LOUISVILLE, KY. – Whether it was a double-move leading to a layup or an open jumpshot from the free throw line, Perry Ellis could do no wrong. Ellis poured in basket after basket which would eventually lead to an easy 16-point win for the Jayhawks as they advanced to their first Elite Eight since 2012.
“I just do what I can to try and win,” Ellis said. “Playing aggressive, knocking down some shots, it’s all just trying to win.”
With the 27-point performance, Ellis has now scored at least 20 points in seven of his last eight games. Despite Ellis’ elite turnouts, Villanova is not afraid to stand up to the senior.
“We’re going to have five guys guarding the ball,” junior forward Kris Jenkins said. “We’re not going to play him one-on-one. We’re just going to have five guys guarding the ball like we do every team.”
Villanova as a team has adopted the same plan of attack against Ellis: all players on the floor are going to be active.
“We’re going to use the whole team against him,” senior forward Daniel Ochefu said. “When he does kick the ball out to another one of their great players, we’re going to be able to step up on them.”
The last time Villanova and Kansas met was in 2013 in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Ellis was only a sophomore, but the memory is still fresh.
“I remember them being a scrappy team,” Ellis said. “They’ve just gotten better and better even into this year knocking down shots.”
The belated rematch from the Bahamas is slated to tip off around 7:40 p.m. on CBS.