Some difficult games await Kansas. For now, the Jayhawks will have to settle for what amounts to yet another tune-up.
Following their highest-scoring game under coach Bill Self, the top-ranked Jayhawks look to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak in a matchup with winless Alcorn State on Wednesday night.
Kansas (5-0) is No. 1 for the fourth straight week, this time falling two votes shy of being unanimous. An easy week didn’t figure to hurt the Jayhawks’ standing with the voters.
After beating Oakland 89-59 at Allen Fieldhouse last Wednesday, Kansas extended its home win streak to 45 games with a 112-75 victory over Tennessee Tech on Friday night.
The Jayhawks had their highest-scoring game under Self, who has guided them to a 99-6 record at home.
“We’re playing less deeper teams than we will play, as in Texas, so we try not to overlook a team,” sophomore forward Markieff Morris said. “We tell the younger guys to play hard every possession so when we do play the good teams, we already have the feel for it.”
A tough Big 12 schedule that features a game at No. 2 Texas on Feb. 8 awaits the Jayhawks. Their next contest, though, will more than likely fall well short of the competition level they’ll face later on.
Alcorn State (0-9) has struggled on both ends of the floor, losing its games by an average of 27.9 points. Now the Braves have to contend with perhaps the most talented roster in the nation.
Freshman guard Xavier Henry leads Kansas with 16.8 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent (10 for 21) from 3-point range. He had 15 points, five assists and four steals versus the Golden Eagles.
Along with a number of talented youngsters, Kansas also boasts experience with players such as junior center Cole Aldrich, who was in a mild slump before a 14-point, 10-rebound effort against Tennessee Tech.
The preseason All-American battled a lingering illness last week and scored a season-low four points against Oakland. He showed up early for practice Thursday and his extra work paid off with a 5-for-8 shooting night.
“It was a relief,” Aldrich said. “I really hadn’t been playing all that well and am just happy to get through a little funk. The rest of the guys have been playing great and it’s a little weight off my back to know that I can play the way I used to play.”
Aldrich is averaging 10.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. His presence in the paint has helped the Jayhawks hold 79 straight opponents under 50 percent shooting.
Kansas has limited each of its opponents to less than 40 percent from the field.
Alcorn State has not shot better than 42.9 percent all season. The Braves made 37.7 percent in an 87-52 loss to Wichita State on Monday night.
Alcorn State fell to 6-34 under coach Larry Smith.
The team’s top scorer is junior center JaMarkus Holt, who had 13 points versus Wichita State and is averaging 11.0. He adds a team-high 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest.
Senior forward Jonathan Boyd is the only other Braves player averaging double digits in points at 10.6. His 20 3-pointers are 13 more than anybody else’s total on the team.
Kansas is 3-0 against Alcorn State. This will be the teams’ first meeting since the Jayhawks won 76-56 in the first round of the 1984 NCAA tournament.