Kentucky vs. Kansas score, takeaway: Jalan Wilson leads the Jayvucks rally to a straight loss to the Wildcats


Kansas led by 1-1 in their first two games at an average of 92 points, before replacing the No. 7 JayWorks, ultimately missing a catch with them in a performance with No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday night . The Wildcats gave Kansas only five points in the first 10 minutes, and it suddenly became apparent that the previous season’s star duo of Dave Dotson and Udoka Ajubike were missed.

But when another star emerged for Kansas. Redshirt freshman forward Jalan Wilson exploded to score 21 of his 23 points in the second half, allowing the Jehawks to lose 13 points in the first half and win 65–62 in Indianapolis as part of the Champions Classic.

Wilson’s aggressive attack brought to life in the Kansas team that only 30% of his shots were dealt by senior leader Marcus Garrett with a disease that appeared to limit his endurance. In the end, however, a familiar recipe helped Kansas close the deal: Defense. The Jehawks held Kentucky to just 3-of-21 shooting from 3-point range as the Wildcats suffered their second straight loss.

Freshman center Isaiah Jackson starred for Kentucky with 12 rebels, eight blocks and seven points. But as Richmond suffered a 76–64 loss on Sunday, Kentucky suffered an offensive defeat.

Wilson of Kansas shines

Wilson had already emerged as an important player for Cannes this season and was missing from the previous two games due to injury last year. But the former No. 53 prospect in the 2019 recruiting class looked like a budding star against the Wildcats. At 6-foot-8, his combination of physicality and athleticness led to a mismatched marriage to Kentucky defenders that allowed him to make his shots and save a struggling Kansas offense.

When Wilson picked up his fourth foul after scoring 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, he checked out for a 44–42 lead with Kans. The Jayhawks did not convert a shot from the field for three and a half minutes, while Wilson sat down due to his dishonesty. He gave up a 3-pointer with the team’s next bucket – 5:29 – giving Kansas an edge again. When Ocha Abbaji hit a 3-pointer for Kansas with 2:45 left, none other than Wilson scored the first goal of the half for the Jayvaks.

Kansas absolutely still misses Dotson and Ajubike and goes a long way to go on the offensive. But Wilson provided an encouraging state of hope by putting the team on his back on Tuesday and showed that he could be an undiscovered gem in a Big 12 that is full of talent.

Kentucky can’t shoot

Just two days after missing all 10 of his 3-point attempts in a loss to Richmond, the Wildcats continue to wreak havoc. Kentucky’s three made 3-pointers came from his bench, with little-used reserve Deonte Allen hitting a 3-pointer before the Creighton transfer, before Crayton transfer Davion Mintz added a pair of treys in the second half Was killed

But if the Wildcats are going to challenge for an SEC or national title, they will need to find some better shooting, especially from their starting lineup. Initially, a lot of his offense came at second-chance points and point-of-turnovers. But after committing eight turnovers in the first nine minutes, Kansas made it just three more times for the rest of the game, which limited Kentucky’s rapid break opportunities.

In the end, a pair of unnecessary fouls also cost Kentucky on starting center Olivier Surr. Wake Forest was the most efficient scorer of the transfer wildcats, running from floor to 4-for-6 at night. But he entered the second half just 14 minutes after choosing the undisciplined dishonest pair.

Cool contribution

At first glance, a 22–2 difference in Kentucky’s bench points suggests that Jayhawk did not get anything off his bench. But redshirt freshman Dajuan Harris provided a major spark for Kansas with five assists and four steals in 25 minutes off the bench. His contributions as a architect and defender were particularly welcomed as Garrett battled an illness during the game.

Like Wilson, Harris was a four-star prospect in the 2019 class who competed again last season and fell under the radar entering the 2020-21 campaign. But if the roles of the two were any indication on Tuesday, Kansas has some students from last year’s recruiting class who are set to make a big impact this season.

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