Photo: Missy Minear/KANSAN
LOUISVILLE, KY. – Wayne Selden stared straight to the ground. Reporters had him encircled, attempting to figure out what went wrong for the Jayhawks. Selden never looked up.
“I don’t know,” Selden said, shaking his head. “I don’t know.”
Kansas just came off the floor after losing to the Villanova Wildcats 64-59, and emotions were still high for the number one overall seed for the tournament. Senior Perry Ellis had scored at least 20 points in 7 of his last 8 games, but could only manage 4 against a Villanova defense determined to keep him out of the lane.
“We made some mistakes, and they really keyed in on them,” Ellis said. “We fought back against them, but we just fell short.”
Kansas fell behind 32-25 by halftime due to a Villanova defense that forced the Jayhawks into 10 turnovers in the first half. A Villanova zone forced the Jayhawks into some poor passes that cost them early.
“They were sending a weak side guy to double-team us,” sophomore Devonte’ Graham said. “I hate that it had to end like this. This season could have been really special for us, but overall it was a great season and I’m going to miss the [seniors].”
The Jayhawk seniors were on the minds of all the players, as realization began to set in that they would no longer have the opportunity to suit up with their team mates again.
“It’s hard to look at any positives for the future when I know there’s a couple people that won’t be apart of it,” junior forward Landen Lucas said. “I came here with some of these guys. Perry’s my locker mate and Jamari [Traylor] is the heart and soul of the team, so to have them not be there is going to be weird.”
Along with Ellis and Traylor, the Jayhawks will also be losing seniors Evan Manning and Hunter Mickelson to graduation. Kansas ends their season with a final record of 33-5.