Saturday, November 15, 2014

No. 5 Kansas 69, UC-Santa Barbara 59

College Basketball
No. 5 Kansas 69, UC-Santa Barbara 59
No Andrew Wiggins, no Joel Embiid, no problem, right? Even without two of the top three picks in last June’s NBA draft, the Jayhawks are expected to be the class of the Big 12 yet again, thanks partly to another strong freshmen class that includes forward Cliff Alexander and guard Kelly Oubre. But those two combined for just nine points (all by Alexander) and 16 minutes (12 by Alexander) on Friday, leaving Perry Ellis to remind everyone that he might just be the best player in the conference. The efficient 6-8 junior forward had 13 points (while taking just seven shots from the floor) and 10 rebounds to help offset the first of what could be many long nights from outside for KU (2-of-10 from 3-point range). 

The best player on the court, however, was Alan Williams. The Gauchos’ 6-8 senior center flew under the radar last year despite averaging a double-double (21.5 points, 11.3 rebounds) and he was right on those averages against the Jayhawks (22 points, 13 rebounds). This was the highest-profile game on UCSB’s schedule this season, but try to catch Williams later this year, maybe on Dec. 8 against No. 22 SMU or Dec. 22 at Oregon, so you know what you’re talking about when people start discussing him as a first-team All-America come the new year.

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