Michigan State needs ‘2nd half Langford and McQuaid’ to reach full potential


The freakish scene of Kentucky fans overtaking a contest between KU and No. 10-ranked Michigan State seemed fitting of a peculiar debut for the new-look and top-ranked Jayhawks, who muscled their way to a 17-point lead with 11:53 to play, almost blew it thanks to a toxic mix of missed free throws and defensive lapses, but nevertheless escaped with a 92-87 victory. Freshman wing Tyler Herro added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Barrett's dunk with 16:11 remaining made it 72-47, Alex O'Connell's 3-pointer with 11:45 remaining made it 91-54 and Duke topped the 100-point mark on another dunk by Barrett with 7:36 left.

Both Barrett and Williamson surpassed Marvin Bagley III's program record for points by a freshman in his debut at 25.

After making it 59-42 at halftime, Duke kept pulling away throughout the second half. Grimes and Dotson each made one of two free throws to make it a two-possession game with under 20 seconds left to bolster the Jayhawks to a win.

In the frontcourt, Udoka Azubuike and transfer Dedric Lawson set the tone defensively and controlled the boards for most of the game.

KU ended the game with 21 assists on its 31 made field goals.

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Tuesday night's Champions Classic was as impressive of a premiere as college basketball could have hoped for.

Before we get to Dahntay's words.

Bill Self's squad has a few tough matchups ahead, but their next game against a ranked team will come on Saturday, December 15 when they welcome the No. 9 ranked Villanova Wildcats. "It's just one game and I understand that We've got a shot at seeing a basketball team that can go undefeated". And if you foul, I'm taking you out. "We know what we have". And the rest of the Jayhawks who played did just enough to help KU race past Michigan State, 92-87, at the Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. There's a lot of things, especially Devon, can do, in transition.

Michigan State was led by Joshua Langford with 18 points and Kenny Goins, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Both players still have a chance to be success stories in the National Basketball Association, especially if they can both overcome their defensive woes.

Quentin Grimes scored 21 points, buoyed by a 6-for-7 start from beyond the arc. Also, the 118 points are the most by the Blue Devils against a team from a major conference since a 120-84 home win over UCLA in 1998. The Jayhawks never trailed in the second half. It's always important to avoid overreaction and one game is no answer to how a player will perform all season, but this gave us insight on how the freshmen perform against their first game with legit competition.