Kansas Jayhawks: KU Perry Good in Sunflower Showdown Win


Nov 28, 2014; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) points against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at HP Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Perry Ellis came to play Saturday.

The Kansas Jayhawks’ junior forward had been playing well until a poor eight-point, five-rebound effort Wednesday against TCU.

The Kansas State Wildcats were exactly what he needed to get back on track.

Ellis had his second-best game in conference play against K-State, finishing with 16 points and 12 rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 68-57 Sunflower Showdown win.

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Ellis leads the team in points and rebounds, but he also leads the team in “what were you thinking games?”

Four times this year Ellis has scored five points or less, something that should never happen for a player of his caliber.

He’s also been criticized by some fans as not being tough enough.

That’s not a fair criticism, as it comes more from his personality as a mild-mannered person, more than playing soft.

This game was set up perfect for Ellis, as the Wildcats are one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, and their leading rebounder, Nino Williams, was not 100 percent after injuring his knee earlier in the week.

He picked up the slack for other Jayhawk stars who had down games.

Frank Mason III, who had scored in double-figures the past 17 games, was held scoreless in the first half and barely extended his streak, finishing with 10.

Cliff Alexander  played sparingly for the second straight game, was held scoreless for the first time in his short career, while grabbing only four rebounds.

This one game doesn’t mean Ellis is guaranteed to do this the rest of the season.

He has struggled against some opponents with length.

In two of the Jayhawks’ three losses (Kentucky and Temple), he combined for nine points and five rebounds.

However, he showed up in the big road win at Texas last week, scoring 14 points, and had 19 and 11 in a loss to Iowa St.

So, the question is, which Perry Ellis should Jayhawk fans expect every time he steps on the court — the one who averaged 16 and 7.2 from Nov. 24 through Dec. 13, or the one who has faded in big games?

KU’s next game is at home against Iowa St., a team he has recorded one of his four double-doubles against.

However, the Jayhawks then travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma St., a team that held Ellis to seven points January 3rd in Lawrence.

If they Jayhawks want to have any real shot of a title that doesn’t have “conference” in front of it, Ellis has to play well.

If Saturday’s effort was an indication, the Jayhawks at least have a chance.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Five Bold Predictions for the Rest of the Regular Season

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