INDIANAPOLIS — — Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris Jr. provided a calm, steady influence to No. 6 Kansas Tuesday night. Jayhawk’s freshman Gradey Dick provided the late splash.
Together, they extended the country’s longest active winning streak.
Wilson scored a career-high 25 points, Harris dished out a career-best 10 assists and Dick made three crucial baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes to help the defending National Champions get past No. 7 Duke 69-64.
“We sometimes didn’t know where he was; we sent a missing person report in the second half,” joked interim coach Norm Roberts, referring to Dick. “But this is his first real big boy game he played in and I thought he really responded.”
Kansas is 3-0 and Roberts replaces suspended coach Bill Self, who will sit out the first four games due to a scandal in 2017. But the results remain unchanged as the Jayhawks ran their winning streak to 14.
Wilson also grabbed 11 rebounds on a night when shooting was costly.
Duke (2-1) was led by Kyle Filipowski, who scored a season-high 17 points and had 14 rebounds to become the first player in school history to record double-doubles in each of his first three games. Marvin Bagley III was the only other player to do it in his first two games.
Jeremy Roach had 16 points as new coach Jon Scheyer lost for the first time.
The young Blue Devils pushed Kansas to the brink in a game that was back and forth for most of the second half. Duke just couldn’t finish it.
“Before the game we said whoever copes better with the adversity wins and I thought they didn’t do that until late,” said Scheyer.
Still, the Blue Devils were in prime position as Filipowski’s putback 4:39 over Duke gave them a 59-54 lead.
But Kansas scored seven consecutive points to take a 61-59 lead on Dick’s 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining. Roach answered with a 3 for Duke and then Dick scored on alley-oop play with 1:40 left to give Kansas a 63-62 lead.
The Jayhawks never trailed again, finishing the game tied at 15–5.
“ Those two guys, they never gave inRoberts said. “There was never any panic and it was all led by Jalen and Dajuan.”
Duke: These Blue Devils don’t seem to be content with getting in the backseat for anyone. Despite a slow start and poor finish, they traded throughout the night with a more experienced team. At times they looked even more physical than Kansas – all promising signs for improvement.
Kansas: They survived without Self – barely this time. But the gritty Jayhawks played hard and fast and never faltered, even when the performance wasn’t great or the shots didn’t fall. Even Roberts acknowledged that sometimes winning ugly is all that’s required.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE POLL
Duke: The Blue Devils might slide a little, but not much. Especially after performances like this, just three games in a season with a freshman coach and three freshman starters.
Kansas: With No. 4 Kentucky losing earlier Tuesday and the Wildcats visiting No. 2 Gonzaga this weekend, the Jayhawks could move up a spot or two – depending on the results.
In a game of firsts, Scheyer felt his team played relatively well. It was Scheyer’s first time coaching or playing Duke’s talented freshman class outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was also their first experience against a ranked team and their first close contest. And the double overtime between Michigan State and Kentucky in Tuesday’s opener didn’t help much.
“We went out three times to warm up,” Scheyer said. “It was the first time for a lot of different things.”
Duke: Going home to play Delaware on Friday.
Kansas: Receives Southern Utah Friday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP–Top25