Kansas cruised to a big 86-64 victory over Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 18 Jayhawks were slow out of the gate, playing in their first home game at Allen Fieldhouse in nearly a month. However, they turned it on to close the first half and built a 10-point lead going into halftime that they would not relinquish.
Tarik Black and Joel Embiid co-starred in the game for the victors, putting up 17 points each for the Jayhawks.
Kansas coach Bill Self talked about Black's performance after the game, per CBS Sports.
"Tarik was better today than at any point in time, but that's how he's been practicing every day," Self said. "His attitude has been great."
Georgetown’s Markel Starks did his best to keep the Hoyas in the contest, but despite his 19 points, the unranked visitors came up well short.
KU as a team was able to get the better looks at the basket in addition to playing tough defense, a formula that will almost always result in a win. The Jayhawks shot 54.3 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc while holding the Hoyas to just 40.7 percent field-goal shooting and 26.7 percent on three-point attempts.
Foul trouble also plagued the Hoyas, with big men Joshua Smith, Moses Ayegba and Nate Lubick all fouling out in the second half, dooming Georgetown’s already slim chances.
Keep reading for a look at the key game grades for both teams, a recap of the action and some analysis on what it means going forward.
Tarik Black, Kansas: A
This Memphis Tigers transfer came off the bench and finally put together the kind of performance that many were expecting consistently when he joined Kansas.
While the senior forward has only been averaging 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds this year, he went off for the aforementioned 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting. He added six rebounds and blocked two shots.
His emergence is especially important for this Kansas team, as having more depth and firepower on the bench will be a huge boost to its chances when tournament time comes around.
It’ll be interesting to see if Black can repeat his success when the Jayhawks face Toledo on Dec. 30. It’s not a critical game for the team, but another solid outing and some consistency from Black would be a welcomed development.
Joel Embiid, Kansas: A
Embiid continued to prove that he’s one of the top players in college basketball.
Will Embiid's dunk be remembered as one of the best this season?
The freshman center destroyed Georgetown in the paint, posting 17 points on 4-of-4 from the field and 9-of-12 from the line while adding eight boards, two steals and a block.
His most memorable play came in the latter minutes of the game, when he threw down a monster jam following a missed three by Andrew Wiggins that will certainly be remembered as one of the top dunks of the 2013-14 season.
The memorial service for the victims of that Joel Embiid dunk will be held immediately after today's game.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) December 21, 2013
Embiid was a big reason why the Hoyas’ frontcourt was in foul trouble throughout.
Markel Starks, Georgetown: B-
Starks was one of the few Hoyas to have success against a smothering Kansas defense on Saturday. He made seven of his 15 shot attempts on the day, finishing with 19 points, two assists and two steals.
The senior guard just didn’t have the support he needed around him, especially from his big men.
Stark’s backcourt mate, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, was the only other Hoya to score in the double digits.
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas: C
Wiggins once again failed to live up the immense hype that surrounded him as a prospect in high school and upon his arrival in Lawrence.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated found himself pondering if the Canadian was even on the floor at times:
Andrew Wiggins having another one of those games where you catch yourself wondering if he's even out there.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) December 21, 2013
He had a pedestrian outing against the Hoyas, scoring a mere 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting. While his four assists, three steals and blocked shot were nice, Wiggins needs to be a bigger factor on the scoreboard.
The 18-year-old was one of the few Jayhawks to actually struggle offensively in the contest, but his teammates had no issues picking up the slack.
Considering he was supposed to be the focal point of KU’s offense this year, you have to wonder when Wiggins will get comfortable in head coach Bill Self’s system. This team has incredible potential if he can start putting up the number of points we know he is capable of.
This was a huge and impressive win for a Kansas team that needed a dominant performance like this to get going again after a brief rough patch earlier this season. Georgetown is no pushover, and the way Kansas pulled away in the second half shows that this is not a Jayhawks squad to be trifled with.