When the rage subsides, though, the KU coach can also clearly see the big picture.
"I talked to Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin on the Syracuse staff and we watched the game", Hopkins explained. Beat Syracuse decisively was a great sign for this team, but outside of Graham and walk-on Clay Young, the Jayhawks did not play particularly well against the Orange. The Jayhawks' mark was below their season average of 0.628, while the Orange's was below their season average of 0.491.
The KU coach made sure to specifically cite the contributions of the 6-foot-9 forward Dedric Lawson, who averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds last season for Memphis, and the 6-10 forward Preston, who remains withheld from games as the university's compliance department looks into the financial picture of a vehicle the freshman was driving on campus. I thought the best way to attack it was movement. You throw Charlie in there, that's a pretty good Red team. I was glad they lost that one and not a conference game. He often said Graham was not seeing the ball go in the hole, yet praised his point guard for his ball distribution and defense. The last player to score 30 three games in a row was Danny Manning (31 vs Duke, 30 vs Oklahoma and 37 vs Missouri in February 1988). "The other 10 were points we didn't earn", Self said. "So that means they would hang 100 on us easily if it's a 40 minute game". "I'm confident now", Graham said.
- Kansas has just eight scholarship players available. Washington's gone dancing just 16 times in school history. We went to a stationary offense and it worked much better. "If it's getting into the paint and making plays for others, I'm going to do that every time".
Graham has been playing well, but he does tend to turn the ball over in streaks. Key losses include leading scorers Frank Mason, the National Player of the Year victor, and NBA draft lottery pick Josh Jackson. They get great looks at the basket and are shooting 52.2 percent from the field, which ranks eighth in the country. "I think there's a lot of room to do better, which is exciting". "(Against Syracuse), he made all the passes, he made all the plays and he's such a big time player that we were banking on forcing somebody else to do it". "I was trying to be aggressive shooting the ball".
The Red team may not have this composition for long.
Starting on December 16th, Sam Cunliffe will be eligible to play.
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Still, Self expects the practice group's contributions to become apparent - if they haven't already. It is only December and this team is going to improve.
GRAHAM NETS ANOTHER NATIONAL HONOR - Graham on Tuesday was named the Oscar Robertson Trophy national player of the week, the fourth honor he has received on the heels of his back-to-back 35-point games against Toledo and Syracuse.
Kansas head coach Bill Self acknowledged that the Huskies had played well in beating his team, but he thought his team simply did not play with enough effort.
There are strong indications that Young is going to have a dominant year as he has scored 33 points against Portland, 42 on the road against OR, 32 against North Texas and 28 points vs. Texas-San Antonio in his four most recent games. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.in Kansas City, Mo.
- G Sviatoslov Mykhailiuk (6-8, 205, Sr.) averages 17.1 points per contest, which is fifth in the Big 12.