailiuk stalked the perimeter and cashed in two of five from beyond the three-point line. Graham, meanwhile, showcased a steady hand in the backcourt, finishing with seven points and three assists while playing alongside sophomore combo guard Frank Mason.
But the memorable first impression mostly belonged to Alexander, who began the night on the bench and then offered a five-minute clinic on the power forward position.
KUAD Game recap, stats, photos, videos, more
WE/KC Star Photos
11/3/14, 6:48 PM
John Higgins to officiate the 1st KU game of the season. College basketball, it's like you never left.
11/4/14, 1:56 AM
Miscellaneous stats from #kubball exh.: Mason, Selden, Alexander, Mykhailiuk (2), Traylor and Mickelson all credited with floor burns. Both Wayne Selden & Jamari Traylor were credited with drawing a charge vs Washburn. Kelly Oubre & Landen Lucas had #kubball’s only dunks.
“He said he was a little nervous, but he didn’t show it. That’s the best part about it,” Cliff’s papa, Clifton Terry, said with a smile after his son scored a team-leading 14 points off 6-of-8 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots while playing 17 minutes in KU’s 85-53 exhibition rout of Washburn.
Nerves were not apparent as the 6-foot-8, 240-pounder made an immediate impact after coming off the bench 4 minutes, 46 seconds into the contest. In five minutes, he scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds. Alexander’s second basket followed his aggressive rebound of a Brannen Greene miss; his third bucket an offensive board of a Perry Ellis miss.
“I had the butterflies going into the game. I loosened up when the game started,” Alexander said. “They weren’t that bad (during the day). I dealt with it pretty well. I just tried to keep my mind off it. Coach told me to come out and play my hardest and that’s what I did,” Alexander added.
With four seconds left on the shot clock, Kansas’ Jamari Traylor took too big of a step to his right and couldn’t shift back left quick enough. The opening gave Washburn’s Kyle Wiggins enough room to heave a long jumper that sank with ease and gave the Ichabods a 2-1 lead over the Jayhawks barely two minutes into Monday’s exhibition at Allen Fieldhouse.
This was the rare occasion where KU’s defensive effort wasn’t rewarded in the preseason opener. It would take another long 3-pointer from Korey Fisher five minutes later before Washburn would add to its total. And after 20 minutes of play, the Ichabods had stretched that to just 13.
Never mind what KU did offensively in its 85-53 victory over WU, the flashes of dominance on defense showed the most promise — even in an exhibition.
“I can say this year’s defensive team, we try a little harder than last year,” KU guard Frank Mason said.
…Alexander came up with five defensive boards, three blocks and a steal in 17 minutes, attacking the ball and making himself nearly impossible to get around.
“That’s all natural,” KU forward Landen Lucas said of Alexander. “You can put him out in any situation and that’s going to happen.”
Kansas would let up in the second half, allowing 40 points — which Self alluded to after the game — yet with the Jayhawks notching 34 total defensive rebounds, forcing eight steals and blocking nine shots, the effort didn’t suggest one or two players will determine the success of the defense.
For all the damage the Jayhawks prevented with Jeff Withey and Embiid in the paint over the last few years, this team won’t get to rely on such a luxury. On Monday night, they certainly didn’t need to.
“I don’t know if we can defend the block because they didn’t throw it inside very often,” Self said. “But I think there are some things that are good about our guys that could eventually be a very good defensive team.”
After a 32-point loss, it is normal to assume a team is feeling deflated and down on themselves. But that’s not the case for coach Bob Chipman and the rest of the team.
“It was a great opportunity for us,” Chipman said. “We were able to give guys an opportunity out there and try to come together as a group.”
This isn’t the only opportunity like this that Washburn will get. The rest of their preseason schedule consists of Oklahoma and Kansas State.
“Washburn has the toughest preseason schedule in the nation,” Self said jokingly. “If there was a preseason Division II RPI, they’d be number one.”
For Washburn, it’s not about winning, it’s about learning and enjoying the moment. It’s not every day that Division II basketball players get to play in the greatest college basketball venue in the world and go up against the fifth ranked team in the country.
During Washburn’s press conference Chipman told the media that Bill Self went and spoke to Washburn for 15 minutes the night before the game. Self went and talked to the players while they were shooting just about basketball and getting better.
“It didn’t look like it today,” Chipman said. “But I guarantee you it’s going to be worth five victories for us, coach Self coming out and talking to our group.”
There is no better place to play a game of basketball than Allen Fieldhouse. For a team like Washburn it should be more about the experience than the game itself.
“I’d definitely say it’s the atmosphere,” said Washburn guard Korey Fisher, who was asked what he’ll remember the most. “As a native Kansan, you always watch KU on TV, but you don’t really grasp what it’s like until you get on the court.”
While Fisher isn’t from Kansas, a majority of his teammates are from the Sunflower State. Twelve of the 20 players on the roster are from Kansas, while a handful are from nearby cities such as Overland Park and Lenexa.
“I told coach (Bill) Self, ‘I hope we gave you just enough to break a sweat there,’” Washburn coach Bob Chipman said. “They were so dominant. Wow, were they good. The offense just moved the ball so well and the spacing is unbelievable. And of course the big kids in there looked unstoppable. We looked helpless there at times.”
Kansas jumped out to an 18-5 lead by the eight-minute mark and pushed the lead to 34-9 with five minutes left before halftime.
Washburn, which went just 5 of 30 from the field in the first half, did manage to improve offensively after halftime, scoring 16 points in the first seven minutes of the second half after managing just 13 in the first half.
“For guys that are smaller in stature, we just have to play tougher,” Washburn forward Christian Ulsaker said. “First half kind of got out of hand, but after that I thought we played really hard (in the) second half.”
Somewhat hidden amid the hoopla surrounding the Kansas University basketball debuts of Cliff Alexander and three other freshmen was the performance of combo guard Frank Mason in Monday’s exhibition rout of Washburn.
“Frank played well, 13 (points) on five shots, six boards, seven dimes and only one turnover. He defended fairly well, too,” KU coach Bill Self said of the 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore’s stat line on Tuesday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show.
“I thought he had about as good a game as anybody on our team. Jamari the first half was really good, and Frank for the most part the entire game was pretty good,” Self added.
…Junior forward Perry Ellis scored nine points off 2-of-6 shooting. He was 1-for-3 from three after going 8-for-17 all last season.
“That’s fine. Hey, when you are open, shoot them,” Self said of the 6-8 Ellis having the green light from beyond the arc. “He’s a good shooter. When you are open, shoot them, but when you are close to the basket and have an opportunity to post within what we are trying to do, then make the most of those opportunities as well.
“I don’t want him to fall in love being a perimeter player because that will hurt our team and will hurt him, too, because his numbers will obviously go down. If he plays up to his capabilities like we think he can, I think he can be the best player in the league.”
…Sophomore wing Brannen Greene, who hit a three-pointer in a nine-minute first-half stint, played just two minutes the second half after suffering a concussion upon running into Washburn screen-setter Stephone Drane.
“He looked good today,” Self said, noting he took a concussion test “off the computer. I asked him if he passed it, he said he had no idea. He said it was hard. He didn’t study for it,” Self cracked. “I think he’ll be fine, but he may be out a couple more days. He got his bell rung pretty good.”
…Freshman wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored six points off 2-of-5 three-point shooting with three rebounds in 16 minutes.
“He’s done great. I told him today (Tuesday) I’m proud of him. He’s trying hard, but he didn’t come over here for everybody to say, ‘Well, you could be a high school junior. Let’s be patient with you.’ He came over here because he wanted to impact college basketball now,” Self said. “He wanted to play against the big boys and see how he’d do. There’s still an aggressive feature that has to come out in him that isn’t natural for kids his age (17). He has to get that (aggressiveness) to go against the hard-rocking dudes out there. I think he has the chance to be a special player. He makes the game a little harder sometimes than what it is. He likes ‘no looks’ and that crap instead of making the easy play sometimes. He sees it. He feels it. He can shoot it. He has touch on his passes. He can do a lot of things, but has to be more aggressive.”
There as guest of Wichita businessman and Kansas University Endownment trustee David Murfin, Reggie Jackson put his popcorn down for a few minutes early in the second half to talk about his first fieldhouse foray and about the Kansas City Royals’ wildly entertaining October.
“Good experience,” Reggie said. “It’s nice to see the tremendous admiration for (coach Bill) Self and what an exciting atmosphere it is here. And you can feel the history in this place.”
LJW: The Day After blog
USA Today College Basketball Countdown: Kansas #5
While so many are watching how the Phoenix Suns three-headed monster of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas get along in the back court, few have noticed that power forward Markieff Morris has started off the season more productive than ever.
After four games, only three players in the entire NBA - Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin and Tyreke Evans - are putting up a higher combination of points, rebounds and assists per game than the quietly efficient Markieff Morris. And Morris plays at least five fewer minutes per game than any of them.
If you focus only on traditional PF points/rebounds numbers, just 12 NBA players put up more points and rebounds per game than Morris. And every one of those plays more minutes per game.
“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!
Big 12 / College News
Phil Forte may not have his pal Marcus Smart as a running partner anymore.
But that hardly means Forte doesn't still have game.
In a private scrimmage against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Forte led all scorers with a huge offensive afternoon, leading Oklahoma State to a comfortable win.
Game scores and statistics aren't available due to NCAA rules on scrimmages, which continue to grow in popularity with most programs now opting to replace one of two allowed exhibition games with this less formal format. This scrimmage was played in Dallas at American Airlines Arena, which was offered free of charge.
…Already established as a spot-up perimeter shooter, he's worked hard in the offseason to add other elements to his offensive game, moving off screens and adding a running floater to his arsenal. Apparently, it was all on display in Dallas, where some onlookers say he might have pushed 30 points, finding shots in various spots.
Le'Bryan Nash turned in a strong performance, reportedly finishing with a double-double. Michael Cobbins looked healthy and in form.
"We played a lot of different rotations," said OSU coach Travis Ford. "We learned a little bit more about our guys. Those six or seven guys we've got to count on, they all contributed in different ways.
"Our four through seven scorers are going to be different in every game, which is what we're seeing."
Rhody hoops played their first of two so-called secret scrimmages yesterday as they continue to prep for the 2014-15 season. The Rams faced off against the Manhattan Jaspers, and word started to trickle out today regarding the results of the closed event. Here’s a little recap, courtesy of Twitter.
…Told that Manhattan got the best of URI in secret scrimmage. Ashton Pankey was standout and Emmy Andujar went for 17 and 6. Played PG.
…EC Matthews and Hassan Martin both struggled in the scrimmage for Rhode Island.
…Manhattan downed #URI is 'secret' scrimmage held Sunday. #Rams forced more than 20 turnovers, held Jaspers to under 37 percent shooting.
…Fouling was a problem for #URI. Manhattan shot 51 free throws -- 31 in the second half alone.
As mentioned this was the first of two secret scrimmages for the Rams. They’ll play their second one this coming Saturday at Harvard, which should provide yet another solid test. Tip-off is set for secret o’clock.
Tennessee's overhauled basketball team muddled through some growing pains — and overcame one especially pesky opponent — before running away with an 80-62 exhibition win against NAIA opponent Pikeville at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday.
UT junior forward Armani Moore paced the Vols with 17 points on eight of 10 shooting. Senior guard Josh Richardson added 15 and freshman guard Detrick Mostella scored 11. Ten different UT players scored.
Pikeville, picked to finish second in the NAIA, arrived in Knoxville fresh off an exhibition loss to the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Sunday. The Bears' star in that 116-68 defeat was junior guard K.K. Simmons. The former Kent State product hung a game-high 28 against UK, including six 3-pointers.
It's hard to believe that just 20 months ago, the Indiana University basketball team was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. It had two top-five NBA draft picks in its starting lineup. It had an energetic if eccentric head coach who seemed to have repositioned the Hoosiers amid college basketball's upper class.
Then the Hoosiers were upset in the Round of 16 by Syracuse. Then last season they stumbled to a 17-15 record and didn't play in a postseason tournament. And this preseason they are not one of the 53 teams that received a vote in the Associated Press poll.
And now, beyond the on-court struggles, signs have emerged that the Hoosiers might have a culture problem, too. Last week, freshman forward Emmitt Holt struck teammate Devin Davis with a car. Holt was cited for underage drinking and has been suspended for four games. Davis remains hospitalized in serious condition.
Then on Monday, sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson were suspended for four games, reportedly for failing drug tests.
Future competition for @clubtrillion?
“I liked the location, the coaches are nice, down to earth, [and] my mom liked it,” the 6-foot-6 Brown out of Marietta (GA) Wheeler said by phone from the airport after his UCLA visit. “The campus was beautiful. It’s like a resort.”
…North Carolina was also recently added to his list.
“I grew up a UNC fan,” Brown said. “North Carolina was always the school that I liked the most. Talking to Coach Roy Williams is cool and anything he has to say I key in on. They started recruiting me about two or three months ago, so they’re a great school and I’m looking forward to getting down there.”
…Brown visited Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog.
“Yep, my mom said it reminded her of Michigan,” Brown said. “It was like a smaller town and everyone is like family there. It was like a family environment.”
Brown said he has talked to Carlton Bragg and Brandon Ingram about a potential package.
“We talked about it but we don’t have anything [definite],” he said.
Brown is still targeting a spring decision.
“Most likely,” he said.
My Late Night in the Phog videos, 60 Years of AFH Celebration videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Final Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more, now on YouTube