LAWRENCE, Kan. - The love for Kansas men's basketball continues to shine as approximately 10,000 fans rolled out for an open scrimmage in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday morning.
"It is pretty special knowing these people turn out to watch their Jayhawks," KU head coach Bill Self said. "I know for our guys that's probably the primary reason they love playing here so much, because of the love they receive from the fans."
Teams were split up into Crimson and Blue with Self using different combinations by mixing up the squads throughout the three 10-minute periods.
With practice starting Sept. 27, the fans attending Saturday's scrimmage saw much more structure in KU's offense and defense than shown during the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog 20-minute exhibition.
"I think we are starting to get it but still we don't play hard every possession," Self said of the progress the Jayhawks have made since their first practice. "Watching our guys three weeks in, I know we have made a lot of improvement but we need to really improve a lot in the next two weeks."
Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 21 points in the three periods. He was the lone Jayhawk to score in double figures in one session chalking up 10 points in the final period on 4-of-6 shooting including 2-for-2 from three-point range. Wiggins also had an assist, a blocked shot and two steals in his combined 20 minutes on the floor.
Senior forward Tarik Black and freshman center Joel Embiid tied for the team-lead in rebounding with eight each in the three sessions. Embiid pulled down five rebounds in the second period. Black scored eight points, while Embiid had seven points for the scrimmage. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis was also a force on both ends, pulling down seven rebounds and scoring 17 points during the exhibition.
Sophomore guard Andrew White III had a team-best three steals, all in the first session, while freshman guard Conner Frankamp led the Jayhawks with three assists, all coming in the second stanza.
"There's a lot of things we have to do," Self said in prepping for the Oct. 29 Pitt State exhibition contest. "The biggest is scrimmaging more to create a lot more game situations."
Preseason No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll, Kansas will host two exhibition games on Oct. 29 against Pittsburg State and Nov. 5 versus Fort Hays State before opening regular-season play against Louisiana at Monroe on Nov. 8.