He entered the game with five minutes left in the first half, which for Jeremy Case these days is almost akin to getting a starting assignment.
Five minutes later, Case had taken two shots and scored six points halfway into Kansas University's 85-62 victory over Northern Colorado in a Thursday night game at Allen Fieldhouse.
"Jeremy has been left out in the cold more than anybody else," KU coach Bill Self said.
On this night, with Christmas on his mind, Self was in no mood to play Scrooge with the minutes for players usually limited to practice contributions.
Coming into the game, Case had played 18 minutes in five games and had scored eight points.
He played 11 minutes and scored 11 points, both career highs for the sophomore guard from McAlester, Okla., where he'll head for the holidays.
Shortly after entering the game, Case stepped on the out-of-bounds line for a turnover. He waited for the hook that never came.
"I did that my freshman year at TCU, and I didn't see the floor for a while after that," Case said. "I was nervous. I was thinking I was coming out. But he left me in there, and I was thankful for that. I let that go, and I was comfortable after that, and I was able to knock down some shots."
Hitting his first shot also helped Case to relax.
"It gives me a lot more confidence than I had," he said. "Before I would think twice about shooting. After I hit that first one, I was just going to let it fly from then on."
Case said he was surprised by the early playing time.
"I wasn't expecting it," he said. "When I got in there, I had a lot of fun. It was a big confidence boost. Honestly, I didn't have an idea I'd play that much. I was happy that he did that, and I made the most of it."
Self said he could envision Case having a role on the team, particularly when opponents play a zone defense against the Jayhawks. Case has fallen behind former walk-on Stephen Vinson on the guard depth chart.
"I don't look at Stephen as a walk-on," Case said. "Seeing Stephen out there playing, that excited me because I know how hard he works in practice, and he deserves what he gets. When I get a chance, I have to make things happen."
He did so Thursday in a career night.
- 6Sports video: Jayhawks whip Bears (12-23-05)
- Hear Bill: Northern Colorado postgame comments
- Photo Gallery: KU vs. Northern Colorado
- Get the stats: KU vs. Northern Colorado box score
- Look who's back (12-23-05)
- Keegan: Kansas' Wright will thrill (12-23-05)
- Case makes most of time (12-23-05)
- Bears thrilled by experience (12-23-05)
- Kansas basketball notebook (12-23-05)
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