It had been twenty-plus days since the Kansas Jayhawks had the luxury of playing on their home floor in Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. The Jayhawks gave the home crowd A LOT to cheer about as they exploded on the scene in fashionable style.
The Jayhawks big men owned the game from beginning to end. Leading the way was the Center tandem of Joel Embiid and Tarik Black, both finishing the game with 17 point breakout performances. Both Embiid (4-4) and Black (5-5) shot 100% from the field today and combined for 16-21 shooting from the free-throw stripe (Embiid 9-12, Black 7-9). Kansas, as a unit, was able to shoot above their average percentage from the field with 54.3% shooting (Averages 50%).
Andrew Wiggins had a quiet first half only totaling 2 points on 1-4 shooting, but ultimately closed the game out with 12 points on 3-10 shooting and also added 4 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.
Allen Fieldhouse was rocking again as the block party rolled into town, led by Joel Embiid with a no-doubt SportCenter Top 10 nominee as he demolished a late-in-the-shot-clock dunk attempt by Georgetown’s Aaron Bowen.
The video of the emphatic rejection can be seen here (Warning: Complete Disregard for Human Life):
Kansas either led or tied Georgetown in the majority of statistical categories.
Four Jayhawk players reached double digits in the scoring column: Embiid 17, Black 17, Wiggins 12, Tharpe 10.
Junior PG Naadir Tharpe continued his role as team leader right out of the gate, starting the game off with three straight assists. Tharpe wasn’t the only Jayhawk moving the ball and dishing the lovely dimes today, as 4 Jayhawks ended the contest with 4 assists: Tharpe, Mason, Wiggins, Selden.
Kansas controlled the game from start to finish and obviously were grateful to be back home after the longest stretch away from Allen Fieldhouse in KU History. The Jayhawk faithful welcomed the team back with open arms and deafening screams as the Jayhawks routed the Georgetown Hoyas 86-64.
The Jayhawks played their best defensive game of the season, forcing 12 Georgetown turnovers, blocking seven total Hoya shots, and corralling seven steals. The lone negative moment of the day came in the second half when Sophomore F Perry Ellis attacked the basket and was fouled extremely hard by a Georgetown defender. After initially seeming okay, Ellis stepped up to the free-throw line where he missed the rim by a mile. Ellis subsequently motioned to the Kansas bench that he was not okay and was removed from the game and ultimately taken to the locker room for further evaluation. He didn’t return for the rest of the game.
Georgetown found themselves in foul trouble due to their inability to stop the interior threat of the Kansas Jayhawks. Nate Lubick, who had three fouls going into the half and picked up his fourth extremely early in the second, ultimately fouled out of the game, as did C Joshua Smith. Senior G Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 19 points on 7-15 shooting.
It all came together for Kansas today finally back in front of their home crowd. Kansas proved that when all the pieces fall in the right place for them they are hands down a serious contender in the National Championship conversation.
Kansas will be back in action after the holidays on December 30 when they take on Toledo at Allen Fieldhouse starting at 7 PM CST.