The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Stanford Cardinal, 89-74, in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. The Jayhawks led for most of the game against a team that knocked them out of the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Senior guard Frank Mason, one of only two current players including senior forward Landen Lucas to play in the 2014 loss to Stanford, rebounded from a low scoring effort against Long Beach State by rattling off a team-high 20 points.
The Jayhawks led by a double-digit margin for the final 16 minutes of the game, but the Cardinal put pressure on Bill Self’s squad early.
Stanford led 17-11 following an 8-0 run, ignited by a jumper from junior forward Reid Travis with 16:18 to go in the first half. The Jayhawks responded with a 32-18 run to close out the half with a 43-35 advantage.
Stanford was unable to slow down KU’s long-distance shooting, as junior Devonte’ Graham’s five first half threes helped give the Jayhawks a commanding lead. The Jayhawks finished 12-of-22 from behind the arc.
Graham did not score in the second half, but finished with 15 points, two rebounds and four assists.
Junior guard Svi Mykhailiuk added 13 points and shot 3-of-5 from three. Freshman guard Josh Jackson added 13 points along with three rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Lagerald Vick scored eight points and made 2-of-3 from three.
Reid Travis had himself a game
Travis would prove to be hard to handle for the Jayhawk bigs. He scored 29 points on 5-of-14 shooting, with 19 of his points coming off 24 free-throw attempts. Travis’ aggressiveness around the basket helped him grab nine boards and put the KU big man trio of Azubuike, Lucas and Bragg in early foul trouble. Oh, speaking of…
Big men, big problems
Despite making his third start of the season, Udoka Azubuike played only 11 minutes after getting into early foul trouble, adding four boards and four points on 2-of-2 shooting.
Bragg ended with a decent stat line of 7 points and 6 rebounds, but it’s obvious he could really produce with more than 16 minutes. He’ll have to avoid foul trouble and effort issues that cause Bill Self to yank him out so often.
Lucas has had an injured oblique muscle, but he hasn’t played great so far this season. His eight points and five rebounds were a solid performance, considering he wasn’t at 100 percent. Fouls remain a problem.
It’s still early in the season, but this unit is still trailing behind the rest of the squad.
Couldn’t give Haase a pass
First-year Stanford head coach Jerod Haase finally comes out on the wrong end of KU’s dominance in Allen Fieldhouse. Haase was a Kansas guard from 1995-97 and served as director of basketball operations under Roy Williams from 1999-03. He never lost a single home game as a player in the Phog.
Player of the game
Mason filled the stat sheet again, adding five assists and four rebounds to his efficient scoring day (20 points on just 10 shots).
Play of the game
Many people will walk away from this game remembering Graham’s floating alley-oop to Josh Jackson, but Mason on the fastbreak finishing the reverse layup through contact stands out. Jackson’s play was eye-popping athleticism, but Mason’s was the type of grit that could help on the path to a 13th consecutive Big 12 championship.
Stat of the game
12 three-pointers… from a Bill Self team. This four guard lineup puts an even bigger focus on long distance shooting, and the Jayhawks seem to love this new freedom on the perimeter. 54 percent from deep will definitely keep the coach happy with the long ball.
The Jayhawks will play the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Allen Fieldhouse.