What a bounce-back from our lackluster performance on Tuesday against Eastern Illinois. Kansas basketball came out with energy and effort in the first half and carried it over into the second half to beat No. 4 ranked UConn 69-65. Big-time win at home!
Our defense was legit all first half as we controlled the game and were up by as many as 12 in the first half. We could have been up by more and put the game away if not for Tristen Newton and UConn routinely hitting tough shots with under five seconds on the shot clock to keep it close.
We went into the half up by seven. The Huskies came out more aggressive and efficient in the second half, taking the lead at the 10:38 mark. Kansas trailed from there on until the 6-minute mark when Kevin McCullar drilled a corner 3-pointer to give us a 1-point lead. He followed that up with the next possession burying another three.
UConn kept it close and cut the lead to two points with 23 seconds left. They fouled Dajuan Harris, who missed both free throws with 16 seconds left, giving UConn a chance to tie or take the lead. Another great defensive stop and a subsequent foul sent KJ Adams to the line with 2.4 seconds left. He calmly drilled both free throws to seal the game.
Clutch moment for KJ who is set to fly out and say his final goodbyes to his mom Yvonne at 11 am on Saturday. Tough kid who deserves all the support his teammates and Jayhawk Nation can give him.
Kansas Basketball Player Ratings vs. UConn
Tier 1: Big Jays
1. KJ Adams
KJ was clutch as mentioned above sealing the game with 2 free throws with 2.4 seconds left. KJ was all over the court all day playing great defense, giving his usual effort, and showing off his athleticism throughout. He played 38 minutes and made 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting and an even more impressive 6-of-9 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and zero turnovers. A great game for KJ, who was playing for something more. Rest in peace, Yvonne.
2. Kevin McCullar
Kevin has taken his game to a new level all year, and he continued that trend against UConn. He played elite defense as he has for years and flew around for loose balls. He had the two biggest shots of the game making back-to-back threes giving KU the lead for good at the 6-minute mark. He is playing at an All-American-type level this year. Kev led the team in scoring with 21 points, had five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and only one turnover.
3. Hunter Dickinson
Big Hunt won the battle of elite big men over Clingan. Hunter got what he wanted in the matchup and won his one-on-one battle. Hunter finished with 15 points including a 3-of-4 mark from 3-point range, adding nine rebounds, one assist, four blocks, and zero turnovers.