The college basketball season is months away, but the Kansas Jayhawks are still figuring out ways to give their fans something to get excited about.
On Sunday, in the championship game of the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, Team USA defeated Germany, 84-77. The win gave the United State its first University Games gold medal since 2005, and its first medal in the tournament since 2009, when it received a bronze.
What does any of this have to do with the Jayhawks? Right now is a busy time for international basketball competitions. The U-19 games recently wrapped up in Greece while the Pan-American Games are underway in Toronto. Instead of worrying about putting together another team to compete in the World University Games it was instead decided that Kansas would participate as Team USA, becoming the first school to do so since Northern Iowa in 2007.
The team was comprised mostly of Kansas players. It was coached by Bill Self. Even the uniforms originally said KANSAS on them, before FIBA made the team write the letters "USA" across the front.
The Kansas-led Team USA took home the gold by winning all eight of its games during the 11 day tournament. Two of the victories came in overtime.
Junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. led the way in the championship game with 22 points. Senior forward Perry Ellis added 19 while sophomore guard Frank Mason scored 18.
Kansas was able to win despite missing two international players, five-star freshman Cheick Diallo and sophomore shooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The team brought SMU point guard Nic Moore and Florida Gulf Coast forward Julian DeBose to South Korea in their place.