Guided by Marcus Morris’ 27 points in 31 minutes the Jayhawks beat the spread for the 15th time in the season.
To find another season start as the one that the Kansas Jayhawks are having we have to go back to 2001, year that the school also began with a 26-2 record. This pretty much summarizes how positive the 2010/11 season is being for the Jayhawks that find themselves in second place of the Big 12 and ranked No. 3 in the AP poll.
With that momentum the 17-point spread set for the game on Monday night at their home field, the Phog Allen Fieldhouse, against the Oklahoma State Cowboys wasn’t going to be too much of an obstacle for them. And they demonstrated it beating the spread by 10 points, in a game that they pretty much had won since the first half with a 24 point lead.
The Jayhawks dominated the game in shooting and rebounding from beginning to end, leaving the Cowboys in a pretty bad position. That dominance was clearly reflected in the stats, where Kansas shot for 54% over 42% from Oklahoma State, and also led in second-chance shots with 38 rebounds over 25 from their conference rivals.
With their second win in a row the Jayhawks demonstrate that the setback suffered against the Kansas State Wildcats on the road during February 14 has been overcame. That loss was the one that dropped them from No. 1 to No. 3 in the weekly AP poll, something that they want back.
The team also demonstrated that they can count on point guard and sophomore Elijah Johnson, who hasn’t played much this year and emerged from the bench on Monday to fill vacant left by Tyshawn Taylor (suspended) and Josh Selby (forgot orthotic device). Johnson’s contribution to the win reported 15 points and three assists, not to forget his great defense.
Kansas coach Bill Self was pretty satisfied with Johnson’s performance and wishes that “it will be a confidence boost for him.” He didn’t want to revealed who is going to be the starter point guard on the Jayhawks’ next game, which is on the road versus the Oklahoma Sooners, but Self did send Johnson a wink by stating that “the ball’s definitely in his court.”
For Marcus Morris this was his 13th game out of 28 played this season where he leads the team in scoring. Against the Cowboys he put in 27 points in 31 minutes. And Markieff Morris contributed with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Together the duo accounted for 45.6% of the points for the Jayhawks.
Marshall Moses tried to prevent the flop with 27 points and 6 rebounds, but in this game he lacked of a partner like the one his rival Marcus Morris had in Markieff Morris. Still by himself he accounted for 41.5% of the Cowboys’ points, in what was his 6th 20-point game of his career, and the 9th time in the season that Moses leads in the team in scoring.
For Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford they played “the best offensive team I’ve seen, no question.” We’ll have to wait until March to figure if Ford is right.