LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks kicked off the 2021-22 season by hosting Emporia State for an exhibition game on Wednesday, beating the Hornets, 86-60 behind four players in double figures, led by Ochai Agbaji’s 17 points.
“I thought that we did play a lot of combinations and we actually played well in the first half. We didn’t play very well in the second half, but we let the young kids play and there were some good things that happened,” head coach Bill Self said. “We did some good things. We guarded very well in the first half. Good teams, you let them get that close to the hole and they’ll shoot a much higher percentage against us. It’ll be a good teaching tape. I don’t know if we are ready to play, but this game will certainly help prepare us for Tuesday.”
Along with Agbaji, David McCormack (16 points), Remy Martin (15 points) and Christian Braun (10 points) scored in double figures, while Martin led the team in assists with four and McCormack led the way with eight rebounds.
As a unit, the Jayhawks 47.1 percent (33-of-70) from the floor in the game and 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from beyond the arc. Kansas connected on all of its free throw attempts (11-of-11) in the game, including 6-of-6 from McCormack.
Kansas scored 42 points in the paint and got 37 points from the bench in the game. The Jayhawks forced the Hornets into 14 turnovers, which Kansas turned into 20 points.
Kansas controlled the pace throughout the first half, behind a team-leading 14 points from Ochai Agbaji on 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Paired with Agbaji, Remy Martin made his KU debut by scoring 13 points in the first half on 6-of-8 from the field.
Kansas led at the break, 51-25, shooting 61.8 percent (21-of-34) from the floor on 12 assists. The Jayhawks closed out the first half on a 16-3 run over the last 5:06.
The Jayhawks controlled the lead throughout the final 20 minutes of play, as McCormack led the charge with 8 points in the second half. Kansas would go on to defeat the Hornets, 86-60.
Kansas will officially open its season with the Champions Classic on November 9, when the Jayhawks take on the Michigan State Spartans at the Garden in New York City.