With his parents and Rob Riggle in attendance, Johnny Furphy reintroduced himself to the fan base. Not only as the fifth starter, but as the best player on the floor. I wrote previously about how Johnny raises the ceiling, but he really is the best NBA prospect on the roster and will continue to improve as the season progresses.
Johnny came out hot again with five quick points in the first four minutes, bringing the energy. KU built an early 12-point lead but saw the Bearcats claw their way back into the half and game. At halftime, the game was tied 35-35.
With Hunter Dickinson in foul trouble and Kevin McCullar having an off night shooting-wise, it was the Johnny Furphy show all the way down to the dagger with 2 minutes left to put KU up 10 points. On a night when most of his teammates struggled, Johnny carried the Jayhawks to a victory. The Jayhawks beat the Bearcats 74-69.
Kansas Basketball Player Rankings vs. Cincinnati
Tier 1: Big Jays
1. Johnny Furphy
Johnny, starting his third consecutive game, continued to show he is quickly becoming one of the Jayhawks' top players. He recorded his first career double-double and was all over the floor. Johnny also showed his continuous growth on the defensive side of the ball, keeping his man in front of him most of the night. Johnny led the team in scoring and rebounding on the night and showed the world he was here. Furphy finished the night with 23 points on 7-for-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two turnovers.
2. Kevin McCullar
Kevin looked like he battled through some nagging injuries and appeared to be a step slower and tired throughout the second half of the game. He had an off-shooting night, going 5-for-17 from the field. However, in the second half, Kevin put his head down and attacked the basket, consistently drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line, where he made 8-of-12 free throws. Kev finished the night with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals, and one turnover.