For one half, Tennessee-Chattanooga guard Farad Cobb brought back memories for Kansas coach Bill Self. Cobb had hit six three pointers and went to the locker room at halftime with 18 points, as the Mocs led the Jayhawks 36-28.
“That performance reminded me of the dude from ORU (Marchello Vealy). He comes in and goes six of seven from three and he made two three his entire career,” Self said.
However, unlike that 2006 game against Oral Roberts, Self not need to worry about a rare home loss, as suffocating Kansas defense keyed a 33-7 and turned a 12-point deficit into runaway 69-55 KU victory.
The win improves the Jayhawks to 2-1 and was highlighted by redshirt freshman swingman Ben McLemore, who kept the Jayhawks in the game in the first half and helped the team pull away, as he scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Seniors Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey chipped in with 18 points and 11 points and 10 rebounds respectively.
KU was also aided by intense defense courtesy of senior Travis Releford, who drew the assignment of shutting down Cobb in the second half.
“The second half was the best we’ve played all year,” Self said.
McLemore was the main story, as a series of dunks on breakaways, drives and lobs shifted momentum and turned the game in Kansas’ favor.
Still, the Jayhawks had to step it up in the second half, as they fell behind as much 12 early in the second half. The solution was simply that of focus.
“We didn’t change our gameplan, we just changed our intensity,” Johnson said.