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Kansas vs. Florida Gulf Coast Recap

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Sherron Collins scored 18 of his game and career-high 25 points in the first half to lead No. 23 Kansas basketball to an 85-45 victory against Florida Gulf Coast in the second round of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Tuesday night.

 

Kansas improved to 2-0, while the game was the season opener for the Eagles of the Atlantic Sun Conference.  The meeting was the first between the two programs all-time.

 

Cole Aldrich added 12 points on six of seven shooting, as well as six rebounds, three blocks and three steals for the Jayhawks.  Marcus Morris pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and made a game-best four steals in just 20 minutes of play.

 

Reed Baker led FGCU with 11 points, while Kyle Marks chipped in six points and a team-best six rebounds.

 

Collins finished the game nine of 14 shooting, including a four-of-six mark from three-point range.  He handed out three assists in 29 minutes of play.  Collins' previous scoring best was a 23-point effort against Missouri last season.  His four threes tied his career best for the fourth time 

 

Backcourt mate Brady Morningstar started and handed out a game-high six assists to go along with four points and three steals.

 

Kansas jumped out to a 45-13 halftime lead and never looked back in the victory.  Fifteen Jayhawks saw action in the game with 12 different players scoring.

 

KU dominated the game inside outscoring FGCU 40-14 in the paint and out-rebounding the visitors 47-35.  KU also forced 24 turnovers and turned those into 31 points.  KU shot 49 percent for the game and limited FGCU to just 23.6 percent from the field.

 

After KU jumped out to a 6-0 lead to open the game, Collins scored 12 of KU's next 17 points.  The Jayhawks opened the game scoring the first eight points and a 14-0 run later in the half pushed the margin to 32-9.

 

FGCU's first points of the game came on free throws at the 15:32 mark and the Eagles' first basket did not come until there was 12:03 left in the first half when they trailed 13-4

 

Collins had 18 points in the first half to FGCU's 13 points as a team.  Collins made six of eight shots, including three of four behind the three-point line in the first 20 minutes.  FGCS was three of 25 shooting in the half, but made seven of nine free throws.  The Eagles started the game one of 13 from the field as eight different players missed shots in that stretch.

 

KU out-rebounded FGCU 24-18 in the first half as the visiting Eagles committed 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play.

 

KU's win was its 26th straight home victory and came on the anniversary of the birth of legendary Jayhawk coach Phog Allen, whom the home arena is named after.

 

Prior to the game, the 2008 national championship banner was revealed alongside the four other national title banners KU has hanging in the north end of the Fieldhouse.

 

Kansas will continue play in the CBE Classic, meeting Washington in the semifinal of the event on Monday, Nov. 24 and either Florida or Syracuse on Tuesday.  Both games will take place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. 

 

Tipoff for the Washington game is at 9 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPN2.  Tuesday's third-place game will take place at 6:45 p.m. on ESPNU, while the championship game will start at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN2.

 

My thoughtswell I got to catch a good three quarters of the game from an online feed and while it wasn’t always easy to see who exactly as responsible for what I did get a sense of what this team is about. 

It’s early and I think this is the best showing so far but it looked a lot cleaner than I expected.  I don’t know what I was looking for but with so many new pieces I assumed this was going to feel a lot like ramming a square peg into a round hole.  Truthfully after watching our game on my computer and the UNC vs. UK game on the television in front of me I felt pretty good about what we have put together so far.

Sherron Collins clearly has a green light this year and I’m all for it.  He looks healthy, confident and ready to lead.  Cole Aldrich, minus the foul trouble, looks like a man out there.  His domination of one Psycho-T in the NCAA semifinals clearly elevated his confidence and both from an offensive and rebounding standpoint he looks like an even more complete player in the middle.

Among the young guys I was impressed with the rebounding and the defense to things that Bill Self preaches and when you’ve got a team this young can help make up for any offensive deficiencies.  Tyshawn Taylor and Travis Releford stood out as potential future favorites.  Finally Tyrel Reed, while maybe not a full time player in the long term reminds me of Lee Humphrey from that great Florida team of 2005 and 2006. 

All in all it’s going to be fun to watch this develop.  After last year’s National Title I’ve got a lot of trust and patience in Bill Self and staff and it truly is a scenario where looking back the journey was as enjoyable as the destination and I look forward to that again.

 

 

Photo detail

postgame quotes, stats and notes after the jump...

 

Kansas MIN FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA OR DR TOT A PF ST TO BL PTS
Markieff Morris 16 3 5 0 0 0 0 2 3 5 0 0 0 1 0 6
Cole Aldrich 19 6 7 0 0 0 1 2 4 6 1 3 3 1 3 12
Sherron Collins 29 9 14 4 6 3 3 0 2 2 3 3 0 3 0 25
Brady Morningstar 28 2 5 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 6 2 3 0 1 4
Tyshawn Taylor 18 2 4 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 3 3 2 3 1 5
Conner Teahan 10 1 5 1 4 2 2 0 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 5
Brennan Bechard 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Quintrell Thomas 12 1 2 0 0 2 2 1 6 7 0 3 0 2 1 4
Tyrel Reed 14 2 3 2 2 3 4 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 9
Marcus Morris 20 2 8 0 0 1 2 5 5 10 1 2 4 0 1 5
Travis Releford 15 4 8 0 1 0 3 2 0 2 0 1 0 2 0 8
Tyrone Appleton 6 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 1 1 1 0 2 1 1
Jordan Juenemann 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Chase Buford 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 0 0
Matt Kleinmann 6 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 1
TEAM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM TOTALS 200 32 65 7 18 14 23 16 31 47 17 24 14 16 8 85
PERCENTAGES FG: 49.2% 3PT: 38.9% FT: 60.9%   TOTAL TO: 16

 

 

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

 

On raising the 2008 championship banner:

“I don’t know how the guys felt, but I got close to tearing up before the game. That was pretty cool. I thought the game day production did a fabulous job. It was pretty moving. I thought that it was pretty cool looking at all the people with their cell phones out taking pictures.”

 

On what he thought the players that weren’t here last year felt before the game:

“I think that you have to (be excited) if you have a pulse. I hope that it happens every year, but odds are that it is not going to. Tonight was a special night. We are reminded of last year all of the time, maybe now that was the finality of it. So hopefully we can now focus on this year.”

 

Oh his message to the team at halftime:

“My main message was that offensively the ball was sticking. Last year if we made 16 field goals in a half we never had only seven assists. Sherron (Collins) played great, but he got all of his shots on his own. He didn’t get his shots with his teammates helping him. Our guys don’t quite understand yet where the shots are going to come from and how to score out of our offense. They are young and new, but we have to do some things to help Sherron because against quality competition you can’t just showcase him.”

 

On Marcus Morris’ rebounding:

“He did some good things, we challenged him to rebound the ball. We haven’t really gotten any of our freshmen on the same page yet. They are close to becoming good players and playing well, but we get in our own way too much. I thought that Marcus was good, but our freshmen shot selection wasn’t great tonight. I think that we can do a better job defensively and I think that we can rebound the ball collectively a little better. We are learning, growing, and getting better and we just need to keep on going after it, but the season officially begins on Monday.”

  

Junior Guard Sherron Collins

 

On playing healthy this year:

“I feel 100 percent.  I practice fine and I’m happy to be here.  It’s a big relief, and I’m kind of speechless about it right now.  Knock on wood and maybe I’ll stay this healthy.”

 

On being efficient with his shots:

“Coach says I should take 18-to-20 shots a game.  I don’t really count my shots or pay attention to them. I’m just hot right now and they are all falling.  I got two easy early buckets and that kind of got me going.”

 

On the difference between game one and game two with the newcomers:

“They are trying to understand and get it.  They just need to take it day-by-day and try to keep moving forward.  They are out there trying, just sometimes they don’t get it fully yet.”

 

On playing with confidence:

“I’m confident right now because coach has given me the freedom to go out there and get my own shot and do what I want.  From time-to-time, I try to get my teammates involved because I know I’ll eventually get going.”

 

On his new step-back jumper:

“Coach (Joe) Dooley did a great job with me this summer to try and get me to do different moves so that I could score different ways.  There were a lot of different things that I worked on all summer.”

 

Sophomore Cole Aldrich Center

 

On his performance:

“It’s a good lift when I came back in, but I shouldn’t get those two quick fouls because I’ve got to play a little smarter. It’s the second game that it’s happened. Coach has really emphasized not picking up those two quick fouls, just staying in the game, and to keep adding energy throughout the game.

  

Freshman Travis Releford

 

On attacking the basket:

“Coach wanted me to be more aggressive, coming off the pick and looking to score.”

 

On his dunk that drew a foul:

“Well, it was a good pass by Tyshawn. I got out and ran the floor. He made a good pass, and I finished.

 

On feeling more comfortable:

“It’s doing the little things: rebounding on the offensive and defensive end, making stops, making sure that my team is getting in it defensively. I’m feeling less nervous. As the season goes on, that’s how it’s going to be.

 

 

Notes

- Freshmen Markieff Morris and Tyshawn Taylor each made their first career start for the Jayhawks.

- Junior guard Sherron Collins led the Jayhawks in the first half with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Collins accounted for 12 of the Jayhawks’ first 23 points, including a stretch in which he scored 12-of-17 points.

- Collins finished the game with a new career high of 25 points (9-of-14). His previous best was 23 points in an 88-77 win over Missouri on Jan. 15, 2007.

- Besides Collins, sophomore center Cole Aldrich was the only other Jayhawk in double figures, finishing with 12 points. He also grabbed six rebounds.

- Freshman forward Marcus Morris recorded four steals, which ties Mario Chalmers as the second-most by a Kansas freshman since 1988-89. Chalmers’ six against Iowa State in 2006 marks the most steals by a freshman. Four or more steals by an individual only occurred 15 times last season and Darnell Jackson was the only non-guard player to accomplish the feat. Morris also grabbed 10 rebounds and put in five points.

Kansas' win over FGCU...

... Marked Kansas' 25th straight win in Allen Fieldhouse.

... Improved Kansas head coach Bill Self's record to 144-32 at KU and 351-137 overall.

... Made Kansas 1,945-785 all-time.