Bill Self phoned his long-time coaching buddy/former Big Ten rival Mike Davis on Tuesday.
“I said, ‘Hey man, are you going to bust us for 16 threes again like you did in 2002?’” Self said. He was referring to current Texas Southern coach Davis’ 2001-02 Indiana squad sinking a school-record 17 threes in a 31-point rout of Self’s Illinois Fighting Illini on Jan. 26, 2002 in Bloomington, Ind.
“Their guys made 16 of 21 threes against us. I reminded him of that,” Self added of Davis.
Davis, whose Hoosiers actually went 17 of 27 from three versus Illinois in that game, jokingly said Self’s Tuesday call “jinxed” his Texas Southern Tigers, who were clobbered by Self’s Kansas Jayhawks, 114-71, amid a barrage of three-pointers Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
“It was funny,” Davis said of Self’s phone call that preceded a game in which KU knocked down a KU school-record 19 threes in 36 attempts — the most attempts from beyond the arc by the Jayhawks in a single game.
“I said, ‘Coach, let’s try to keep it under 40 (point margin) tonight.’ He (Self) said, ‘Last time we played you hit all those threes.’ He got the 19 threes today,” Davis added.
Self’s Jayhawks, who hit 8 of 28 threes in a four-point victory over Kentucky on Nov. 14 and entered Tuesday’s game shooting 39.8 percent from behind the arc, came out firing early and often — and with accuracy — as KU scored the second-most points in a game in the 15-year Self era. KU scored 123 points against Chaminade in 2015.
KU (4-0), which was led by Svi Mykhailiuk’s five threes and 21 points, shattered the record of 16 threes set against Baylor on Jan. 25, 2005 in Waco, Texas.
“I was told that after the game. I couldn’t be happier. I think we should celebrate for a week,” Self said jokingly about the three-point record. “My reaction is we made shots. That doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Malik Newman had four threes for 12 points, while Lagerald Vick hit three and scored 19 points. Devonté Graham made three threes and scored 17 points and Marcus Garrett also made three threes and scored 13 points. Udoka Azubuike finished with 20 points and nine boards for KU while Mitch Lightfoot had 10 points and four blocks.
Vick, Mykhailiuk and Newman each hit three threes in the first half as KU, which led 66-30 at the break, also set a school-record for threes in a half by canning 12.
The old record was nine threes in a half set on seven occasions.
The Jayhawks tied a school-record for three-point attempts in a half with 20 before halftime. KU also attempted 20 in a half against Alcorn State in December 2009. KU’s 36 attempts from three for the game broke the mark of 34 tries against Alcorn in that same game.
“The ball moved. What did we have, 16 assists, two turnovers the first half?” Self asked the media.
He was correct about those first-half stats. For the game KU had 27 assists to seven miscues.
“Everything looks good when you make shots. We made shots,” Self said.
Self concedes that offensively the game was a thing of beauty.
“Malik took maybe two bad shots the first half. I’m not sure we took any bad shots for the most part,” Self said. “I thought Devonté and Lagerald had good games. Marcus shot it well. It was fun to watch.”
KU filled the stat sheet on Tuesday. Graham had 11 assists and six rebounds, while Vick had 10 rebounds and seven assists. Garrett had 11 rebounds to go with his 13 points.
“It was good to see a couple shots fall,” said senior guard Graham, who hit 6 of 16 shots and was 3 of 8 from three. “We shot the ball really well tonight. We shared it. We were good defensively.”
KU held Texas Southern to 36.6 percent shooting and 12 of 32 from three.
Of the school-record threes, Graham said: “I feel every year something happens where we break a record or coach gets a record, passes people. We have great tradition. It’s great to be part of something special like a record.”
Demontrae Jefferson, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard who returned after a two-game suspension, led Texas Southern (0-5) with 24 points. Trayvon Reed had 19 points and 14 boards.
Billy Preston update
KU once again played without freshman forward Billy Preston, who has not entered a game this season as KU’s compliance office looks into the financial picture regarding the vehicle Preston has been driving on campus.
“No, same as earlier today,” Self said, asked if there was any progress toward Preston becoming eligible.
Asked if there was “hope for Billy (to become cleared to play in games),” Self said, “Yeah I think so. I think so.”
▪ As far as 6-foot-9 IMG Academy senior Silvio De Sousa perhaps playing for KU second semester, Self said De Sousa hasn’t been cleared for participation in college yet. “He’s still got some work to do. Hopefully it’s moving in a good direction there.” De Sousa plans on graduating in December and heading to KU to help cure some of KU’s front-court depth problems the second half of the 2017-18 season.