Mykhailiuk helps No. 4 Kansas rout South Dakota State, 98-64
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — It was late in the first half Friday night that Kansas began walking the ball up court, the searing temperature inside Allen Fieldhouse and the Jayhawks’ shortened bench having left them spent.
The slower pace didn’t slow down Svi Mykhailiuk.
The senior sharpshooter poured in a career-high 27 points, Lagerald Vick finished with 22 and the fourth-ranked Jayhawks routed Summit League favorite South Dakota State 98-64 in their first game since topping seventh-ranked Kentucky in the Champions Classic earlier this week.
“We were kind of tired,” admitted Mykhailiuk, who even dealt with cramps at one point — a function of the heat and 30 minutes on the court. “We just walked the court whenever we got a rebound.”
That shouldn’t be a surprise.
The Jayhawks were once again without heralded freshman Billy Preston, who remains sidelined while the school looks into the “financial picture” of his car. That meant a seven-man rotation with walk-on forward Clay Young pressed into service guarding the Jackrabbits’ star, Mike Daum.
None of which mattered a whole lot Friday night.
Udoka Azubuike added 17 points and Malik Newman had 13 for the Jayhawks (3-0), who shot 60 percent from the field and didn’t commit a turnover until midway through the second half.
By that point, the Jackrabbits (3-1) were staring at a 30-point deficit.
Daum led South Dakota State with 21 points and 11 rebounds, most of that coming with the game out of hand. Tevin King contributed 12 points and David Jenkins Jr. scored 10 off the bench.
“We knew we were coming into hostile territory and we knew we had to be the ones to hit them right away,” Daum said, “and we didn’t do that.”
Young was one of the bright spots in the first half for Kansas, keeping the ball moving on offense and handling the 6-foot-9 Daum inside. The Jackrabbits’ leading scorer at more than 21 points per game scored eight on 2-for-8 shooting in the first half, when Young spent a good chunk of time covering him.
“I definitely didn’t expect to go in 4 minutes into the first half of an actual game, so that’s definitely different,” Young said. “It feels good to go out there and play some meaningful minutes.”
Nobody could cover Mykhailiuk, though.
The senior from the Ukraine hit his first three shots — the Jayhawks made eight of their first nine — while getting into an easy rhythm. Even on the seemingly rare occasion that his jumper didn’t splash the net, it often rattled around the rim and dropped through to a thunderous ovation.
“He’s been on an uptick basically ever since I think our first or second exhibition game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He played good against Kentucky also. He was aggressive and made some nice plays.”
Several of his baskets came on feeds from Devonte Graham, who didn’t hit a field goal until deep in the second half. He finished with eight points but also had 11 assists and five boards.
“More than anything, they came out and were the more aggressive team,” Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “They were the more stubborn team. They set the tone early and they put it on us.”
SELF IS SECOND
Self improved to 419-88 at Kansas, breaking a tie with Roy Williams for the second-most wins at the school. Phog Allen has the record with 590 victories. “I knew we had the same number after last game and I swear I hadn’t thought about it one time until you just mentioned it,” Self said.
Preston went through early warmups but remained on the bench after an on-campus incident over the weekend raised questions about his vehicle. Self has declined to discuss the situation other than to say “we’re definitely going to hold him out until we get to the bottom of this.” Self did say he thinks the school’s compliance office will resolve the issue soon.
South Dakota State can recover from its thumping in paradise with a trip to the Cayman Islands Classic up next. But their next trip to the Sunflower State figures to be just as tough: They visit No. 6 Wichita State on Dec. 5.
Kansas cruised despite a shortened lineup again, and help is only a month away. Arizona State transfer Sam Cunliffe becomes eligible for a trip to Nebraska on Dec. 16, and there is a chance five-star prospect Silvio De Sousa from Florida’s IMG Academy enrolls at the semester break.
South Dakota State plays Wyoming on Monday in George Town, Cayman Islands.
Kansas continues a four-game home stand against Texas Southern on Tuesday night.
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