STARS SHINE BRIGHT
Duke's magnificent freshman, Jabari Parker, turned in a big night in his return to his hometown Tuesday night.
Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins made the plays down the stretch to help his team walk off the floor a winner.
While Parker led all scorers with 27 points, Wiggins’s 22 points included six points in the final two minutes that allowed No. 5 Kansas to pull away and beat No. 4 Duke 94-83 in the nightcap of the Champions Classic college basketball doubleheader at the United Center.
With the score tied at 77-all with 3:26 to play, Kansas (2-0) forged ahead by four points when Wayne Selden scored on a tip-in and Jamari Traylor added a basket on drive down the lane with 2:07 left that gave the Jayhawks an 83-79 lead.
Rasheed Sulaimon, who scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, cut the lead in half with a tough drive down the lane for his own basket.
But Wiggins helped put the game away. He sank a 17-foot jumper at 1:30 and, after a Duke turnover, scored on slam dunk with 1:17 left to put Kansas up 87-81.
Parker fouled out on the play and Wiggins missed the free throw. But Wiggins grabbed the offensive rebound and allowed the Jayhawks to burn more clock.
Wiggins later added two free throws as Kansas salted away the win.
“We were getting anything we wanted on the offensive end,” Sulaimon said. “It started on the defensive end -- 94 points is unacceptable.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called Parker's performance "sensational." A 6-8 prep All-American at Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, Parker has scored 22 and 27 points in his first two college games.
"I think it's remarkable that a kid, in his second game, can come in here..." Krzyzewski said. "You're in your hometown. You are playing against Kansas. He was sensational."
In a tight, back-and-forth game that saw both teams lead by as many as six points, Kansas led 72-69 as the clock ticked below six minutes.
Parker, though, scored baskets on back-to-back Duke possessions, the second on a 15-foot jumper, giving Duke a 73-72 lead at 5:06.
Kansas built another three-point lead but Sulaimon scored two baskets in the lane sandwiched around a Jayhawk free throw. The second of the two tied the score at 77 with 3:26 left.
But the Blue Devils ran out of gas and were unable to stop the taller Jayhawks down the stretch.
"You use a lot of emotion in the anticipation of a game like this," Krzyzewski said. "I think it hits you at certain times in the ball game. Then you have to get another emotion. When I called a timeout at 6:20, I knew my team was staggering. We're tired. I tried to get them to get angry."
Despite his heroics, the bottom line was all that mattered to Parker.
"It was good but of course it didn't matter because we didn't win," Parker said. "That's the final result. That's all that we wanted. It was nice that newspapers say I'm back but it doesn't matter if you don't get the victory."
Parker thrilled his hometown crowd with dead-eye 3-point shooting early and acrobatic plays throughout the night.
In the opening minutes of the second half, with Duke in a halfcourt set, Parker found an angle to the basket, soared through the air, grabbed Quinn Cook’s pass two feet above the rim with one hand and slammed home two points to bring the crowd to its feet.
Parker and Wiggins, the two highest-rated incoming freshman, weren’t actually on the court at the same time very often in the first half. That’s because Wiggins picked up two fouls and spent the final eight minutes of the half on the bench.
Even though he was out, Kansas played impressive half-court offense to build a 32-26 lead. The Jayhawks had 10 assists on their first 14 field goals with Embiid, their 7-foot freshman center, picking up five of them with a notable display of passing.
The basket that gave Kansas its six-point lead came with 6:29 to play in the half when Embiid spotted Ellis under the basket and fired a pass across the lane which lead to an easy basket.
Parker, though, had an even more impressive show to put on for the remainder of the half.
He scored on a strong drive to the basket and, less than a minute later, flipped the ball off the glass to score in transition to slice Kansas’ lead to 34-30. His two free throws at 3:37 to play left Duke down by two points.
With Kansas up 36-32, Parker drove the baseline but lost the ball. Teammate Josh Hairston picked it up and scored in traffic under the basket.
Parker’s next two baskets were 3-pointers, the second with 2:04 left in the half, as Duke took a 40-38 lead.
That 3-pointer, his fourth on five tries in the half, left Parker with 19 first-half points as the Blue Devils took a 42-40 lead at intermission. Parker also had five rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and an assist over the first 20 minutes.
Wiggins scored six points in his nine minutes of first-half play.
NOTES — Kansas hit 27 of 35 (77.1 percent) from the line, while the Blue Devils struggled there as they have throughout the early season, making only 16 of 28 (57.1 percent) ... Both teams shot well, Kansas connecting on 56.1 percent overall and 37.5 percent from three, while Duke was at 51.7 and 38.9, respectively ... Before the game, Duke was concerned about Kansas’ superior post size and the Jayhawks outrebounded Duke 39-24. ... Tyler Thornton and Parker both fouled out for Duke. No Kansas players fouled out.
|No. 5 KANSAS 94, No. 4 DUKE 83|
Percentages: FG .517, FT .571.
3-Point Goals: 7-18, .389 (Parker 4-7, Thornton 1-1, Hood 1-2, Sulaimon 1-3, Jones 0-1, Murphy 0-1, Cook 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 1 (Parker).
Turnovers: 10 (Hood 5, Parker 2, Cook, Jefferson, Thornton).
Steals: 5 (Thornton 2, Parker 2, Hairston).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .561, FT .771.
3-Point Goals: 3-8, .375 (Greene 1-1, Ellis 1-1, Selden, Jr. 1-2, Embiid 0-1, Wiggins 0-1, White III 0-1, Mason 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 3 (Traylor, Embiid, Wiggins).
Turnovers: 10 (Tharpe 3, Greene 2, Selden, Jr. 2, Embiid, Ellis, Wiggins).
Steals: 7 (Ellis 3, Mason 2, Tharpe, Traylor).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Mike Stuart, Brian Kersey, Ray Natili.