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!