Alonzo Jamison's exploits can be summed up in one word.
Kansas' basketball players came to that consensus after a come-from-behind 79-73 overtime win over Pepperdine on Thursday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
``Alonzo is amazing,'' sophomore forward Richard Scott said after Jamison tied his own school record for steals with eight. ``But if you play with Alonzo every day, it's not a shock. I've never heard coach have to tell Alonzo anything two times.''
``Sometimes I watch Alonzo,'' echoed junior guard Rex Walters, ``and it's amazing. Off the court he's a crazy guy, but on the court there's no one better.''
Jamison, a 6-6 senior, had six points, two steals and one blocked shot in overtime, including a slam dunk off the overtime tip.
``COACH TALKS about the senior leadership,'' Jamison said. ``I think I was the only senior out there at the time. The players look up to the seniors. I think we just showed the heart of this team.''
The Jayhawks trailed by 11 points late in the first half and by seven midway through the second.
``I wasn't looking at the clock,'' Jamison said, ``until there were about 30 seconds left, and the score was tied. The atmosphere in the huddle was not whether we were going to win the game, but how we were going to win it. That's the kind of attitude you have to have.''
Nevertheless, it was a major scare for the nation's No. 4-ranked team against a squad that came into the game with a 7-4 record after losing three of its last five.
``Our shots weren't falling,'' Jamison said. ``You have days like this. But we try to come out every day and play at the same level defensively.''
AND JAMISON did just that. His eight steals tied the KU record he set in a victory last season against Marquette. He also finished with three blocked shots and 13 points.
Still, he wasn't overly impressed. In fact, he was downright critical of himself.
``It was one of the worst games I've ever played in,'' he assessed. ``I couldn't move. I was losing my man left and right. I didn't think I did everything right. I still had a lot of mistakes.
``We didn't play well in the first half and part of the second half,'' he added, ``but we sucked it up. You have to build on this. Each game, you have to come out ready to play.''
Jamison came out ready to play in overtime. His driving dunk three seconds into OT and his four-foot bank shot gave the Jayhawks a quick 72-68 lead. And it was a basket by Jamison that put Kansas ahead for good, 75-73.
JAMISON SAID the dunk may have set the tone for overtime.
``Especially here,'' he said. ``You have the fans cheering for you, too. The second half, I was taking the ball to the hoop. I was just missing the shot.''
Jamison finished with five-for-11 shooting. Scott and Adonis Jordan led the team with 15 points each, with Jordan making five steals. And Walters added 13 points, including three-of-seven from three-point range.
``They played a lot of zone. That bothered us a little bit,'' Walters said. ``You've got to win games when you're not playing your best.''
Certainly the Jayhawks were not at their best at the line. They made a mere 11 of 24 free throws.
``We're going to work on that,'' Walters said. ``We know that.''
But, Walters added, ``We did a real good job on defense. If it wasn't for our defense, I don't know where we'd be.''