Charlo shows remarkable poise
Appeal Sports Writer
LAWRENCE, Kansas – The only fault coach Mark Fox really found with his team was the way it played in the second half when Kansas went to a zone defense.
“We tried to beat the zone with 3’s,” Fox said after the thrilling 72-70 win. “We took some bad shots. I felt like we could play through that. We need to be more patient.”
Center Chad Bell, who finished with two points and five rebounds, said the Jayhawks’ strategy surprised Nevada.
“We work on it a lot in practice,” Bell said. “But when they first threw the zone against us, it caught us off guard. The coaches made some adjustments for us on the sidelines and we were able to adjust.”
Nevada was 3 for 14, including a combined 1 for 9 by Mo Charlo and Marcelus Kemp. The duo got some good looks but couldn’t get the ball to drop.
POISE IN CRUNCH TIME
Charlo showed remarkable poise down the stretch at the foul line. He hit 7 of 8 attempts, all in the final 3:44 of the contest.
Trust me, shooting free throws at Allen Fieldhouse is no easy task. Either direction you are shooting into a ton of taunting fans.
“I just tried to keep my poise,” Charlo said. “The shots weren’t going down from the outside tonight, so I had to help the team in other ways.
“You know what to expect coming in. We know it’s going to be a hostile crowd. We knew they would make runs at us, and when they did we answered the bell. We were able to knock down the free throws and get the win.”
According to several writers, all of them Jayhawk beat writers, Kansas assistant coach Joe Dooley allegedly yelled a four-letter expletive at Nevada forward Nick Fazekas following the game.
None of that was mentioned by Fazekas during the post-game press conference, and Nevada media were unsuccessful in reaching Nevada officials at the team hotel.
The 35-point effort by Fazekas eclipsed his previous best of 33. It was the most by a KU opponent since Arthur Johnson of Missouri scored 37 last season.
Fazekas set opponent season-highs in points (35), field goals (13), two-pointers (11), two-point field goal attempts (16) and field goal percentage (61.9).
“He was terrific,” Fox said. “He came to play and he came to win. He made a lot of big shots and played well at both ends of the court. He’s an All-American type player.”
No doubt the 17 NBA scouts at the game probably thought so as well.
Nevada has chartered a private airplane for the ride to Stockton today. The team left from the Topeka airport.
Keith Hackett, assistant athletic director who attended the game, said it was a big expenditure, but wouldn’t divulge the cost.
As far as Fox is concerned, it’s money well spent.
“Seven thousand miles in 10 days,” he said. “The last one (leg) needs to be as efficient and effortless as possible. Lawrence to Stockton you can’t do it commercially.”
FACTS & FIGURES
Kansas is 2-3 for the first time since the 1972-73 season … Kansas coach Bill Self is 6-9 against ranked opponents while at Kansas. Self is 49-19 at Kansas and 256-124 overall … Kansas’ nine assists, five steals and 10 turnovers were all season lows … Nevada had 16 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Kansas 40-33. It was the first time the Jayhawks had been outrebounded this season … Nevada is 4-0 when leading at the half, 3-0 in games decided by 10 points or less. The Pack is 2-0 when holding opponents between 70 and 79 points … KU outscored Nevada 36-26 in the paint, but Nevada had 19 second-chance points compared to 15 for Kansas .. KU’s bench outscored Nevada 17-12, mainly because Marcelus Kemp scored a season-low 6 points … The score was tied seven times in the game and there were five lead changes.