Kansas freshman wing Kelly Oubre played a season-high 16 minutes Wednesday, finishing with seven points and five rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 75-70 victory over Georgetown.
It was perhaps the latest step that Oubre, a McDonald’s All-American, is starting to settle into a role. And according to KU coach Bill Self, that role could be evolving.
Self said after the game that he would like to play the 6-foot-7 Oubre more at the four. On Wednesday, those minutes were more open because junior Jamari Traylor was serving a one-game suspension after being arrested in Lawrence last weekend for interfering with the duties of a police officer.
“We’re going to start playing him some at the four — maybe make him a bad matchup four,” Self said of Oubre. “The biggest thing is he’s got his hands on some loose balls a lot. He’s one of those guys that can get in the paint off the bounce and pick up a loose ball and score the ball off that.
“He’s not a guy that you’re going to play to, shooting threes every possession like Brannen (Greene), but he could be a lockdown defender eventually, and he’s got such great length.”
▪ Before the game, Georgetown became the first college basketball team to don the now-famous “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warmups. The black shirts, which have been worn by many NBA players and teams, pay tribute to Eric Garner, the New York City man who died in July after a police officer put him in a chokehold following an arrest for selling individual cigarettes.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III said his team had discussed doing something over the past week.
“We didn’t wear the shirts to say that the cops were wrong or the system was wrong,” Georgetown center Josh Smith said. “It was just to show our condolences to the family because, no matter how you look at it, we don’t know who was right or wrong but they still lost somebody and they won’t get that person back.”
Kansas coach Bill Self said he was impressed by the gesture.
“It’s a pretty strong stance, but I think it’s pretty good,” Self said. “Certainly, it shows a lot of solidarity amongst their unit, and I don’t see anything negative with it at all.”
▪ Kansas freshman guard Devonte’ Graham, who played 18 minutes, tweaked an ankle on Wednesday, but should be fine moving forward, Self said.
Key play: KU’s Frank Mason made a layup in the final seconds for a 34-32 lead.
Key stat: Georgetown had 10 turnovers at the half.
Key play: Brannen Greene hit a three with fewer than 3 minutes remaining that gave KU a 68-63 lead.
Key stat: The Jayhawks hit 10 threes in the game.
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