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Kansas Uses Big First Half To Defeat Washburn in Exhibition Opener

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

When watching these exhibition games, I always focus in mostly on the first half. With the Jayhawks on pace to allow Washburn to score in the 20s for the entire game, they understandably took their foot off the gas and let them back into things a bit in a sloppy second half.

Kansas dominated on the interior defensively, blocking seven shots and nabbing five steals in the first half, and they also did a really good job forcing Washburn into a lot of mid range jumpers.

I generally don't look for large points of analysis in these games due to who the opponents are, but if there are any negatives to take away, Kansas struggled a bit scoring inside and the big men struggled to rebound at times. Other than that though it was a ho hum exhibition victory.

Player of the Game: Cliff Alexander

The player of the game race came down to Frank Mason, who had 13 points on 4-5 shooting, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds, and Alexander. I am taking Alexander though mostly because for all the talk of how behind he was due to being off all summer, he showed off impressive instincts and looked to be in good shape. He attacked the boards, protected the rim, showed off a nice touch, and also showed off the ferocious power that led to him being ranked 3rd in the class by ESPN. He finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes and added 3 blocks.

I'd also like to mention Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who showed off the shooting form that led to him being called one of the better shooters in the world, and it was also easy to tell he had played with professionals before coming to KU. He had a couple of poor passes looking for the spectacular play, but his spacing on offense and activity on defense was that of someone who had already played a full season of college basketball, not a 17 year old. I don't want to analyze based off one game, but he may get more playing time than I had originally thought.

The most important thing in this game is health, and Kansas had a couple scares. Devonte Graham got poked in the eye, and Brannen Greene suffered a concussion. Graham appears to be fine but Greene's recovery will be worth keeping an eye on.

Kansas next takes on Emporia State next Tuesday.