Scot Pollard could have been the hero for Kansas twice last season. He wasn't about to turn down his first chance to be a hero this year.
Pollard led Kansas to an 87-85 overtime victory over the Victorian All-Stars Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The sophomore sent the game into overtime with 3.4 seconds left to tie the score at 76. Pollard grabbed an errant Jerod Haase three-point attempt and was wide-open for an easy bucket.
"It was kind of a flashback from Jacque (Vaughn) and Steve (Woodberry) making last-second shots last year," Pollard said. Vaughn hit a game-winner against Indiana; Woodberry against Oklahoma State. "I was underneath the basket in both games and I was pushing someone out of the way in those games. But this time I was open and it was like 'Whoa, nice.' I was expecting to get fouled, but I wanted to get the shot up before the clock went off."
Pollard scored 25 points on nine of 12 shooting from the field and seven of nine shooting from the free-throw line to lead the Jayhawks. Pollard also grabbed seven boards and blocked three shots.
"I was surprised when I saw how many I scored," Pollard said. "I thought I missed all my shots in the first half."
Nearly all of them. He made one of four field goals in the first half, when he managed three points. Pollard recovered in the second half, canning all eight shots from the floor and six of seven from the free-throw line for 22 points.
"The second half I was just trying to help the team and the guards were shooting good from the outside," Pollard said. "That makes it easier for us, because we get better position and it helps our shooting percentage."
The 6-10, 250-pound forward-center stepped up in the absence of center Greg Ostertag, who injured his knee in the second half.
Pollard, a San Diego native, averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds last year as a freshman. The most points he scored in a game were 18 against Colorado.
"If I'm in the game, I'll do my best. I know I'm going to get my time and the time I get, I'm going to use," Pollard said.
Pollard contributed to 66 points scored by sophomores and freshmen. Frosh Raef LaFrentz had 15 points, while sophomore Haase added 11.
"Coach (Roy) Williams says this is nothing more than a glorified practice. But this gives us confidence with a victory, especially for the freshmen," Pollard said. "We needed to play in front of a crowd, plus we were tired of playing each other for the past few months."