In the moments after Kansas’ 82-67 victory over Oregon State on Saturday, Kansas Bill Self offered a window into his constantly in-flux frontcourt rotation. Self admitted once again that he was still trying to figure out which KU big men deserve minutes next to power forward Perry Ellis. Saturday’s performance may not have offered a final solution, but it may have provided some ideas.
In the second half, Self streamlined his frontcourt rotation and rolled with Ellis, senior Hunter Mickelson and freshman Carlton Bragg. The results were positive, and after the game, Self wondered aloud whether less could be more in the frontcourt.
“I’m as excited about anything, for me to figure out exactly how to play and how to sub,” Self said. “Because to be candid with you, it varies from game to game. And I think guys, if they know (how much they’re going to play), they would probably get in a better rhythm.”
With the rotation cut down, Jamari Traylor (two minutes), Landen Lucas (six minutes) and Cheick Diallo (seven minutes) all sat in the second half. Self said he stuck with Mickelson because of his activity level in the first half, and he went with Bragg over Diallo as a matter of feel.
Earlier this week, Self said he wanted to get an extended look at Mickelson, who had played limited minutes during November. To this point, Mickelson has not done anything to hurt his cause, Self said.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Self said. “We were looking at the stats (at halftime) and (we saw), ‘Well, he did get three rebounds in four minutes, he did get a blocked shot. At least there’s activity, where there wasn’t activity with some others.’ So the whole thing with me was, let’s give him a chance.”
Mickelson finished with seven points and six rebounds in 14 minutes. He also had two blocks.
“He was good,” Self added. “He was one of the main reasons we got off to a good start the second half. I thought he did well. He certainly hasn’t done anything to disappoint at all.”
Selden on a roll
After hitting 5 of 8 from three-point range on Saturday, junior guard Wayne Selden is now shooting 60 percent (30 of 50) from three on the season. As a team, the Jayhawks are shooting 46.9 percent from deep for the season.
“He’s on a roll, and he’s playing at a high level,” Self said of Selden. “But it’s a little bit like — that’s how he played in Korea. He was good like that in Korea, for the most part. It’s fun to watch when a kid has confidence and he thinks everything is going in.”
Home away from home
Kansas improved to 28-6 all-time at the Sprint Center and 213-80 in Kansas City. The announced attendance was 18,612.