2007-08 Nov. 28 KU-FAU Basketball
Some thoughts...from Allen Fieldhouse
Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer
"It was good to see Rex back in the Fieldhouse. I think most people realize what a great player he was, I hope they do. It was a nice touch including Rex in the highlight video before introductions. Too bad Rex had to take a pasting like that, but hopefully it'll help his team in conference play, which is all that really matters to mid-majors. You have to win the conference to earn a bid to the dance. Rush was good again for KU and Darnell seemed to play well in his first start of the season. Good win for KU."
Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor
"These automatic-victory games generally are yawners, but the late-game shooting of Conner Teahan is giving spectators reason to stay until the end, not that many decided to do that in this one. Those who left early missed quite a shooting exhibition from Teahan, who made his first three 3-pointers until finally missing one."
Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor
"Bill Self was quite honest in his postgame press conference, stating that Darnell had earned the right to start, while Sasha had 'labored' of late and maybe this would do something for him. Jackson provided his signature energy, just in a different role. Don't be surprised if it's something that remains as the norm. Sasha's been good this year for a couple of his signature power dunks, but he definitely needs a big game. Sunday will be a good opportunity, as his teammates might need some help on O.J. Mayo.
And how about this on Conner Teahan: In four games played this season, the freshman walk-on is averaging 6.5 points per contest, despite averaging just 5.8 minutes a night. Gotta believe Self when he says the Rockhurst product will someday be a rotation guy."
Inside the numbers
17: Brandon Rush continues to look good coming off the bench. For the second straight game, he scored 17 points, but this time did it in just 19 minutes on the floor rather than 36. Rush looks the part of someone ready to rejoin the starting rotation. He was more aggressive offensively on Wednesday, hoisting a team-high 14 shot attempts.
13: Darnell Jackson, in his first start of the season in place of fellow senior Sasha Kaun, scored 13 points, had four rebounds and blocked two shots. His highlight may have been a second half three-pointer, which went as his final points of the night
31.4: The Jayhawks' defense improved immensely Wednesday night in what served as a tune-up for USC, holding Florida Atlantic to a 31.4 percent showing from the floor. KU also blocked eight FAU shots, recorded nine steals and forced 19 turnovers.
14: Tyrel Reed, who twisted his ankle Sunday night just before halftime against Arizona, did not play for KU, but was suited up on the bench. Many of his normal minutes went to senior Jeremy Case, who made the most of them, compiling seven points, six assists and three rebounds in 15 minutes of game action.
23: While Rex Walters got a very warm welcome back to Allen Fieldhouse by the crowd with what Bill Self said was maybe the night's loudest ovation, the rest of the night couldn't have been easy for him to watch. The Owls dropped to 1-6, missed nine free throws, were outrebounded and had trouble finding the bottom of the net. Thankfully for them, a two-game swing through the Midwest is done with, as this came on the heels of a 77-66 loss to UMKC.
Just in case you missed it...
The Jayhawks' key stretch in this one was a 9-0 first half run which gave KU a double-digit lead for good. In that stretch, the key buckets were a Mario Chalmers three and a pair of twos from Darrell Arthur. Chalmers, who was silent from beyond the arc in Sunday's win over Arizona, rediscovered his touch after the minor blip, going 3-of-4 from deep.
Hopefully, you didn't miss it...
Conner Teahan continues to make the most of late minutes, as Wednesday in nine minutes on the floor, he managed to score nine points on a 3-of-4 showing from long range. He made his first three, and the fourth one from the left corner was set to blow the roof off of Allen Fieldhouse...sort of...in front of the few thousand fans still there to see it. On the season, Teahan is 8-of-10 from three-point range. Inside of the arc? He's just 0-for-1.
They said it...
Mario Chalmers on the defense stepping up from Sunday: "We know we've got a big matchup with O.J. Mayo coming up, and we just want to work on our defense. And I think that's how Arizona stayed in the game with us, because our defense, we couldn't stop Chase (Budinger) and we couldn't keep them off the boards, so we just tried to do a better job of that tonight."
Mario Chalmers on the upcoming matchup with Mayo: "He's a pretty good player, but I think we've just got to keep somebody on him at all times, don't let him get open shots, make every shot he takes tough...We know we can make an even bigger name for ourselves if we can stop O.J. and stop USC, and they know they can make a big names for themselves if they beat us, so it's competition."
Darnell Jackson on his first start of the year: "It doesn't make a difference to me at all. If I come off the bench or start, I still have to do my job...When they call your name and you run out there and everybody's yelling, it gives me a lot of energy, and when I'm in the game, especially if I was just to get a steal or take a charge, it just makes my momentum go higher."
Darnell Jackson on the prospects of going on the road for the first time: "It's gonna be a lot different because the circle's gonna get a lot tighter, we're not going to be playing at home, so when we're out there, we're gonna have to make sure we execute and make sure we don't give them second chances at their home court."
Bill Self on starting Darnell Jackson over Sasha Kaun: "I think that he's earned that. I think he's played well and I think Sasha's labored, and maybe that will get Sasha going a little bit, but if we're gonna experiment and do some different things, it's best to do it early on. And I'd say right now that Darnell's earned that right to start."
Bill Self on Brandon Rush's performance: "I thought tonight, he probably wasn't as aggressive tonight as he was against Arizona, but he was aggressive shooting the ball. One thing about it, when Brandon's gotten in the game, he's given us some offense off the bench when he first checks in usually. But he looks better and better, doesn't he? He's moving better, and his moves to the basket aren't quite what they will be, and tonight when he tried to elevate on that first one when the guy blocked his attempt down, I think that'll be a finished play a month from now."
Bill Self on O.J. Mayo coming up this weekend: "I can tell you a little bit, but I haven't studied them at all yet. O.J.'s terrific. He could be the best player we'll play against all year. He could be. But there's a lot of guys like that, but he's that good."