Notebook: Elijah Johnson starts on bench after showing up late to class
Kansas University senior point guard Elijah Johnson did not start Tuesday’s exhibition opener against Emporia State.
“Elijah was substantially late to a class today. He knows the deal. (It’s) not a big deal,” Self said.
Johnson entered for starter Naadir Tharpe for the first time at the 15:50 mark of the first half. He finished with 12 points, five assists and three rebounds with one turnover in 23 minutes.
Tharpe scored eight points off 3-of-3 shooting (2-of-2 from three) with four assists, one turnover in 17 minutes.
“What Naadir does best is shoot,” Self said. “He doesn’t shoot enough. In the first half, we went on a 26-3 run, and Naadir was a big part of that. He’s fast and he can shoot, but sometimes he defers too much. He did a lot of good things tonight.”
Lucas hits glass: Freshman forward Landen Lucas had nine rebounds and six points in 12 minutes.
“I feel the way I can contribute to this team is to come in and rebound in the minutes that I am playing,” Lucas said. “I feel like I did the best I could tonight, and I’ll continue to crash the boards the rest of the season.”
Withey honored: KU senior Jeff Withey (seven points, six boards, 18 minutes) on Monday was named honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press.
The AP preseason team consists of five first-team members and 17 honorable mention picks.
Withey, a 7-foot center from San Diego, recently was selected to the All-Big 12 preseason team by the conference coaches. Withey was the 2012 Big 12 defensive player of the year and an all-conference third-team selection who set the Kansas and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 140 last season.
Included in his 140 blocked shots were an NCAA Tournament-record 31 in KU’s run to the NCAA title game and a conference-games-only record of 65. Withey averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds for KU last season and shot a team-best 79.5 percent from the free throw line.
The All-America team consists of Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas, Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum and Michigan’s Trey Burke.
Payday: Emporia State received guarantee money of $20,000 for playing in the exhibition game.
Injuries: KU freshmen Zach Peters (shoulder), Kevin Young (hand) and Evan Manning (foot) missed the game because of injuries. They sat on the bench in street clothes.
Stats, facts: KU has won 37 straight home exhibition games dating to the 1994-95 season. … KU is 6-0 vs. ESU in exhibitions. … Bill Self is 19-0 in home exhibitions at KU. … KU’s 23 assists were the most in an exhibition since Nov. 3, 2009, when the Jayhawks collected 24 assists vs. Fort Hays State. … KU hit 54.4 percent of its shots to ESU’s 35.8. … KU trailed by as many as six points early but went on a 19-1 run to open a 31-15 lead. During that stretch, KU made 8-of-10 shots, including three three-point baskets. .. KU outscored Emporia State 30-7 over the final 12 minutes of the first half. … Ellis is 22 of 31 from the field in KU’s five exhibition games this season (four in Europe).