No. 1 Kansas 81, Belmont 51
Coming out of a timeout late in the first half, Kansas coach
Bill Self called for a substitution. The player who was supposed to
enter the game didn’t hear him, leaving the Jayhawks with four
players on the court for about 15 seconds.
“It was great because it was probably our best offensive
possession of the game,” Self said with a smile. “I was really
proud of our team how they totally baffled their defense and were
able to make a great play.”
Self can joke now, but he knows his team needs to pull it
together with the Big 12 season just around the corner.
Cole Aldrich dominated inside with a double-double and six
blocked shots, and No. 1 Kansas overcame a lack of focus in the
first half to wear down Belmont 81-51 on Tuesday night.
Rusty off a long break, Kansas (12-0) shook off a lackadaisical
first half that included the 4-on-5 sequence, pulling it together
for a superb second half to extend the nation’s longest home
winning streak to 50 games.
Aldrich had his way inside with 11 points and 14 rebounds, and
Marcus Morris added 14 points to give the Jayhawks a rout that
wasn’t quite as stellar as the final score.
A game at No. 18 Temple is next on Saturday and the Big 12
starts on Jan. 13, and Kansas still has plenty of room for
“I have very little sympathy for our team tonight,” Self said.
“I thought collectively we were poor. We certainly have to get
Belmont (7-5) was doomed by poor shooting and a shaky start to
both halves in its first trip to Allen Fieldhouse.
The Bruins didn’t hit their first shot until Drew Hanlen dropped
in a 3-pointer 5:13 in and fell behind 11-0 before scrapping back.
The Bruins couldn’t overcome a similar run to open the second half,
watching the lead gradually grow after Kansas picked up the
intensity at both ends.
Ian Clark and Drew Hanlen had 11 points each for Belmont, which
shot 31 percent and was outscored 40-18 inside in its final
“I tried to be nice to our post players before the game when I
told them they were not going to be able to score against
Aldrich,” Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. “At the same time, I
didn’t want to take away the option. They figured out pretty early
that it wasn’t a good idea.”
Kansas had a week off since beating California and Michigan in a
span of four days.
Apparently, the Jayhawks weren’t ready to come back.
Oh, it started off fine. Kansas opened with an 11-0 run, forcing
Belmont to miss its first 10 field goal attempts. Aldrich led the
charge, blocking four shots, altering several other to start what
looked like another nonconference romp.
“He’s tough to shoot over,” Belmont forward Keaton Belcher
Then came the Kansas breakdowns.
Taking advantage of the Jayhawks’ shoddy defense and rebounding,
Belmont followed with a 15-3 run, taking a 1-point lead when Kansas
had a soft turnover and left Jordan Campbell wide open for a
3-pointer in transition.
Already furious, Self called his second timeout in 3 minutes and
tried get his point across a little stronger.
Nope. The Jayhawks still had one more laughable gaffe in
Coming out of a media timeout, Kansas started to run a play when
senior Sherron Collins began motioning wildly to the bench. Tyshawn
Taylor, who was on the court before the timeout, was still seated
after being told by Self that he was out. Problem was, Tyrel Reed
didn’t hear Self and remained on the bench, too, leaving the
Jayhawks with just four players.
Finally realizing what had happened, Taylor leaped up and
sprinted down the court, flowing in like a hockey player about
halfway through the shot clock as Self shook his head in
The play resulted in two free throws for Aldrich – thanks to a
pass from Taylor – but clearly the focus wasn’t quite there.
“I didn’t even know we only had four players until Tyshawn came
running out onto the court,” Aldrich said.
Kansas pulled it together just enough to lead 36-26 at halftime
and was much better in the second half, opening with a 20-4 run and
shooting 19 of 29 for its seventh win of 30 or more points.
Another easy win, but one that showed the Jayhawks there’s still
plenty of work to be done.
“We are No. 1 and we have something to prove, I think,” Morris
said. “We still have to prove ourselves to every other team. If we
come out and play like we’re not supposed to, we will get beat by