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#2 Kansas Jayhawks impress in win over #20 Colorado Buffaloes

The Kansas Jayhawks continued their hot streak with a dominant victory over the 20th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes at home on Saturday night 72-58. KU is now 7-1 on the season, with all seven wins coming consecutively.

No. 2 Kansas never trailed in the win, leading for 39:41 seconds and improving its all-time record against CU to 124-40.

The Jayhawks had several standout offensive performers, but it was on the defensive end where they played one of the best games of the season so far.

Colorado shot just 30% for the game, which was heavily weighted by a terrible night from beyond the three-point line. The Jayhawks held the Buffaloes to just 20.6% on threes, including a measly 3-of-19 effort in the second half.

Even though it had a negative turnover margin, KU forced 17 turnovers, the second most it’s forced against a Division I opponent this season.

“Theyre a good team,” Colorado junior guard McKinley Wright IV said. “They get a couple stops, they feed off their home crowd … for the most part we did OK, [but] 17 turnovers isn’t going to cut it.”

Wright is one of the best guards in the Pac-12 and one of the best defensive ones in the country, and junior guard Tyler Bey had been excellent all year entering Saturday, leading the Buffaloes in scoring and rebounding.

The Jayhawks held that duo to 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting combined.

“We got the looks we wanted, we just couldn’t get them to fall tonight,” Wright said.

After the game, Kansas coach Bill Self glowed about the defensive effort, save for a couple garbage time baskets, especially against Bey.

“I thought our defense on Bey in general was very good,” Self said.

KU’s reputation as a strong defensive team wasn’t lost on Colorado coach Tad Boyle, who played at Kansas from 1981-85.

“Sometimes KU makes you do things you don’t want to do,” Boyle said. “They’re very sound defensively, we all know that.”

On the offensive end, the Jayhawks struggled to hold on to the ball and had a cold stretch early in the second half, but otherwise shot it well on Saturday. Kansas shot 52.9% for the game and went 6-of-13 from three, with off six makes coming in the second half.

Four of those six belonged to sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji, who racked up his first double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds, both of which were game highs.

“I thought Ochai was our best performer by far today,” Self said.

The three-point shooting in particular was a major revelation for the Jayhawks, who haven’t shot especially well or frequently for the year. Self said that if Agbaji and others can get going, there’s still some potential for improvement in that area.

“Ochai and Isaiah [Moss] and Devon [Dotson] have to be our best shooters,” Self said. “We need Ochai to be a 35% three-point shooter for us this year.”

Dotson was KU’s second-leading scorer with 18 points on the night, while senior center Udoka Azubuike contributed 12 points and six rebounds.

While Kansas shot the ball efficiently against Colorado, it didn’t pass well at all. As mentioned above, the Jayhawks lost the turnover battle for the game, committing 19 of them.

“Offensively we weren’t very good, and our inability to pass the ball was pretty evident,” Self said. “We’ve got to be better caretakers of the ball to be better offensively.”

Considering the Jayhawks’ smothering defense and sharp offensive night, Boyle had high praise for Kansas after the game and conceded that it wasn’t as close of a game as the final score indicated.

“KU does not have a lot of weaknesses,” Boyle said. “KU beat us tonight, very soundly. People are going to see that score, but weren’t really as close as that score indicated.”

Boyle and Wright spoke about the environment at Allen Fieldhouse multiple times, referencing how much of a role it played, especially early on.

“This is the loudest arena I’ve ever been in in my life, even NBA stadiums,” Wright said.

Next up for the Jayhawks is another home game this Tuesday against Milwaukee. The Panthers are 5-4 this season and lost to Drake in their last game.


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