Kansas Jayhawks: Cliff Alexander is “Hawk of the Week”


Nov 28, 2014; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Cliff Alexander (2) claps and reacts against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at HP Field House. Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 82-67. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Each Monday we will feature a, “Hawk of the Week.” It could be someone who put up monster numbers, hit a big shot, or performed for his or her team at a much higher level than normal.

All Kansas Jayhawk athletes are eligible.

Cliff Alexander made it easy to choose the first, “Hawk of the Week.”

The freshman, who had seen his playing time diminish a bit in the past month, emerged in a big way against Oklahoma and Texas this past week, averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds in the two victories.

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He was a big reason the Kansas Jayhawks pulled away in the second half of the 75-62 victory Saturday against Texas.

After a quiet four points and four rebounds in the first twenty minutes, Alexander garnered 11 points and five rebounds in the second half. This came after having his shot blocked a few times in the first half.

After the game, he showed that he isn’t backing down from anyone. Freshman star Myles Turner, who chose Texas over Kansas last year, has had more hype, but Alexander out-played him Saturday.

The Chicago native wasn’t afraid to let everyone know he matched-up just fine with Turner.

“He’s kind of thin,” Alexander said. “I played against Turner all the time in high school. I played against [Cameron] Ridley too … It was nothing to it.”

You have to play with that type of confidence if you want to be successful in Division I basketball, especially a conference as competitive as the Big 12.

What’s most impressive about the past two games is, in his previous five, Alexander averaged just 7.8 points, and 4.4 rebounds. Although, he did play 25 minutes per game last week, after averaging just 18.2 per game coming in.

That is telling you head coach Bill Self has more confidence in the big man. We predicted this coming before the Texas game, and it should be a sign of great things to come for Alexander and the Jayhawks.

He’s kind of thin. I played against Turner all the time in high school. I played against [Cameron] Ridley too … It was nothing to it

Self has a masterful way of bringing along blue chip athletes slowly, and ignoring all the noise from fans and media that comes with the process. Look no further than Kelly Oubre, Jr. for the proof.

Expect Alexander’s number to only improve, and who knows, he may end up as the “Hawk of the Week” for a second, or even third, time.

For now, here is a compilation of the hurt he put on the rims at Texas.


Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Alone at the Top

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