“It felt great, because we battled. We fought hard. We felt like we deserved it, because we worked so hard,” Selden said. “There's been so many games that came down to that last possession where we weren't able to come through with it. (Tuesday), we were able to pull it out.”
Biggest Takeaway This is what it looks like when Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid carry the Jayhawks. Both players were spectacular throughout for KU, and they took turns hitting the final two baskets as KU came away with the last-second victory. As you'd expect, both players' offensive numbers were stellar. Wiggins notched 1.34 points per play while taking on a huge offensive load (30 percent usage), while Embiid's numbers were nearly identical (1.31 PPP, 28 percent usage).
“Very rarely do you ever choreograph a play where it works out perfectly in a situation like that,” Self said Wednesday on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show. “What you have to do is have your best players step up and make plays and that’s what happened.”
Self’s version of the play goes something like this: “Perry threw the ball to Jo. Jo did the right thing trying to score, but he fumbled it. Andrew was ‘Johnny on the Spot’ there,” Self said.
If you watch enough Kansas, you notice a familiar trend. It’s not that Self draws up late-game plays that opponents haven’t seen before. It’s generally that KU runs the same two or three late-game sets — sets with multiple options — and the Jayhawks generally run them well.
The only real adjustment facing Smithson, who has three years of eligibility remaining, is competing at the Division I level after a year of junior-college competition. He racked up 75 tackles and eight interceptions in his one season at Hartnell, located in Salinas, Calif. But he has approached his new team with an open mind, even though he has the confidence to step right into the safety rotation this spring — and Weis confirmed Smithson could do just that at his signing day press conference.
This is a local story with deeply significant undertones. Among its many storylines is how the actions of a few made all the difference in the lives of others. University of Kansas Chancellor Franklin Murphy, Coach F.C. “Phog” Allen, Kansas City Call general manager Dowdal Davis and others used Chamberlain’s presence in Lawrence to push race relations a little closer to equality. Chamberlain (deftly played by KU basketball player Justin Wesley) instituted change by being present and a star player.