The Kansas Jayhawks had little trouble with their exhibition tilt against Fort Hays State on Wednesday night, burying the Tigers with a 73=55 win in their final tune-up before regular-season play begins.
Senior guard Kevin McCullar led the way for the Jayhawks in win, scoring a game-high 21 points on 6-of-10 from the floor, including a 4-of-8 performance from three and another 5-of-7 at the free throw line. He tacked on six rebounds and a game-high three steals in the win.
It was the first appearance in Allen Fieldhouse for KU’s large crop of newcomers, headlined by senior center Hunter Dickinson. The preseason Big 12 Player of the Year made his presence felt early, scoring eight of the Jayhawks’ first 10 points in the win. FHSU didn’t have much of an answer the rest of the night for the Michigan transfer, either, as Dickinson finished with a double-double, racking up 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Junior forward K.J. Adams was the only other double-figure scorer for KU, pouring in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the victory.
The Jayhawks got almost whatever they wanted in the paint, going 12-of-13 on layups and 18-of-25 (72%) on all two-point shots as a team. Three pointers, a concern entering this season for the top-ranked team in the country, were a bugaboo against the Tigers just like they were Sunday in KU’s scrimmage loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini. Kansas shot just 6-of-28 from beyond the arc, and McCullar was the only Jayhawk to make more than one.
Fort Hays State was stifled by the KU defense, shooting just 33.3% for the game. Elijah Nnanabu was the top scorer for the Tigers with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the losing effort.
With Wednesday’s exhibition in the rearview, next up for Kansas is its season opener Monday night against the North Carolina Central Eagles. That game is set for a 7:00 p.m. start time in Lawrence.
For more on the Kansas Jayhawks’ 39-32 win over the Fort Hays State Tigers, check out 580 Sports Talk Thursday from 2-6 on 580 WIBW.