#1 Jayhawks Defend Preseason Ranking vs. Michigan State
By Harpreet Singh Ocean
#1 Kansas 92 v #10 Michigan St 87
Kansas is the preseason #1 ranked team in the nation.
The mix of young, explosive talent and strong, smart upperclassmen came to send a message to any blue devils that believe their ranking is undeserved.
Quentin Grimes made his Kansas debut one to remember. He left no doubt as to why he was a top 10 recruit in this freshman class as he hit six three’s on his way to 21 points with 4 assists.
Grimes scoring lead was followed by the experienced frontcourt tandem of Dedric Lawson and Udoka Azubuike, who put up 20 points & 17 points, respectively, and fellow freshman backcourt mate Devon Dotson’s 16.
Azubuike, a draft hopeful last year, returned to school and showed to be a force in the paint (standing 7-1 270 pounds) although only grabbing 3 rebounds due to Lawson grabbing 13 of them himself. It is scary to see Lawson, on a bad shooting night, fill the stat sheet and prove significant to his team.
The Jayhawks have a forceful, fluid offensive attack, much of this is credited to Lawson’s passing ability, one that Dick Vitale said is among the best in program history.
Michigan St had some fight in them which kept the score close, though Kansas was the better team all night. The Spartan’s offense was not so fluid and much of it looked forced, foul trouble from Ward and Langford gave the Jayhawks even more of an advantage. Kenny Goins and Joshua Langford had to keep Michigan St in the game with willful scoring and Cassius Winston showed that he is the most valuable player on the team. Nothing would work offensively without Winston running the show at point.