Archive for Tuesday, November 21, 1995


November 21, 1995


Australia's Greg Smith didn't let Kansas' Sean Pearson ram home an uncontested dunk on Monday night.

Smith gained no fans when he hacked Pearson from behind with 3:34 left in the first half of the Jayhawks' 116-44 romp over the Victorian All-Stars at Allen Fieldhouse.

"I didn't think it'd happen in an exhibition game, but it shows I've got to be ready for anything," said Pearson, who returned in the second half. "I landed on my back, but I'm OK."

Pearson, who escaped on a breakaway after catching a Calvin Rayford bounce pass, finished with five points on 2-of-6 shooting in 11 minutes.

"As soon as I got out there, Sean said, 'I'm fine,''' KU trainer Mark Cairns said.

Freshman Paul Pierce, who strained his elbow 10 days ago, wore a pair of wristbands on his left arm. "He's been free of tape since Wednesday," Cairns said of Pierce, who scored 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Freshmen impressive: Rookies Pierce, Ryan Robertson and T.J. Pugh combined for 35 points.

Robertson hit all six of his field-goal attempts and all four free throws. He hit his only three-point try.

"The freshmen were men," said KU forward Raef LaFrentz, who had 17 points and nine boards.

"Ryan Robertson put up some big-time numbers for a freshman," noted junior center Scot Pollard, who had 14 rebounds and 11 points in 18 minutes.

"I think Paul's defense is coming around. His offense is always there. T.J. does something impressive every day," Pollard added.

Errant free throws: Pollard missed a pair of technical foul shots with 17:39 left. He hit 5 of 7 field goals and 1 of 4 free throws.

"We got in the huddle and coach said, 'Who's got the best free-throw percentage in practice?' I said, 'I do,''' Pollard said, who marched to the line.

He wasn't happy about KU's 17-of-33 shooting from the free-throw line.

"We missed a lot. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't," Pollard said. "It may have been a lack of concentration tonight."

B.J. Williams, subbing for the injured Pearson, also missed a pair of free throws.

"B.J. and Scot proved they are not my designated free-throw shooters," KU coach Roy Williams said, grinning.

He was asked if he thinks KU will be a good free throw shooting team. "Yes, I really do. We've shot them extremely well in practice," he said.

Up next: No. 2-ranked KU will meet No. 8 Utah at 3 p.m. Saturday in Kemper Arena.

"I talked to the team after the game. I said, 'We're down to four days,''' Williams said. "It's got to be four great days of practice. People in this area still don't have any clue about how good Utah is. I wanted a little tougher test tonight to see how we'd handle that situation and we didn't get it so we've got to have four great days."

Starting five: Pierce, LaFrentz, Pollard, Jacque Vaughn and Jerod Haase started Monday. Will that be the lineup Saturday?

"I would lean that way. (But) it truly will be decided the next four days in practice," Williams said. "If Sean outplays Paul, Sean will start."

Stats, facts: Pollard, who had 14 boards, grabbed 10 rebounds the first half...Pollard picked up his third foul right before halftime. KU coach Williams said Pollard would not have been in the game at that point if it was a regular-season game...Walk-ons T.J. Whatley and Steve Ransom had four points apiece. Ransom scored KU's 100th point on a stickback with 4:32 left.

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