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Jayhawks clobber Puerto Rico select team, 106-71

KU kicks off exhibition tour in style, will face Bahamian national team in next 2 games

3 min read
KU's starting five huddles during Thursday's win over a Puerto Rican select team in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [Kansas Athletics photo]

Nick Timberlake got the start, a few players got their first buckets as Kansas Jayhawks and KU picked up an easy win in the first of three games in Puerto Rico on Thursday.

With Timberlake in the lineup as part of KU’s backcourt, the Jayhawks rolled past a select squad from Puerto Rico in San Juan, 106-71 on Thursday afternoon.

Newcomer Arterio Morris was dubbed the player of the game, with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Morris, who transferred to Kansas from Texas in the offseason, was a menace on the defensive end of the floor, teaming with Dajuan Harris Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr. to create several turnovers that led to easy buckets for the Jayhawks.

Morris made 8 of 12 shot attempts and knocked in 3 of 5 tries from 3-point range. As a team, KU shot 13 of 31 (41.9%) from behind the arc.

Harris scored 2 points and dished 9 assists with 4 steals in 21 minutes, and McCullar added 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes in their first game back.

Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson joined Timberlake, Harris, McCullar and KJ Adams in the starting lineup, and, after a slow start, got going pretty nicely, scoring 13 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 21 minutes in the win.

Morris and freshman Elmarko Jackson (13 points in 19 minutes, 3-of-4 from 3-point range) were the first two players off the bench for the Jayhawks, taking the places of Timberlake and McCullar.

KU coach Bill Self, who was back on the sideline for the first time since the end of the regular season last year, said on the live stream of the game at that he liked the way KU played fast and used its athleticism to force the action and finish plays.

Adams was a big part of that, rushing out in transition and finishing lobs at the rim, while Harris, McCullar, Morris and others pushed the pace. Adams finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting in a team-high 26 minutes.

Kansas will practice again on Friday and take the floor for the first of two matchups with the Bahamian national team on Saturday.

R1S1 | Wave the Wheat will be in attendance for the final two games of the exhibition tour, so be sure to check the site throughout the rest of the week and into next week for all kinds of coverage from Puerto Rico.

The next two games will both be streamed live on the KU website at

Tipoff on Saturday is slated for 4 p.m. and the teams will tip off at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Self said on the pregame show with Greg Gurley that NBA players DeAndre Ayton, Kai Jones and Buddy Hield were expected to be on the floor against the Jayhawks, so it’s safe to say the competition will get significantly tougher the rest of the trip than it was on Thursday.

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