The atmosphere was a little quieter. The opponent was new. The result was the same.
The Kansas men’s basketball team racked up another exhibition victory early Thursday morning, destroying China 93-56 in a scrimmage at the Seolwol Girls School Gymnasium in Gwangju, Korea.
It was the first on-site tuneup before the start of the World University Games basketball tournament on Friday.
Kansas coach Bill Self balanced playing time and used 11 players — everybody except injured freshman Carlton Bragg, who is recovering from a broken nose. The Jayhawks, representing the United States at the World University Games, led just 36-27 at halftime before turning the game into a blowout in the second half.
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“We played fast, so we looked pretty athletic,” Self told reporters after the game. “The biggest thing is everybody got to play. We still make the game harder for us than it actually is at certain times.”
The exhibition win came after Kansas notched two victories over Team Canada last week at the Sprint Center. Those games came in front of more than 8,000 fans in downtown Kansas City. On early Thursday morning (Thursday afternoon in Gwangju), the teams scrimmaged in a mostly empty gymnasium before the United States’ real tournament begins at 10 p.m. Friday (Central time) against Turkey inside Dongkang Gymnasium.
“If we could just get to where we guard the ball and become a better rebounding team, I think we could be pretty good,” Self said. “We don’t have the full complement of our guys but the guys who are playing are doing a really nice job. I’m happy to be around them and happy to coach them.”
Before the opener, the Jayhawks will take part in the opening ceremonies Friday inside Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium.