Center Udoka Azubuike starts to assert himself for No. 14 Kansas

When I saw the Kansas Jayhawks play earlier this season on television, I wondered why Udoka Azubuike wasn’t a bigger part of the offense.

Azubuike is 7 feet and 280 pounds. It seems like whatever he may be lacking in skills, he can easily make up for in size and brute force.

Stanford came face-to-face with this reality Thursday night.

In a game played in Sacramento, California, Azubuike dunked seven times en route to 24 points, leading the Jayhawks to an easy 75-54 victory.

Two months ago, Kansas beat Kentucky 65-61 in Chicago.

In that game, it was easy to see several NBA-caliber prospects running the wings on both teams.

But I noticed Azubuike, very agile, moving easily around the bucket.

Kansas gave him five shot opportunities, and he made all of them, including a monster alley-oop slam.

Against Stanford, the Jayhawks seemed to take notice of him more often, getting him 15 shots.

He made 12 of them.

I guess that’s just the way it is with the Jayhawks, a team that features a dynamic wing presence with Devonte’ Graham, Lagerald Vick and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

If you’re an opposing coach, you hate it.

Some nights, the wing guys kill you with perimeter shooting.

Other nights, you have a freight train-type center dunking on your heads.

With the Jayhawks opening Big 12 play next Friday at Texas, I’d say that probably makes them more than capable of winning another title.