LAWRENCE — Six days after an early-season statement from Kansas in the Champions Classic, the individual accolades are rolling in.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
Kansas sophomore forward Perry Ellis shared Big 12 player of the week honors with Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim on Monday after finishing with a career-high 24 points in the Jayhawks’ 94-83 victory over Duke last Tuesday in the Champions Classic in Chicago.
Freshman Andrew Wiggins added Big 12 newcomer of the week honors after scoring 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 25 minutes. Wiggins, who battled foul trouble for most of the game, took over in the final minutes, hitting a baseline jumper and finishing a dunk that sealed the game for KU.
Ellis finished nine of 13 from the floor, including one three-pointer, and pulled down nine rebounds while keeping Kansas in the game before the Jayhawks pulled away in the final minutes.
KU coach Bill Self wasn’t necessarily surprised by Ellis, who had displayed flashes of such potential during the end of his freshman season. But Self said Monday he was pleased that Ellis’ night could serve as confirmation of his maturity and development, especially against another top team.
“I do think he needed that game,” Self said, “because that game was a game against guys that I think, in his mind, would give him confidence if he has success.
“Perry got 24 (points), but Jabari (Parker) got 27. Perry didn’t guard him all the time, but we’ve definitely got to tighten up a few things. But those were two good players going against each other; there’s no question. I bet both those guys definitely have the other one’s respect without question on their skill set and how they play because they were both very, very good.”
Ejim, a 6-foot-6 senior forward who, like Wiggins, hails from the Toronto area, helped Iowa State take down No. 7 Michigan on Sunday, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes.
No. 5 Kansas returns to the court on Tuesday night against Iona at Allen Fieldhouse.
To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/rustindodd.