Time: 08:00 P.M. EST
Despite the highest-scoring game in his seven-plus years at the school, Kansas coach Bill Self wasn't completely impressed with this season's debut.
The seventh-ranked Jayhawks will try for a better defensive showing Monday night against Valparaiso, which is coming off its highest-scoring game in nearly five years.
Kansas (1-0) extended the nation's longest home win streak to 60 games with a 113-75 rout of Longwood on Friday. Self and junior forward Marcus Morris, however, were more concerned with the points the Jayhawks gave up, not the ones they scored.
"You don't want a team to come into your home and score 75 points, especially the first game in the year," said Morris, who scored a team-leading 18 points. "One hundred fifteen points looks good on paper, but 75 is kind of upsetting."
Even with top recruit Josh Selby benched because of amateurism issues, Kansas hit 62.3 percent of its shots for its best performance since connecting at a 66 percent clip in a win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 27, 2005.
The Jayhawks also allowed Longwood to shoot 45 percent and hit 11 3-pointers.
"I love our guys," Self said. "But this is the softest team defensively."
As it continues a string of four consecutive home games to open this season, Self team's will next face a Valparaiso squad that took a 111-64 victory in Friday's season opener against NAIA opponent Indiana-Northwest.
Junior guard Brandon Wood had a team-best 20 points in the Crusaders' highest-scoring game since 111-41 victory over Indiana-South Bend on Nov. 28, 2005.
Wood averaged a team-best 17.7 points per game last season for Valparaiso, which led the Horizon League in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game.
The Crusaders return four starters from that squad, including Wood who was the conference's newcomer of the year. The former Southern Illinois player and senior forward Cory Johnson, who spent his first two seasons at Iowa State, were named to the preseason all-conference teams.
Johnson scored 17 points while hitting eight of nine shots Friday. He averaged 15.6 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds in his first season with the Crusaders.
Valparaiso might need Johnson's help Monday against Kansas' front line.
Marcus Morris' twin brother, Markieff, had 15 of the Jayhawks' 39 rebounds and 14 points in the season opener. The Jayhawks also have Thomas Robinson, who had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench Friday, and Jeff Withey, a 7-foot sophomore who is still recovering from a right foot injury suffered in the preseason.
The Crusaders, meanwhile, allowed 20 offensive rebounds in their victory.
"We really have to improve our rebounding," coach Homer Drew said. "We gave up 20 offensive rebounds tonight, which is a major concern for us heading into Kansas. But I thought our shooting, our defense and the way we shared the ball were all very superb (in the season opener)."
The Jayhawks are 2-0 all-time against Valparaiso and 14-1 against current members of the Horizon League.
You May Also Like
Conversation powered by Livefyre