Kansas basketball rebounded after a weak showing against Marquette to defeat Tennessee and finish the Maui Invitational with two wins and one loss.
Yesterday’s contest between Marquette and Kansas basketball was difficult to watch for the Jayhawk faithful. The Golden Eagles rolled KU 73-59 in the Maui Invitational semifinal, largely in part to the Jayhawks’ 18 turnovers and seven missed free throws.
However, Kansas showed a glimpse of why they were ranked the No. 1 team in the country in the preseason. They prevailed 69-60 over the Volunteers to advance to 5-1 on the season.
The game wasn’t the most impressive performance by the Jayhawks, but rather a poorly played outing by Rick Barnes’ squad. They shot just 22-of-71 (31.0%) on field goal attempts, failing to capitalize on KU’s 15 turnovers.
Meanwhile, Kansas was efficient from the field, connecting on 27-of-52 (51.9%) shots and outrebounding the ‘Vols by 10. They also recorded 18 assists and shot 11-of-22 (50.0%) from the free-throw line.
Hunter Dickinson led the team with 17 points and had a 20-rebound game for the second time this year. KJ Adams dropped in 13 himself, sinking some clutch shots in the paint toward the latter stages of the game. Kevin McCullar filled the stat sheet with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists, albeit with seven uninspiring turnovers.
Kansas stayed within distance for most of the second half before pulling away late. They cut down on turnovers and put up higher-quality shots after a sloppy first half.
The bench was far more effective than yesterday thanks to some quality minutes by freshman guard Jamari McDowell. He scored seven points and grabbed four boards, playing 27 minutes to starter Elmarko Jackson’s 13 minutes.
Kansas basketball will receive a much-needed break after this grueling three-game set. They don’t take the floor again Tuesday, Nov. 28, when they host Eastern Illinois in Allen Fieldhouse.