Kansas destroys South Dakota State
LAWRENCE, Kan. — When Svi Mykhailiuk gets hot shooting the ball it comes as no surprise, though the senior guard often goes on a slight tear for Kansas and then goes silent.
Not on Friday, however. Mykhailiuk made 10 of 17 shots, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range and contributed a career-high 27 points as the No. 4 Jayhawks erupted early and walloped South Dakota State 98-64 in Allen Fieldhouse.
“He plays aggressive and makes some nice plays,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, “but he showed tonight what we’ve been waiting to see and scored in bunches.”
The Jayhawks (3-0) missed their first four jumpers, but canned their next eight shots to grab a 20-4 lead before five minutes elapsed. Consecutive 3-pointers by Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick and Malik Newman closed that flurry and essentially took the Jackrabbits (3-1) out of the game early.
After shooting just 8-for-28 from behind the arc in a grind-it-out win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic, the Jayhawks sizzled on 3-pointers (13 of 27, 48.1 percent) against the Jackrabbits, who are picked as favorites in the Summit League.
“For Kansas, coming off a big game in Chicago on Tuesday night and to turn around and play with such great energy and toughness is something we’ll look to learn from,” South Dakota State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “In an environment like that we’ve got to throw punches.”
The Jackrabbits could not get that accomplished. Junior forward Mike Daum managed a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but was cold early before finishing 7 of 17 from the floor.
Kansas, meanwhile, never cooled off, shooting 60.7 percent.
Self, who is in his 15th season with the Jayhawks, earned his 419th victory to move past Roy Williams for second place on the all-time Kansas coaching list behind Phog Allen (590).
“I just try to be aggressive every game and today I just made shots,” said Mykhailiuk, who left midway through the second half with cramps and did not return. “I was just feeling it and I kept shooting.”
The Jayhawks were efficient too, distributing 19 assists before committing the first of their seven turnovers. They finished with 23 assists, including 11 by senior point guard Devonte’ Graham, who added eight points after going scoreless during the Jayhawks’ 57-28 first-half blitz.
Vick added 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting, while Newman scored 13.
Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike was tagged with his second foul with 8:55 left in the first half and did not return until after the break, but added 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting. Azubuike has missed just 2 of 21 shots in three games.
“It was pretty similar to what I saw in the summer,” said Daum, who attended a summer skills camp in Philadelphia with Azubuike. “He’s really good with his back to the basket and you’ve got to keep him off the boards and from getting those energy plays and dunks.”
Without Azubuike in the first half, 6-foot-5 senior walk-on guard Clay Young got extended minutes and was situated in the post, where he typically guards teammates in practice.
The only other big available to Kansas currently is Mitch Lightfoot, but the 6-foot-8 sophomore fouled out in just seven minutes.
“Right now we’re really short on bigs, so I know every night I’ve got to bring my best because we don’t have much depth,” Azubuike said. “In the first half I got into foul trouble, but I was ready to go when my name was called.”
NOTES: Kansas F Billy Preston still has not played this season, missing his third game as the athletic department’s compliance office attempts to get a “clearer financial picture” of the vehicle Preston drove when he had a one-car accident last Saturday on campus. Self said there was no progress to report from the internal review. ... Earlier this week, the Jayhawks signed Quentin Grimes, a combo guard, as the fourth member of the 2018 class. ... Several NBA scouts were in attendance, in part to see one of South Dakota State’s standouts, F Mike Daum.