Kentucky vs. Kansas Score, Takeaways: The Jayhawks Rally is led by Jolen Wilson.

Kentucky vs. Kansas Score, Takeaways: The Jayhawks Rally is led by Jolen Wilson.

Kansas averaged 92 points in its first two games at a 1-1 start, and seemed to catch up with them before the 7th Jayhawks transformed gravity into a clash with 20th Kentucky on Tuesday night. The Wild Gates held Kansas to just five points in the first 10 minutes, and suddenly it became clear how much the Jayhawks had missed last season ‘s star duo of Devon Dodson and Utoka Azubuyke.

Another star appeared for Kansas. Redshirt newcomer forward Jalan Wilson scored 21 of his 23 points to push the Jayhawks back from a 13-point deficit in the second half and beat Kentucky 65-62 in Indianapolis as part of the Champions Classic.

As senior leader Marcus Garrett handled an illness that seemed to reduce his endurance, Wilson’s offensive blast hit 30% of the Kansas team. In the end, a familiar recipe helped Kansas finish the deal: security. As the Wild Gates suffered a second straight loss, the Jayhawks kept Kentucky from 3-point range to shoot 3-for-21.

Freshman Center Isaiah Jackson played for Kentucky with 12 rebounds, eight volumes and seven points. But just as it was 76-64 for Richmond on Sunday, Kentucky also suffered from attacking tragedy.

Wilson of Kansas shines

Wilson has already emerged as a key player for Kansas earlier this season as he missed all but two games last year due to injury. But the former No. 53 prospect in the 2019 recruitment class was like a rising star against the Wild Gates. At 6-Ft-8, the combination of his physical and athletic ability created a mismatch with the Kentucky defenders, allowing him to create his own shots and recover from Kansas offense.

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Wilson took his fourth foul after scoring 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to give Kansas a 44-42 lead. When Wilhan sat down with his worst problem, Zyvox didn’t change a shot from the field for three and a half minutes. He hit the team’s next bucket – 3: Point 5:29 left – which gave Kansas the lead again. This was the first field goal of the half for the Jayhawks by someone other than Wilson when Ochai Akbaji hit a 3-pointer 2:45 left for Kansas.

Kansas still missed Dodson and Asupoy, and the attack is a long way off. But Wilson put the team on his back on Tuesday and gave them encouraging confidence by showing that he can be an unnoticed gem in a talented Big 12.

Kentucky can’t shoot

Two days after losing all of its 3-point efforts at the expense of Richmond, the woes of the Wild Gates from the outside continued. Kentucky’s three prepared 3-pointers came off their bench, with Dontay Allen hitting a 3-pointer in the first half before Crayon’s transfer Davian Minds hit a pair of tracks in the second half.

If the Wild Gates are going to challenge for an SEC or national title, they need to find some great shooting, especially from their starting lineup. Initially, the bulk of their offense came in second chance points and turnover points. But after making eight breakthroughs in the first nine minutes, Kansas shifted it to the remaining three games, which limited Kentucky’s chances for fast breaks.

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Eventually, a couple of unnecessary abuses on start-up center Oliver Char also cost Kentucky. Wake Forest exchange is the Wild Gates’ most efficient scorer, 4-to-6 night off the ground. But he logged in 14 minutes after making a couple immoral mistakes in the second half.

Quiet contribution

At first glance, Kentucky’s 22-2 bench points claim that the Jayhawks got nothing from their bench. But Redshirt newcomer Tajuwan Harris delivered a huge spark to Kansas with five assists and four steals from the bench in 25 minutes. Garrett’s contributions as a facilitator and defender were especially welcomed as he battled an illness during the game.

Like Wilson, Harris was a four-star prospect in the 2019 class, he reviewed last season and fell under the radar that entered the 2020-21 campaign. But if the role played by the two on Tuesday is any indication, there are two studs from last year’s recruitment class in Kansas that will make a big impact this season.

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About the Author: Warwick Clark

Explorer. Communicator. Introvert. Typical problem solver. Devoted writer. Unapologetic coffee advocate.

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