Cheick Diallo’s encore performance was slightly more muted. Four days after scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds in his season debut, Diallo played just seven minutes in Kansas’ 75-69 victory over Harvard.
In a game that was closer than expected, Kansas coach Bill Self rode veteran big man Landen Lucas in the second half, opting for his rebounding and defense against Harvard big man Zena Edosomwan.
“Landen was our best big,” Self said. “So I love Cheick, but Cheick couldn’t guard No. 4 as well as Landen.”
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Diallo finished with four points and hit 1 of 5 from the floor. He also grabbed two rebounds and had one block.
Fellow freshman Carlton Bragg also saw his playing time squeezed. Bragg played just nine minutes and had two points.
“You go two for eight, and you’re not great defensively and things like that, and the majority of the shots are in there pretty tight,” Self said, speaking of Diallo and Bragg. “They had some opportunities. But probably the game situation is the only reason why they didn’t play more. We decided to go with three bigs the second half, for the most part.”
Those three big men were Lucas, Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor. Senior forward Hunter Mickelson also played just two minutes. Lucas finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
“We’re were struggling a little bit,” said Lucas, who returned after missing last game with a sprained toe. “So I went in there and tried to guard (Edosomwan) and get as many rebounds as I possibly could.”
Selden gets into foul trouble
In hindsight, Self said he would have kept junior guard Wayne Selden on the bench with two fouls in the first half. Selden, who picked up two early fouls, returned late in the first half and picked up his third foul. He picked up his fourth foul in the second half and was limited to just 22 minutes.
After the game, Self said he went to Selden during the first half, asking if he could trust him not to foul.
“He said ‘yes’,” Self said, “and then he goes out and there makes a silly foul.”
Former Kansas women’s basketball great Lynette Woodard was honored Saturday during the first half.
Woodard, the all-time scoring leader in KU women’s history, made a rare public appearance at Allen Fieldhouse, where she once starred for former Kansas women’s coach Marian Washington. Woodard was honored this year by the Atlanta Tip-off club as a “Naismith Outstanding Contributor” to the game of basketball.