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Recap: Tennessee Tech , Kansas
Date: November 27, 2009 8:00 PM EDT
  

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -Most of the attention so far this season has been on the young guys at Kansas, maybe rightfully so. They're really good and the Jayhawks are undefeated in large part because of them.

But don't forget about the ``old guys,' players like Cole Aldrich and Tyshawn Taylor. They can still play - and showed it against Tennessee Tech.

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Aldrich shook loose from a mild slump with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Taylor added a season-high 18 points and No. 1 Kansas overwhelmed Tennessee Tech for a 112-75 victory Friday night.

``Cole looked better and Tyshawn, the lid came off for him - he played really well, especially in the first half,' Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Kansas (5-0) took care of another overmatched opponent, building a 22-point halftime lead and shooting 61 percent to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 45 games. The Jayhawks, as usual, got production from throughout the lineup, scoring the most points in Self's seven seasons as coach.

Freshman phenom Xavier Henry had another steady night, with 15 points, five assists and four steals. Senior Sherron Collins scored an efficient 12 points on four 3-pointers and had five assists. Markieff Morris had another solid game, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds. He's 14 for 15 from the floor on the season after hitting all four shots Friday.

But it was the big nights from Aldrich and Taylor that should have Kansas fans excited.

Taylor has progressively cut down on the careless mistakes that have plagued him at times during his short career, going two games without a turnover before Friday. The sophomore finally broke through with his shooting, hitting 7 of 9 shots after scoring a combined 20 points the first four games.

Aldrich has been battling a lingering illness the past week or so and was coming off four-point night against Oakland Wednesday night. The preseason All-American showed up early for practice on Thursday to shoot about 100 hook shots and the extra work paid off in a 5 for 8 night against Tennessee Tech.

``It was a relief,' Aldrich said. ``I really hadn't been playing all that well and am just happy to get through a little funk. The rest of the guys have been playing great and it's a little weight off my back to know that I can play the way I used to play.'

Tennessee Tech (3-4) had the unenviable task a playing a No. 1 team and at Allen Fieldhouse for the first time on the same night. The Golden Eagles put together a nice run midway through the first half to delay the rout, only to be worn down by the bigger and faster Jayhawks.

Frank Davis used his quick release to hit four 3-pointers and score 23 points, and Zach Bailey added 16 for Tennessee Tech, which lost starting forward Bassey Inameti to a knee injury early in the second half.

``I think our kids may not understand right now, but I think later on you understand how big a deal it is to play in this environment and to play in a place that this has much tradition in college basketball,' Tennessee Tech coach Mike Sutton said.

Kansas has had little trouble during an easy stretch of the schedule that's included Central Arkansas and Oakland - and will continue against Alcorn State on Wednesday - winning its past three games by at least 30 points each.

Against Tennessee Tech, the Jayhawks hit 14 3-pointers, had 29 assists on 40 field goals with 10 turnovers, shot 70 percent in the second half and blocked nine shots in improving to 16-0 against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference.

``We played pretty good offense tonight,' Self said. ``We got open looks and the ball really moved and we played inside out. We've been stressing ball movement and not sticking, and it's moving.'

There was a bit of a lull in the first half.

Kansas gave Tennessee Tech some early problems by trapping high pick and roll, leading to turnovers and breakaways for the Jayhawks.

Kansas had five steals in the first eight minutes and the Golden Eagles had four of their first 11 shots blocked, leading to an 11-1 run that put the Jayhawks up 27-9. Normally, that kind of stretch would start the rout against a supposedly overmatched opponent.

But then the Jayhawks got sloppy, made a couple of silly passes, forgot to box out on defense.

Tennessee Tech scored eight straight points, the final two on Byron Pickens' putback after three offensive rebounds, prompting Self to call timeout and send four new players in.

The replacements held their ground, the starters returned three minutes later and THEN the rout was on.

Taylor flew in for an alley-oop, scored on a breakaway, hit a 3-pointer. Aldrich flew in for a rebound slam, powered inside, closed out the half with a putback jumper at the buzzer. By the time they were done, Kansas closed the half with a 13-1 run, heading into halftime with a comfortable 53-31 lead.

``At this point in the year it's hard to judge teams because what you're concerned with is January and February,' Sutton said. ``Early season, though, I was very impressed. I'm sure they'll get a better a lot of things. I think their combinations are good and they move the ball well.'

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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