Dec 8, 2012, 4:41 PM EDT
Tyler Self scored his first — and so far, only — college basket in the closing seconds of KU’s 90-54 blowout of former league rival Colorado.
That’s how bad this one got. Bill Self found double-digit minutes for his B team, with Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor logging significant time off the bench. Then, with more than two minutes left in the game, nepotism ran rampant. Walk-on Evan Manning, son of former Jayhawk player and assistant Danny Manning, saw four minutes of floor time, alongside Niko Roberts, son of former St. John’s coach and current Kansas assistant Norm Roberts, Justin Wesley (pictured), half-brother of former KU standout Keith Langford, and Tyler Self, son of head coach Bill.
As the crowd roared, Self the younger corralled a breakaway lead pass and laid in the final points of KU’s easy win over a Colorado team that started the season 6-0 and recently slammed “little brother” Colorado State to earn a seventh non-conference win.
The Buffs were hobbled — both literally and figuratively — by an ankle injury suffered by leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie early in the first half. Dinwiddie returned and played 21 minutes overall in the game, but was ineffective and finished with just four points. Freshman Josh Scott led the Buffs with 19 points, and Ski Booker chipped in 15. The clearest symptoms of CU’s malaise in this game were 18 turnovers and an extremely poor 37% from the floor.
Kansas was once again led by dominating redshirt freshman Ben McLemore, who scored 24 points, including 10-11 from the line. Senior forward Kevin Young came on strong as well, scoring 16. Jeff Withey was the only Kansas starter not to reach double figures, turning in a workmanlike 8 points, 7 boards and 5 blocked shots.
The blowout gave Bill Self an opportunity to work out some of his highly-touted recruits, and he saw a mixed bag in the second half. Sophomore Naadir Tharpe continued to struggle as a ballhandler, notching one assist vs. four turnovers in 17 minutes. Freshman Andrew White III made the most of his time, however, scoring a career-high eight points in as many minutes. White was 2-3 from deep, and could emerge as a spot-up shooter to be reckoned with as conference play approaches.
The shut-down performance by KU’s starters against a good Colorado team was a good sign for Bill Self. The more times he can legitimately put young Tyler in to close out a game, the more likely it is that his Jayhawks are playing the way they should.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
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