The game inched near the first media timeout of the contest. With Kansas leading 6-2 in the early portion of the game, a defensive lapse allowed Kansas City junior guard Brandon McKissic to score with ease. Angered by the miscue, coach Bill Self walked to his bench for a replacement. Pointing his finger to junior forward Silvio De Sousa, the Angola native jogged toward the scorers' table.
"I didn't think we were very good in the first 10 minutes at all," Self said. "At all.
As the horn sounded, De Sousa came on for sophomore forward David McCormack, who presumed to be the culprit of the defensive blunder.
At this point in the game — four minutes and 30 seconds into the evening to be exact — McCormack headed to the bench with two points by his name in the box score. When he would return just under eight minutes later, a different version of the 6-foot-10 forward would walk onto the court.
Coming into the night, McCormack averaged 7.9 points per game with a season high of 17 points against Monmouth on Nov. 15 in Lawrence. His career high of 18 points came on the road at Oklahoma last season — otherwise remembered as the night Kansas' Big 12 title streak of 14 years came to end.
But against Kansas City, McCormack nearly shattered those totals by halftime. Playing in 11 of the first 20 minutes, the product of Norfolk, Virginia, contributed 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and five rebounds. His production would keep him on the floor to begin the second half.
"Honestly, everything," McCormack said on what went right for him. "Just getting the open looks I wanted — going after the ball, as far as rebounding. Just making the right plays."
At the 17:34 mark of the period, McCormack buried a 12-foot jumper for his 20th point — setting a new career high on the 44th game of his collegiate career.
"Coming off my first year when it comes to this year, I know that was my biggest thing — waiting for the game to slow down," McCormack said. "Being more patient and not trying to rush plays. That's why my game has changed a lot."
Following the bucket and a three-pointer from junior guard Marcus Garrett, the sophomore rattled off 10 consecutive points for the Jayhawks.
"It was tremendous," sophomore guard Devon Dotson said on McCormack's performance. "His activity level was great. He finished down low, and hit some shots. He did a lot out there on the court."
After knocking home his fifth and sixth free throw of the game — making him 6-for-6 — McCormack exited for the last time to an ovation from the crowd with 14:51 to go.
His final stat line included 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds, and two steals in 16 minutes and 36 seconds.
"Kansas is terrific," Kansas City coach Billy Donlon said. "There's no other way to deal with it and say it."
Next Saturday, Kansas will travel for its first true road game of the season to No. 20 Villanova. Instead of the Wildcats' typical home venue of Finneran Pavilion, the game will be held at the Wells Fargo Center — home of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. Tipoff is slated for 11 a.m. on FOX.
"We will find a lot more about ourself starting next Saturday," Self said.