Kansas Defeats Harvard

No. 4/6 Kansas took on the Harvard Crimson, Saturday, and came away with a much more difficult 75-69 win that one would have guessed prior to the game.

After leading by 15 multiple times in the first half, the Jayhawks struggled on the offensive end allowed Harvard to dictate the pace of the game, which was much slower that what KU would have liked, often times taking the ball well into the 30 second shot clock before hoisting a shot.

The slower pace and zone defense employed by head coach Tommy Amaker kept KU off balance, particularly in the second half and at one point helped the Crimson tie Kansas, 56-56, before Frank Mason III helped his team make a run and spread the game back open for good.

Mason ended the game with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and was by far and away the catalyst for Kansas.

For the second straight game, forward Perry Ellis seemed to be out of it, mentally. Following the win, head coach Bill Self talked about the lack of toughness and competitiveness a player who gets out of the way and lets an opponent dunk on his head on his home court. While he didn’t exactly name Ellis, it was indeed his senior forward which allowed a thunderous first-half dunk, on his head and on his home court.

In the second half, Ellis was better offensively, but otherwise struggled to really impact the game as he normally does.

Luckily for the Self, his depth in the low post can make up for one or two players which may be struggling.

In his second game as a Jayhawk, Cheick Diallo was again extremely active for Kansas. His offensive output wasn’t as impressive, but Harvard did a good job of collapsing on the freshman whenever he had the ball, and nothing easy was given up inside.

Diallo’s first basket came on a smooth elbow jumper, showing his mid-range face up game which will add to his rating in the minds of NBA scouts.

Overall , the Jayhawks made enough plays to win against a feisty and well-coached Harvard team, but certainly didn’t play their best basketball.

Self’s team will have another opportunity to take the court and improve on their play Wednesday, December 9, when they host Holy Cross in Allen Fieldhouse. Tickets are on sale now for all Kansas home games. Visit Tickets For Less and choose from a variety of seating options inside Allen Fieldhouse. With zero hidden service fees, what you see is what you get on all ticket purchases. Don’t miss out on your chance to see all the action. Go Jayhawks!

Diallo Soars For KU

It was the night everyone had been waiting for.

Cheick Diallo was finally going to take the court for No. 4 Kansas, and it was as exciting and entertaining as one could have hoped.

In Kansas’ 84-61 win over Loyola (MD), Diallo overcame some early struggles (obviously nerves) to score 13 points, haul in 6 rebounds, and record three blocks.

KU played a lackluster first half, leading 40-36 at the half, but in the second half, Jamari Traylor came out with energy and helped set the tone for a 27-9 run to start the half and open the game up. During that stretch, Diallo put on a display of an array offensive moves, an extremely high motor, and the enthusiasm of a stud freshman who is quite simply a playmaker.

His first bucket came from a nice behind the back assist from Wayne Selden, Jr., leading to a two-handed flush.

Diallo would later show a smooth baseline jumper from short range, a drop step and baby hook, an ally-oop throw down from a pass by fellow frosh LeGerald Vick, and the highlight of the night, a thunderous breakaway slam on a fast break, with some added flair and eventually earning the No. 3 highlight on ESPN Sportscenter’s Top 10.

All in all, it was a good night for the Jayhawks, who played their first game since returning from a championship at the Maui Invitational, as well as Thanksgiving break.

Self certainly wasn’t pleased with his teams’ effort in the first half, and had particularly harsh words for the play from Perry Ellis, who appeared to have a very off night for KU, but the second half play made Self feel slightly better about his team being able to reign things in when they weren’t playing as well and turn the game into a blowout.

More importantly, Kansas showed just how much depth it has with the addition of Diallo.

To put that into perspective, Landen Lucas wasn’t able to play, and Brannen Greene is still serving a six-game suspension.

Self played 9 players for relatively significant minutes–Vick getting the least of the bench minutes among rotation players–and he still had two players considered important pieces to the roster, sitting.

It’s doubtful Self will go 11 deep unless the game is out of hand or a he feels like he can get more production from his bench on a ¬†given night, but the fact that he has as many talented players at his disposal gives the Jayhawks an edge most teams simply don’t have.

Down the road, it will be difficult for a player like Brannen Greene to work himself back into the rotation. His shooting stroke will always serve as a weapon for KU, but defensively, Greene is often a liability.

It should be expected that Diallo will continue to see his minutes increase as the season progresses, which means Lucas and Hunter Mickelson will see fewer and fewer minutes on the floor.

Next up for Kansas is a home game on Saturday, Dec. 5 against Harvard. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available now at Tickets For Less. Don’t miss out on your chance to see Cheick Diallo and No. 4 Kansas take the court inside Allen Fieldhouse. Choose from a variety of great seating options and cheer on your Jayhawks!