All good things must come to an end apparently. There will be plenty of time to celebrate what a great season 2010-11 was, and believe me it was a great season, we have to dissect yesterday's performance one more time in a measure to examine what happened. Although to be honest it's not that hard to determine what happened. I certainly wouldn't say Kansas flat out lost the game, but I wouldn't say they got beaten either. And don't read any national columnist who said VCU played with more heart, or wanted it more, or were clutch, or any horrible cliche. It's all crap (though I will listen to the argument that KU played tight). It all came down to shotmaking.
Kansas's offense, the best in the country all year, let the team down yesterday. They put up .897 PPP, had a 37.1% eFG, and shot only 2-21 from three. That's 9.5% for those of you counting at home. They turned it over on 20% of their possessions, which isn't terrible, and grabbed 42% of their misses, which is great, but they just couldn't make shots. And unguarded shots. I only got to watch the second half, but I think I counted one three (other than the end game ones) that was a bad shot. They also shot 48% from two and 53.6% from the line. As a fan this doesn't crack the list, but as an analyst the worst part of this loss is seeing people blame it on free throw shooting, when free throw shooting is not in the top 5 for reasons why Kansas lost that game (and THAT is probably the worst part of this loss).
Defensively Kansas did everything they could do. VCU shot only 32% from two. But they shot 48% from three. It happens. And unfortunately it happened to Kansas. It wasn't a choke, it wasn't a case of Bill Self getting totally outcoached (I would have done some things differently, but that's second guessing and hey I'm just a writer and I have zero national championships). VCU played really well, Kansas only played well in spurts, and it cost them yesterday.
Either way, the last time Kansas lost in the Elite 8 things went fairly well for them the next season.
- Marcus Morris had 20 points on 8-16 shooting from two and had 16 rebounds.
- If there ever were two kids who deserved better ends to their careers it is Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar. Brady will probably be a successful coach and Tyrel will end up winning a Nobel Prize or something so they each have good days ahead of them, but it would have been nice to see two good kids end their careers with better games.
- Tyshawn shot 6-7 from two and had 14 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists.
- Markieff was 4-10 from two and 1-2 from three, and had 12 boards. He also had an unsightly 8 turnovers.
- Regardless of the foul situation, I will never ever ever ever ever understand why Thomas Robinson (6) and Mario Little (5) combined for fewer minutes played than Josh Selby (15). Ever.