Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Graham Provides Energy with 7-for-7 Outing

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Graham Provides Energy with 7-for-7 Outing

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Maybe basketball at Kansas is just this simple ... at least in Big 12 play.

Appear before the media and concede that your game has been off, that you need to make plays for others and your coach has admonished you for playing too passive.

Presto, you get off the bench, take your man into the paint, make contested shots, provide your team some first-half separation with 3- pointers, dish the ball to teammates and score 20 points. All this after contributing just 17 points the previous seven games.

In tripping TCU, 81-72, on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, freshman point guard Devonte' Graham received a hearty welcome back as a contributor for the first-place Jayhawks in the Big 12 chase.

"Whenever you see the ball go through the hoop it always boosts your confidence," Graham said. "I've just got to stay aggressive from here on out and play the same way. That was just my mindset from talking to coach. I hit a couple of shots and I kept attacking."

Seven shots, to be precise, were launched by Graham. He made them all.

"I didn't even know that until I got to the locker room," said Graham, who looked at his perfect line from the field and conceded: "That might have a little to do with luck."

Not entirely.

TCU defenders were cautioned about the No. 8 Jayhawks' effectiveness when their point guards drive to the basket. Still, it was no surprise to Horned Frogs coach Trent Johnson that Graham erupted for a career high off his flawless shooting, some off tough attempts against TCU defender Trey Zeigler.

"The last time I checked, you don't come to Kansas unless you can play," Johnson said.

For coach Bill Self, getting such performances often requires players on this particular KU team to get off to good starts. Or do something positive on the offensive end. …

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