LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Svi Mykhailiuk scored a career-high 27 points, Lagerald Vick finished with 22 and fourth-ranked Kansas routed Summit League favorite South Dakota State 98-64 on Friday night.
Udoka Azubuike added 17 points and Malik Newman had 13 for the Jayhawks (3-0), who shot 60 percent from the field and didn’t commit a turnover until midway through the second half.
By that point, the Jackrabbits (3-1) were staring at a 30-point deficit.
Mike Daum led South Dakota State with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Tevin King contributed 12 points and David Jenkins Jr. scored 10 off the bench.
Once again without heralded freshman Billy Preston, the Jayhawks were forced to use the same reduced rotation that managed to top seventh-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night. But their perilous lack of depth became crippling in the first half when Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot picked up two fouls each.
That forced coach Bill Self to use walk-on Clay Young in the post.
The 6-foot-5 senior turned out to be a bright spot, too, keeping the ball moving on offense and handling the 6-9 Daum inside. The Jackrabbits’ leading scorer at more than 21 points per game had eight on 2-for-8 shooting in the first half, when Young spent a good chunk of time covering him.
Nobody could cover Mykhailiuk, though.
The senior from the Ukraine hit his first three shots – the Jayhawks made eight of their first nine – while getting into an easy rhythm. Even on the seemingly rare occasion that his jumper didn’t splash the net, it often rattled around the rim and dropped through to a thunderous ovation.
Several of his baskets came on feeds from Devonte Graham, who didn’t hit a field goal until deep in the second half. He finished with eight points but also had 11 assists and five boards.
Preston went through early warmups but remained on the bench as Kansas investigates an on-campus incident that raised questions about the “financial picture” of the car he was driving. Self declined to discuss the situation other than to say “we’re definitely going to hold him out until we get to the bottom of this.” Self did say he expects a resolution soon.
South Dakota State can recover from its thumping in paradise with a trip to the Cayman Islands Classic up next. But their next trip to the Sunflower State figures to be just as tough: They visit No. 6 Wichita State on Dec. 5.
Kansas cruised despite a shortened lineup again, and help is only a month away. Arizona State transfer Sam Cunliffe becomes eligible for a trip to Nebraska on Dec. 16, and there is a chance five-star prospect Silvio De Sousa from Florida’s IMG Academy enrolls at the semester break.
South Dakota State plays Wyoming on Monday in George Town, Cayman Islands.
Kansas continues a four-game home stand against Texas Southern on Tuesday night.