Mason stars as Kansas beats Siena 86-65
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Whenever Bill Self looks back at the box score from his 207th win at Allen Fieldhouse, one that made him more successful in the building than any other Kansas coach, he’ll see Tyler Self’s name on it.
His son, a senior backup who rarely plays, knocked down his only shot in the game.
"Now that you mention it, it’s nice," Self said after the seventh-ranked Jayhawks’ 86-65 victory over Siena on Friday night. "It was nice he got in there and made the shot."
The Saints did their best to spoil the party.
Marquis Wright hit three straight three-pointers midway through the second half, and the gritty senior guard’s three-point play got coach Jimmy Patsos’ team within 63-58 with about 7 1/2 minutes left.
But Lagerald Vick answered with back-to-back baskets for the Jayhawks, kicking off the game-defining 16-2 run. Frank Mason III added a three-pointer and a couple foul shots, Devonte Graham got into the act and the Jayhawks — so accustomed to dominating inside — leaned on their guard play to seal the win.
At one point, Mason, Vick and Graham scored 20 straight points for the Jayhawks.
"There’s a lot of things we could have done better," said Mason, who finished with 18 points.
The Jayhawks were just 3 of 12 from beyond the arc, struggled from the foul line and were exposed on the defensive end of the floor, where Siena was able to get to the basket too easily.
"I didn’t think we played very tough," Self said. "I didn’t think we played very fast. We looked slow defensively. I thought our big guys really struggled early."
Graham finished with 13 points and nine assists, and Vick had 12 points off the bench, as the Jayhawks (2-1) extended their winning streak to 42 straight at Allen Fieldhouse.
Wright had 25 points, Javion Ogunyemi added 19 and Khalil Richard had 10 for the Saints, who took advantage of the Jayhawks’ poor perimeter shooting to offset a big rebounding disparity.
"They’ve got depth, they have inside players. You thought you had them, then their quickness to the ball took over," said Patsos, who got a primer on playing at Allen Fieldhouse earlier Friday from former Kansas guard and current Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.
"He asked his wife to marry him out on the floor," Patsos said, "and I said, ‘Yeah, you coming back to play there? And he said, ‘Hell no!’ Now I know why."
The Jayhawks opened the season with an overtime loss to Indiana in Hawaii, then beat top-ranked Duke in New York. They traveled about 12,000 miles for two games in roughly four days, and Self said he could see the weariness in his players during shoot-around.
"We were physically tired," Self said, "and our brain told our body we were tired."
Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, whom many believe will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, spent most of the night in foul trouble. He was visibly frustrated and wound up with 10 points.
Siena could use Lavon Long on the floor. The senior forward, who averaged more than 10 points a game last season, has been suspended for the first three games for violating team rules.
Five-star prospect Billy Preston announced earlier in the day that he’ll attend Kansas next season. The 6-foot-10 forward from prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia signed his letter of intent this week.
"I don’t think we’ve ever had the opportunity to coach a taller, more athletic skill player than Billy," Self said. "He has guard-type athletic ability and skills."
With their win over the No. 1 Blue Devils and fourth-ranked Oregon’s lopsided loss to Baylor, look for the Jayhawks to climb back into the top five, where they began the season.
Kansas plays UAB in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday night.
Siena visits reigning Big South champion UNC-Asheville on Sunday.