It was all the Kansas Jayhawks from start to finish in an impressive performance over another top-15 team.
1. Dajuan Harris changed this game
When you look at Dajuan Harris’ stat line on the season, there isn’t much to drool over, with his averages of 7.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.3 steals. His impact on the court goes so much further than that though, especially on the defensive end. He limits the opponents’ point guard, making it difficult for teams to set up their offense and as a result limit their scoring ability. Today, the talented Indiana freshman shot 2-11 with five turnovers.
He was terrific on offense as well, scoring 10 points and adding 8 assists to that total. Dajuan is the difference maker between a good team and a championship contender, and this game in a national spotlight will help people understand that.
2. KJ Adams steps up
Getting a game started is tough for many teams, especially in a top-15 environment. KJ Adams, who averages a modest 8 points a game, scored the first seven for Kansas basketball and allowed them to take control early on. He also did a tremendous job on the Indiana big men Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, who combined to go 7-14 on the day, but many of those were later in the game when it was out of reach.
The Kansas Jayhawks were really hoping KJ Adams would be able to take this jump after losing a lot of their frontcourt from last year, and he did that tonight in a situation where they needed him to. If he can do this in Big 12 play consistently, it will be extremely difficult on Kansas’ opponents.
3. All eyes turn toward Xavier Johnson
Unfortunately for Indiana, starting guard Xavier Johnson left the game late in the first half with a foot injury. While everyone is hoping he will be ok, if he has to miss a long period of time, they will need the rest of their guards to step up. Hood-Schifino has missed several games already this season, and Tamar Bates shot 2-of-8 in this game.
They’ll need to rely a lot on underclassmen guard play if the injury is serious, something a team like Indiana really can’t afford.
Kansas basketball (10-1) will take on Harvard as their next opponent, while Indiana (8-3) gets a much-needed buy game against Elon.