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Jayhawks open with 12-0 run, then cruise

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Fort Hays State earned $30,000 and the
thrill of playing in storied Allen Fieldhouse in return for getting
clobbered 80-40 by No. 5 Kansas on Wednesday night.

The young, impressionable Jayhawks may have come away with even
more. In its first game after dropping out of the No. 1 spot,
Kansas got to play just about everybody while receiving a
much-needed boost in morale.

"It was good for our team to get some confidence back," said
6-foot-11 freshman David Padgett, who had 19 points and eight
rebounds against the outmanned Division II Tigers.

The Jayhawks (4-1) were coming off a 64-58 loss to Stanford that
dropped them out of the No. 1 ranking after only one week.

But by taking control early, there were plenty of minutes for
other freshmen and backups.

"We were all disappointed with ourselves about the Stanford
game," Padgett said. "It was a good wake-up call for us. It's
good to get a win and get back on the right path."

Freshman guard Omar Wilkes, in his first extended playing time,
hit three of his first four shots and wound up with nine points in
11 minutes.

"Obviously it's frustrating going from being the star of your
high school team to not getting significant minutes. You can't let
it get you down," said the son of former NBA star Jamaal Wilkes.

"It was great to play. I'd never got to play in front of the
fans when it really meant something. I was really pumped up."

Padgett scored seven points in a 17-2 run to start the second
half and send the Jayhawks cruising past the Tigers (4-1). It could
have been much more lopsided, but coach Bill Self liberally
substituted throughout most of the game.

Nevertheless, the Tigers shot only 32 percent and were
outrebounded 58-25. They also committed 18 turnovers and had 10
shots blocked.

"I think the big thing was the size difference," Fort Hays
coach Mark Johnson said. "Any time we got the ball inside with a
nice drive, we just couldn't finish. I don't think they intimidated
us. But Kansas is a lot bigger and stronger than us."

Keith Langford and freshman J.R. Giddens each had double-doubles
for Kansas with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Fort Hays State missed its first nine shots and trailed 12-0
before Dontaz Dean finally hit a short jumper. In the first five
minutes, the Tigers had four turnovers, four blocked shots and were
0-for-7 from the field.

No Kansas starter was on the court the last five minutes of the

At one point in the first half, the Jayhawks were 16-for-26 from
the field but then missed their last 12 shots.

Ryan Shriver had 12 points for Fort Hays.

A mixture of starters and bench players for Kansas did not score
over the final 5:13 of the first half but still led 34-19.

Then Padgett, who was no match inside for any of the smaller
Tigers, hit two quick baskets at the beginning of the second half
and Giddens canned a long jumper.

"We knew that if we could handle this pressure and get to
practicing with what we learned from this game, we are only going
to get better once we start playing other teams," Johnson said.
"Games like this are about us trying to get better and playing as
hard as we can."

Wayne Simien, Kansas' 6-9 junior forward, did not suit up after
sustaining a slight muscle pull in practice.

Kansas plays a lower-division instate school every year during
the regular season, a tradition former coach Roy Williams began 12
years ago. The guaranteed payday for Fort Hays was $30,000.

The Jayhawks are 12-0 in the series.

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