Huskies shot 29 percent from the field, and that obviously won’t do. Even with UW dominating the boards.
However, after the game, coach Lorenzo Romar was fairly upbeat. He believes the team will shoot better when it starts working for better shots, and he believes they’ll be able to start doing that.
“I think we’re rushing shots because we’re not making the extra pass enough,” he said. “At this point we’re not looking enough to make our teammates better. I don’t think it’s a total selfish thing. I think you go into the game, you’re confident, you feel like, hey I can make this happen, and it’s not happening. The shot clock probably needs to run down a little further in our case.”
The players mostly took their lead from their coach, seeming not too discouraged by a 19-point loss in their first test against top-flight opposition.
Star of the game: Kansas 6-foot-11 center Cole Aldrich contributed all across the stats box with 16 points, nine rebounds, six blocked shots, two assists and a steal. He also contributed to holding UW forward Jon Brockman to a season-low seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Key stats: Kansas shot 50 percent from the field and limited UW to 29 percent. Washington had 15 turnovers and only eight assists. The Huskies’ free throw problem continued, as they hit only nine of 16 (56 percent). Kansas had outrebounded its first two opponents by an average of 11 boards, but UW dominated 43-34 Monday.
Key run: The Huskies were down by eight and playing for the last shot of the first half to cut it to six. However, an Isaiah Thomas shot was blocked as he drove the lane and Kansas broke down court with Tyshawn Taylor scoring at the buzzer to put the Jayhawks ahead, 32-22.
Observations: Washington fell to 1-8 against Kansas. … UW forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning got his first playing time after missing the first three games with leg injuries. He had four points and three rebounds in 10 minutes. … Washington’s shooting percentage was its lowest since hitting 28.8 percent in a loss to Stanford last season. … The Jayhawks moved to 190-74 in Kansas City and 6-0 in Sprint Center. KU has won 28 straight regular season games in Kansas City. Kansas also moved to 7-0 on games played on Nov. 24. … Thomas shot an early air ball and the Kansas student section stayed on him much of the night.
Quotable: "I think it gives us a great idea of what a high-level basketball team plays like. They were just a great example of what a good Division I winning basketball team does. It was pretty evident out there, the things that we need to do." – Brockman.
Game One: Syracuse (4-0) advanced to the championship game with an 89-83 win over No. 18 Florida (3-1). Guard Jonnie Flynn and forward Paul Harris led the Orange with 18 points each. Center Arinze Onuaku had a game-high 12 rebounds. Center Alex Ryus led Florida with 24 points, while forward Chandler Parsons had nine rebounds.
Next: The Huskies will meet Florida in the consolation game at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday on ESPNU. Kansas and Syracuse will meet for the CBE Classic title at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
11:55/2nd Huskies can’t shoot from outside and when they try to drive the Jayhawks keep blocking shots and turing them into fast breaks in the other direction.
Halftime: Half ended badly as UW tried for a last shot, but Thomas was blocked on a drive and a Kansas break went the other way for a basket at the buzzer. The difference of six down or 10 down.
Thomas and Brockman have seven each for the Huskies.
1st/7:43: Matthew Bryan-Amaning is in.
Huskies still having big free throw problems. KU, 19-14.
Pregame: Huskies and Jayhawks out warming up. Geography aside, the Huskies are in their home whites.
Mathew Bryan-Amaning is warming up and seems likely to make his season debut.
Usual starting lineup expected.
Game one final: Mild upset in the opener: Syracuse 89, Florida 83. That means if the Huskies beat Kansas they’ll play the Orange for the title at 7 tomorrow; if they lose, they’ll meet Florida at 4:45. What might matter most for fans is that the championship game is easily available on ESPN2. The consolation is tougher: ESPNU.
Halftime, Game 1: Sprint Center is a very nice place — although my fingers keep wanting to type “Spirit” for some reason. It’s probably less than half full now, but the crowd should grow considerably for the next game, with Kansas involved — though they’re across state lines, we’re only 43 miles from the Jayhawks’ campus.
However, I noticed in the paper today that they’re still offering 2-for-1 ticket deals, so I’ve got to assume there are a fair number of unsold seats.
Meanwhile, nice game playing out: Syracuse 41, Florida 38. Both teams 3-0 coming in. It’s on ESPN2.
3 p.m. (PT): On road trips, it’s always fun to see what the local media has to say about a UW visit.
In this morning’s Kansas City Star, columnist Brair Kerkhoff was talking about the CBE — which I write about in the blog post below — saying, “All four teams got involved, but the Washington Huskies may have had the best time.”
Meanwhile, in the game preview, staff writer J. Brady McCollough writes, “The pro-KU crowd in Kansas City should help the Jayhawks if they struggle early in the game as they did against UMKC in the opener. (KU guard Sherron) Collins and (Jon) Brockman won’t guard each other, but whichever emerges as the best player on the floor will lead his team to victory.”
The Jayhawks are favored by six.
Tipoff is 7 p.m. (PT) on ESPN2. The tournament-opening Florida-Syracuse game tips at 4:30, also on ESPN2.