Vick's career night leads veteran-heavy KU attack in 84-68 win over Vermont

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) puts up a three over Vermont guard Ernie Duncan (20) during the first half, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

If it’s an identity the second-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team is seeking, the Jayhawks may have found it Monday night.

Their veterans will lead them.

Six days after watching an all-freshman backcourt lead the team to victory on the bright lights, big city stage at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis, a couple of old heads helped Kansas survive a legitimate scare from a good Vermont team, 84-68, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Coming off of one of the worst games of his career — 2 points in 32 monk-quiet minutes in Indianapolis — KU senior Lagerald Vick went nuts in this one and wasted little time getting started.

The senior from Memphis surpassed his game total from last week in the first 24 seconds of the game and didn’t come close to stopping there.

By game’s end, Vick had set a school record for most 3-point makes without a miss — 8-for-8, passing Ben McLemore and Rex Walters, who each once shot 6-for-6 — and set a new career high with 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting.

Two of his 12 makes came with a toe on the line, and the two shots he missed nearly went down, as well.

“He was great,” KU coach Bill Self said after the victory. “I don’t think I’ve ever coached a better offensive performance. Ever.”

KU hasn’t had many of them.

Vick’s explosive night left him with the second-most 3-pointers ever made by a Kansas player in a single game, tying Mario Chalmers and Billy Thomas for second place behind “Downtown” Terry Brown’s 11 3-pointer effort against North Carolina State back in 1991.

The last time Vick left the gym with a career high, it came in a losing effort against Washington last season on a night the Huskies basically begged him to score.

Vermont (1-1) was not trying to give Vick the same treatment on Monday night, but there was little they could do to stop him.

“Vick was unbelievable tonight,” Vermont coach John Becker said. “Sometimes, you just have to tip your hat to a guy.”

While so many of Vick’s points came from behind the 3-point arc — one 3 came after he passed up a wide-open look at the top of the key, only to get it back from Quentin Grimes (10 assists) on the wing for yet another pure swish — the KU senior also flashed an ability to score inside.

His knifing dunk in transition with 9:17 to play cut the Vermont lead to 26-20 and looked personal, as if he were taking it on himself to bring the Jayhawks back from the early deficit. And the alley-oop he flushed with 7:00 to play was all about style. Both sent the Allen Fieldhouse crowd into a frenzy.

Vick, who said his dud against Michigan State “definitely” motivated him to bounce back on Monday night, added that he had no indication before the game began that he would have such a hot shooting night. But it did not take him long to figure it out.

“It was really after the first one,” Vick said. “I just heard coach say, ‘Keep shooting the ball.’ My coaches just told me to let it go.”

Related document

Box score: Kansas 84, Vermont 68 ( .PDF )

Doing that was made easier by the fact that Kansas (2-0) kept feeding junior center Udoka Azubuike in the post and Azubuike made Vermont pay nearly every time.

In 34 minutes, Azubuike shot 10-of-17 from the floor (eight of them dunks) and finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and an assist of sorts to Vick.

“Those two carried us tonight,” Self said of Vick and Azubuike. “The advantage we had on them was throwing the ball to Dok. They didn’t have anybody who could match up. … He went after the ball, rebounding, like a man tonight.”

For 25 minutes or so, Kansas absolutely needed both of them, as Vermont played most of the first half with the lead and was still within six points five minutes into the second half.

But back-to-back jumpers from Vick and two more deep 3-pointers a few possessions later turned a 46-40 game into a 59-45 Kansas lead.

Dok and his dunks and the Kansas crowd carried things home from there.

The 23 points and 11 rebounds were just three points and two rebounds off of career highs for Azubuike, but he was not at all concerned about himself or his numbers after this one. He was happy for his buddy, the lone senior, who, like him, came back for one more run.

And he was even happier that his presence inside could make things easier for Vick on the perimeter.

“I take a lot of pride in that,” Azubuike said. “I’m really happy for him and the improvement he has made over the years. Last game, he didn’t really play like he wanted to, and in this game, he really made a big difference.”

Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night for a 7 p.m. tipoff with Louisiana.

Comments

Dirk Medema

Any other night we might be talking about Grimes going for scorer to facilitator. A double-double with 10 assists is a great game. A little surprised to see no assists for Dotson.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dan Philipps

I felt bad for Vick tonight. Vick was ON FIRE and he got a total of 8 looks from 3 point land. It was one of the best shooting exhibitions I've seen from a Kansas player in the last 25 years, and I don't think Bill Self even called a play for him. The optimist would say that he made all of his shots (well most of them) in the flow of the offense, but I'm going to say that Bill Self did Vick a complete disservice against Vermont. Vick should have had the green light from the 19:11 mark in the first half after he hit that 'heat check' pull up 3. Come on Bill Self, it took you another 6:13 to get him another opportunity? To make matters worse, another 6 minutes passed until he got his 4th look of the 1st half?

What is going on here? They should have been spoon feeding Vick until he at least missed a couple in a row. I hate to say it, but if anyone on Duke was that hot, they would have probably broken the NCAA record (which stands at 15).

Here are Vick's shot attempts compared to Klay Thompson who broke the NBA record for 3 pointers in a game a few weeks ago. Thompson broke the record in 3 quarters and immediately went to the bench when he hit number 14. Look at how they kept feeding Thompson throughout the game (except when he was resting). It's obvious he went record hunting at the end when he missed 4 in a row, but at that point, who cares. The longest he went without an attempt was about 2 minutes .... Self put Vick in the cooler/freezer for over 6 minutes four times throughout the game! That is criminal.

I will always wonder if Vick could have broken the NCAA record of 15 tonight (which would have been a stretch), but he definitely should have had the opportunity to break KU's record of 11 (although I loved Downtown Terry Brown). Shame on you Bill Self ... And don't get me started on having to spoon feed Azubuike every night because he can't make a shot more than 1 foot from the basket.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Mike Stewart

Clearly, it is time to fire Bill Self.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Ashwin Rao

Love your sarcasm font!

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jerry Walker

Whew...spewing that diatribe over a 16pt win reveals one thing...a spoiled rotten fan.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jack Hoff

Pretty sure I just lost a few brain cells reading that. jeeeez

10 months, 1 week ago

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Mike Johns

Mr. Philipps, You are missing the point - This game was not about setting a personal shooting record - who cares.
Do you understand why Vick was 8-8? He was unguarded. why? Because DOK was throwing down. When you are sometimes triple teaming the big man down low, someone better knock those shots down.
Kudos to Vick - what a night.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Marius Rowlanski

You're correct but 8-8 is the new BIG 12 record for most made 3s without a miss. Also, I think you missed the sarcasm...

10 months, 1 week ago

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John Strayer

Did you miss Vick's quote about coach telling him to keep shooting??

10 months, 1 week ago

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Shannon Gustafson

So you think he should have had the "green light" to shoot but Vick in this very article it says Vick said. “I just heard coach say, ‘Keep shooting the ball.’ My coaches just told me to let it go.” Seems you must have forgot to read the article before commenting?

10 months, 1 week ago

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RJ King

Dan, in addition to Mike's intelligent comment (and the ones about Vick already having a green light), there's another factor.

Steph, Klay, and Draymond have been playing together for 6-7 years now, and are around 30 years old. That's around 800-some games. Add KD for another hundred or two games for the Warriors current core.

By contrast, this is the SECOND actual game where this young Kansas group has played together - and with most of the assists expected to come from the newbies (not Dok). Golden State can afford to mess around with their offense for a night, then get back to running plays the next. Not so sure we'd want to disrupt an offense that hasn't even jelled yet.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dan Philipps

LaGerald Vick 8/8

1st Half

19:35 - Make

19:11 - Make

12:58 - Make

6:57 - Make

2nd Half

13:35 - Make

12:32 - Make

11:21 - Make

3:38 - Make

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dan Philipps


Klay Thompson 14/24

1st Qtr

9:50 - Make

9:07 - Make

8:40 - Make

8:05 - Miss

4:30 - Make

2:57 - Make

2:25 - Make

2nd Qtr

8:17 - Make

7:00 - Make

6:11 - Miss

5:11 - Make

4:35 - Miss

2:50 - Make

1:22 - Miss

3rd Qtr

9:41 - Make

8:40 - Miss

8:03 - Make

7:31 - Miss

7:12 - Make

6:50 - Miss

6:35 - Miss

6:17 - Miss

5:10 - Miss

4:53 - Make

To the bench

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jeff Coffman

The important question is whether the shot was taken at 7:12 or whether it went through the basket at 7:12.

Without that context this is meaningless.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Really? I think you are over-thinking this. It is obviously pointing out the time when the shot was taken.

No need to point out when the missed shots never went through the basket.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dan Philipps

Top 3 point performances at KU.

Rank FGs 3-pt/3-pt FGAs Player Pos Class Date Opponent

1 11/17 Terry Brown G Sr 1-5-91 North Carolina State

2 8/11 Billy Thomas G Sr 1-10-98 Texas

3 7/8 Kirk Hinrich G Sr 1-4-03 Missouri-Kansas City

3 7/9 Jeff Boschee G So 3-9-00 Kansas State

3 7/9 Terry Brown G Sr 1-10-91 Maryland-Baltimore County

3 7/10 Terry Brown G Sr 11-23-90 Arizona State

3 7/10 Terry Brown G Jr 12-9-89 Kentucky

3 7/12 J.R. Giddens G Fr 2-21-04 Iowa State

3 7/12 Jerod Haase G So 1-23-95 Nebraska

10 months, 1 week ago

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Eric Eakins

Can't figure out if you are auditioning for Vick's agent or Keegan's vacancy.

10 months, 1 week ago

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W Keith Swinehart II

Close call.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jeff Coffman

So this 3 point performance isn't in your top ten?

10 months, 1 week ago

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Bryce Landon

Someone said last week that it looked like LaGerald didn't want to be at KU after his no-show against MSU. Well, it's clear he wants to be here now after last night's game! What a great night for LaGerald! And good thing, too, considering Dedric couldn't buy a bucket and how poorly the defense played in the first half.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Phil Leister

Can we please talk about the serious lack of Rock Chalk chant at Allen Fieldhouse? It was weak all last season, and virtually non-existent last night. I don't get it. That's one of the harrowing, intimidating aspects the Fieldhouse is known for.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dane Pratt

Did I see empty seats in the closing minutes?

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jack Beckett

I missed it too. what's up?

10 months, 1 week ago

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Tony Bandle

Ditto...WTF!!!!!

10 months, 1 week ago

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Gordon Penny

I, also, was wondering why Vick was not getting the ball more in the second half. There were a lot of dribble drives by other players ignoring Vick. I was sad because I thought Vick could keep lighting it up.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Eric Eakins

Freshmen not putting team over self. Coach will work this out over time, or the older teammates will work it out.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Jeff Coffman

KU has a lot of team dynamics, running sets, and learning the offense, this is game 2 in which 3 people are really playing their first minutes as starters. Bill Self has been known for letting his players figure it out, so he can evaluate and improve the team for the long run. This is why we play Vermont early.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Kit Duncan

The chant (a weak one at that) seemed to start around the time Kansas got the rebound for its last possession to end the game. Up by at least five possessions with a minute to go, you would think the students would have started it by then!

10 months, 1 week ago

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Michael Maris

I really enjoyed watching LaGerald Vick have a career high scoring game.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Clarence Haynes

Last year Vick was the "three pointer in waiting" behind Svi and Devonte. It is his time now! Happy for him!

10 months, 1 week ago

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Tracey Graham

The goal is to win the game. Not worry about an individual player setting an individual record. Vick had a great performance. Good for him. But hopefully he cares more about KU beating a very stubborn Vermont squad (it's easy to see why Vermont has dominated its conference the last couple seasons) than he does about getting x number of shots or setting a record.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Dan Philipps

I completely understand what you are saying ... But when Azubuike is averaging 1.35 points per attempt and Vick is averaging 2.29 per attempt (both on high volume), wouldn't it make sense to run MORE plays for the person converting at almost twice the rate? This is simple math.

Bill Self is so good at running both the high/low offense and the drive/kick, I just feel like he should have told those guys to feed the Senior and I'm pretty sure it would have ended up as a record setting performance.

My first post up here in probably 10 years and I get grilled ... You've got to love the forums! Who ever posted the Keegan / Agent comment, that was actually a really good one! :)

Regardless, most of you provide great insights on the game and I enjoy reading the posts. Keep it up.

On a separate note ... Weak Rock Chalk chants? Now THAT is a disturbing trend.

10 months, 1 week ago

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Bryce Landon

Fans on this forum can get pretty vicious if you don't mindlessly conform to their groupthink approach to being Jayhawk fans. Don't take any notice of them, Dan; you'll likely never meet them in person, and you don't need to live for their approval anyway.

10 months, 1 week ago

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