No. 3 Kansas aims to follow up record 3-point shooting

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Whatever ceiling the Kansas basketball team can reach should be easy to track.

Just use the scoreboard as reference based on the offensive fireworks from their last performance, a 114-71 rout of Texas Southern.

No. 3 Kansas (4-0) set school records with 19 3-pointers in a game and 12 in a half. Seven scorers reached double figures while posting the second-best scoring total under Bill Self, the Jayhawks' 15th-year coach.

"Hopefully we can play better," said point guard Devonte' Graham, a senior captain who realizes the season is still young as Kansas prepares for a home game Friday against Oakland (2-2).

"There's always some stuff that we can correct. I know coach was getting on us about spacing and staying in the corners. It just makes it easier. If we space the floor, we've got guys that can drive it and guys that can shoot. But it was definitely a good offensive performance."

Naturally, Self will cite shortcomings and did following the latest blowout.

"We didn't rebound the ball defensively very well," he said. "The big guys did a terrible job of going over and trying to help. They (Texas Southern) just lobbed it up to their big guy and he just dunks it. There were some good performances and it was good to have seven guys in double figures."

Rebounding has been a concern for Kansas since the start of the season.

In part, because the Jayhawks lack frontcourt depth and rely heavily on inexperienced, but talented, 7-foot sophomore Udoka Azubuike for post production.

Reserve freshman guard Marcus Garrett leads Kansas with a 7.8 rebounding average. He has two double-doubles and has quickly asserted himself as one of the Jayhawks' top defenders.

Graham has been a player who has contributed in other ways too, while getting off to a cool start shooting, making just 34 percent of his tries. He averages 9.7 assists.

"I still didn't shoot the ball well, but you know I felt like I played a really good game, making plays and stuff like that," Graham said after going 6 of 16 against Texas Southern, with 11 assists against one turnover. "It was good to see a couple of shots fall and everyone shot the ball really well, so we looked good."

Oakland returned more than 70 percent of its scoring and rebounding production from a 25-9 squad that advanced to the NIT last season. Senior guards Kendrick Nunn and Martez Walker rank first and second among Horizon League scorers with averages of 24.0 and 21.8 points.

Jalen Hayes, a three-time All-Horizon League selection, will make his season debut after serving a four-game academic suspension. Hayes was penalized because the NCAA determined he was not making "satisfactory progress toward a degree."

The ruling was controversial since Hayes to set to graduate next month.

The 6-7 senior forward recorded nine double-doubles last season, when he averaged 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds.

The Grizzlies, traditionally one of the nation's higher-scoring teams, are coming off a 74-50 loss at Syracuse, where Nunn played with a sprained ankle and Oakland shot 30.5 percent.

"We've got to use (the defeat) to get better. It was not a good night for Oakland basketball," said coach Greg Kampe, who is in his 34th season at Oakland. "We're going to have to play 35 times or so and we're going to have two or three of those not so good nights."

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Our Latest Stories