LAWRENCE | After being outscored by three points in the second half of their first exhibition win, the Kansas Jayhawks finished the job on Tuesday night against Emporia State by outscoring the Hornets by 19 in the second half of a 103-58 victory.
While KU coach Bill Self was surely glad to see his team awake for the entire 40 minutes, it really wouldn’t have mattered if the Jayhawks decided to snooze for the final 20 after their hot-shooting first half.
KU center Cole Aldrich, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, barely played in the second half after putting together a dominant first. In fact, if Self could draw up a perfect stat line for Aldrich, it would have to look something like Aldrich’s contribution in leading the Jayhawks to a 56-30 halftime lead: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and – most importantly — no fouls in 14 minutes.
Aldrich could hardly miss in the first half, knocking down 7 of 8 shots. The Jayhawks followed his lead, making 24 of 30 attempts for a slightly unrealistic 80 percent from the field. So much for struggling on offense with a young team early in the season.
Sherron Collins led KU with 22 effortless points, matching his total from the Washburn exhibition win. Brady Morningstar and Marcus Morris added 13 and 11, respectively.
Aldrich showed an ability to score in a variety of ways: He dunked twice, hit two 15-footers from the top of the key, nailed a turnaround jumper and threw in a basket off a couple of pump-fakes for good measure.