The Kansas Jayhawks got a total team effort, with four players notching double figures, to get back to the win column and back to the top of the Big 12 standings.
Phog Allen Fieldhouse was rocking from the start, and the Jayhawks did not disappoint as they drubbed their in-state rival, the Kansas State Wildcats, by a score of 83-62.
During the game, senior Jeff Withey set the school blocked shot record, and is just a few blocks shy of the Big 12 record. Sophomore Naadir Tharpe did a tremendous job running the point in the first half, a position where Kansas has struggled as of late.
Freshman sensation, Ben McLemore was sensational dropping 30 points (9-13 FG) including going 6-10 shooting from behind the arc, and 6-6 from the free throw line. McLemore, on his birthday, had one of his best games of the year. His stroke was going all night long, and he also got more and more aggressive as the game progressed.
Jayhawks Head Coach Bill Self has kept saying that McLemore’s biggest weakness is that he is too unselfish at times. McLemore told reporters last week that he wanted to accept more of a leadership role with this team during their struggles. He definitely stepped up, and must continue to be a threat offensively every time he touches the ball.
Despite the tough times during the three-game losing streak, Self knows that his team definitely became mentally tougher, and may have found a solution to the point guard issue that has plagued them recently.
More importantly, McLemore may have realized how dynamic he can be, which could carry Kansas very far in March.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo