It wasn't pretty, but we are not in a beauty contest. Kansas basketball defeated Indiana for the second straight year. A rock fight broke out and urged by the crowd and the late memory of the great Bobby Knight, Indiana controlled the first 30 minutes of the game. The veteran Jayhawk squad didn't back down and showed Indiana and the nation that it takes a full 40 minutes to beat us. Because our boys Always Be Closing! Big play after big play by our big four led us to victory down the stretch as the Jayhawks won 75-71 over the Hoosiers.
Trailing by eight points at half and as many as 13 in the second half KU wouldn't go away. We took our first lead at the 4:53 mark with a Hunter Dickinson bucket. With the game tied at 64, Kevin McCullar had the Big Planters moment when he stroked a 3-pointer to give us the lead for good with 3:29 left. McCullar had a chance to ice the game with 17 seconds left up two but missed a front end of a one-and-one. Fortunately, the ball went off of the Hoosiers. Kevin went on to go 4-for-4 on his next attempts to ice the game.
Before we go into the player breakdowns and ratings let's first talk about the Head Hawk: Bill Self. Kansas fans have been spoiled for years. We can look terrible for 30 minutes of a game and still find a way to win. That is attributed to great coaching and adjustments that are made throughout the game and never panicking. Self led a second-half comeback to give KU our first win in Assembly Hall. I still believe if Self was healthy and coached in our second round matchup against Arkansas we would have made enough adjustments and plays down the stretch to win that game. This year, our offense is going to come and go, as we don't have consistent shooters on the roster. More of these Maalox moments are in store for us this year, as the Jayhawks will have to grind out victories on the road. More times than not this veteran squad will get the job done.
Kansas Basketball Player Ratings vs. Indiana
Tier 1: Big Jays
1. Kevin McCullar
Kevin was clutch down the stretch. He had an off-shooting night, going 3-for-11, but hit the big shots and made the big plays down the stretch. McCullar picked up his fourth foul at the 8:30 mark and never left the floor. Kev had a stone-cold Honey Roasted Planters moment, drilling a three to give us the lead for good at the 3:29 mark. Kev followed it up by icing the game away connecting on his last four free throws. He finished the game with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block, and two turnovers.
2. KJ Adams
KJ had a solid all-around game with his usual hustle plays and elite defense. His ability to switch on the perimeter and guard all five positions is a great luxury for the Jayhawks. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and three turnovers.
3. Hunter Dickinson
In the first true road game of the year, Hunter proved to be the opposing fans' favorite to boo and chant airball after an errant shot. Hunter was cold early and finished 8-for-17 from the field. He made several key plays down the stretch including a little shot to give us our first lead of the game. Big Hunt was sure to let the opposing crowd know after the timeout going to the bench. Hunt was his usual double-double self finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and one turnover.