Thursday’s box score
No. 10 Kansas 77, Oklahoma St. 70, OT
Percentages: FG .379, FT .737. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (Forte, III 4-12, Smart 1-4, Brown 1-4, Hammonds 0-1). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 5 (Brown 2, Smart 2, Nash). Steals: 7 (Brown 3, Smart 2, Forte, III, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .472, FT .759. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Wiggins 3-6, Mason 1-1, Selden, Jr. 1-5, Ellis 0-1, Greene 0-1, Tharpe 0-3). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 5 (Traylor 2, Wiggins, Selden, Jr., Lucas). Turnovers: 14 (Wiggins 5, Traylor 2, Greene 2, Selden, Jr. 2, Tharpe 2). Steals: 4 (Wiggins 3, Tharpe). Technical Fouls: None.
A—18,972. Officials—Mark Whitehead, Tom Eades, Kipp Kissinger.
Embiid injury not “too serious”
Joel Embiid’s father, Thomas, said Thursday that his son’s back injury wasn’t “too serious.”
“It’s improving,” Thomas Embiid said. “Hopefully he can come back soon.”
Thomas Embiid and Joel’s mother, Christine, traveled to Kansas City this weekend from their native Cameroon. Thomas Embiid plans to travel back to Cameroon but would like to return to see Kansas play in the NCAA Tournament.
Embiid’s father said he was pleased with the way Kansas and coach Bill Self had handled his son’s back issues. He also downplayed Embiid’s looming decision to potentially enter the NBA Draft after his freshman season, saying his son would make his decision after the season.
Self experimented with his rotations on Thursday, playing freshman wing Brannen Greene at the four spot while employing a small lineup in the second half. The Jayhawks were facing foul trouble — Perry Ellis and Tarik Black both had four fouls — and post depth was a question mark with Embiid on the sideline. Greene missed his only three-point shot while committing two turnovers, but the lineup stole some minutes before Ellis and Black returned in the final minutes.
“I thought it was effective,” Greene said. “I just didn’t hit the shot. But I easily got wide-open looks.”
The Jayhawks have played small at some points this year, but Greene said he got his first work as a pick-and-pop four-man during practice this week.
“It’s an option,” Greene said. “We lose a big man at the position, and depth is cut a little short at that big-man position.”
• Freshman Andrew Wiggins’ 71 points in two games are the most by a Jayhawk in consecutive games since KU began tracking the statistics in the 1988-89 season. Sherron Collins, who had 57 points in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament in 2009, held the previous mark. Wiggins has 552 points, 37 shy of Ben McLemore’s freshman record of 589 set last season.
• Kansas senior Tarik Black had a season-high 12 rebounds, including 11 on the defensive end. His 26 minutes were also the second most he’s played this season. "He rebounds the ball like a monster,” Wiggins said. “He’s a monster."