Brandon and Mario Continue to Shine - The Junior tandem were sensational again, combining to score 34 points and hit seven three-point shots. Again, it was men against boys out there today, but Rush and Chalmers again looked so smooth, especially from deep. Mario's off the ball defense was exceptional again. He was all over the passing lanes, collecting three steals. If these two continue to play at such a high level, KU will be in great shape.
Shady in the Post - Early and often, KU guards fed the beast, and he was hungry. Portland State obviously didn't have the size to contend with the KU big men, especially Darrell Arthur. Shady had it going on early and finished with 17 on 8-10 shooting. He was all over the glass as well.
The Jayhawks on Fire, For Openers - What a first half it was for KU. Jumping out 13-3 made the game all but academic with the gap in talent. They shot 64% in 18-28 field goals. They hit 8-13 from deep. Rush had 15, Chalmers 10, Arthur and Collins had nine each. It was almost as if they were toying with the Vikings. "Not that they didn't have a chance," Self said, "but when we got up 13-3, I think our guys felt pretty good about themselves."
The Weak Beav
Starters Minutes? - Memo to Coach Self, you are doing a terrific job and its hard to nitpick when you win by 24, but with the game never in doubt and KU leading by 20 plus the entire second half, any particular reason Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, and Russell Robinson were still on the floor with three and a half minutes left? You are just asking for trouble with that. Play Jeremy Case, Tyrel Reed, Cole Aldrich, Rodrick Stewart, and anyone else the last seven minutes and call it a day.
Sasha's Free Throws - We are big fans of the Big Russian's game this season, but his free throw shooting has been terrible the last month. Today was no different. He was 1-6. It didn't hurt the Jayhawks, but he cannot be on the floor late in a close game if this shooting is going to occur. The way Arthur tends to be in foul trouble, this could be the case as we go deeper into the tournament.
This is a ho-hum, to be expected, blowout win. But after watching Duke struggle to beat Belmobt 71-70, it makes me feel that much better about the Hawks. Duke is so one dimensional and they weren't hitting their threes. KU does it inside and out. They hit 12-25 from deep for the game. All we know is if they continue on this shooting streak as they did in the Big 12 tournament semis and finals and now today, KU will be extremely hard to beat. "This is the part of the season where everyone has to be clicking on all cylinders," senior guard Russell Robinson said. "We're doing a great job of that so far." "I thought we'd have some first-game jitters," Self said. "But all in all, I thought we played pretty well."
Up Next: Saturday vs. #8 UNLV