Lubbock, Texas — Drew Gooden tossed and turned all night Friday night.
"I was so anxious to play a Big 12 game I couldn't sleep," said Gooden, who exploded for a career-high 23 points in Kansas' 94-82 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night in the conference opener for both teams.
"I was just reminiscing about last year's conference season how I struggled at times," added the 6-foot-10 Richmond, Calif., sophomore who grabbed 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double.
"Banging with (Gabe) Muoneke and Chris Mihm my freshman year, it was tough. I knew conference play meant I'd have to take it to a different level."
Gooden, who watched the movie "Meet the Parents" and TV show "Tales from the Hood" in his Lubbock hotel room Friday before finally dozing off at 3 a.m., was able to catch some Z's during a catnap after Saturday's shootaround.
He was well energized and fired up in coming off the bench for just the fourth time this season.
Gooden has scored 20 points or more off the bench six times in his career, including three times this year.
"I don't know what it is. Every time I come off the bench I get a career high or score 20," said Gooden, whose previous career high was a 22-point effort coming off the bench against St. John's this season. "I think coming off the bench is an obstacle for me to overcome. I sit down after warming up and know it's going to be tougher to come in so maybe I'm concentrating on that more."
Whatever, Gooden was mighty good substituting for Nick Collison, scoring a big basket and foul shot immediately after Jamal Brown cashed a three-pointer to cut KU's game high lead of 16 points to seven 81-74 with 5:09 left.
Gooden did not score, but was on the court, during a pivotal 12-0 run that boosted a 55-51 lead to 67-51 with 12:08 left.
Collison scored four points, while walk-on Brett Ballard contributed a three-pointer in that surge. Ballard was inserted when coach Roy Williams lifted guards Kenny Gregory (17 points, six boards) and Jeff Boschee (nine points, six assists against no turnovers) for failure to hustle after a loose ball.
"I think it's I got so ticked off at Kenny and Jeff whatever we do, we're going to play extremely hard. We're gonna go after all the loose balls. They didn't do it at that point," Williams said.
The Jayhawks, who led by just four points, 42-38, at halftime, had a big night offensively.
KU (12-1) hit 53.6 percent of its floor shots compared to 44.3 percent for the Red Raiders (6-6). The Jayhawks hit 14 of 18 free throws and six of 14 three-pointers.
The Jayhawks hit 21 of 37 shots the second half for 56.8 percent.
"The plan was to go inside all the time," Williams said. KU inside players Gooden, Collison (12 points) and Chenowith (eight points) combined for 43 points despite foul problems.
"Their defenders did a good job pushing out our post players."
Meanwhile, the Raiders hit nine of 24 three-pointers. Brown made four of six threes and had 23 points, nine assists and no turnovers.
"That young man Brown was shooting 26 percent from three-point line all year," Williams said. "I kept thinking they wouldn't go in and they kept going in. He about shot us out of it.
"You like Drew's numbers coming off the bench. You like getting the W in our first league game."
Talented Red Raider freshmen Marcus Shropshire (13 points total), Mikey Marshall (three points) and Andre Emmett (nine points) combined for 15 points, while junior center Andy Ellis hit for 10 points the first half.
Gooden scored 10 points, while Boschee and Gregory added seven apiece the first half. Luke Axtell contributed two big threes, while Chenowith started quickly with six early points.
KU led 26-25, then put together a 10-3 run that opened a 36-28 edge the Jayhawks' biggest lead of the half at 4:07. Gregory scored four points, including a dunk off a lob pass from Boschee, while Gooden scored two of his 10 first-half points. Boschee and Collison, who picked up two fouls in the first 1:50, each added a bucket.
The Jayhawks next will meet Oklahoma at noon Saturday in Norman, Okla.