Bensa spoiled my opening line in the comments last night (BENSA!!!!!), but the magic number is 7. It's the number of consecutive Big 12 titles Kansas has won. It is also the total number of home losses KU has had under Coach Self. The man is a ridiculously good coach and after watching him at the mic last night it's no wonder he recruits the quality players he does and develops him as well as he does. Once again I mentioned this in the comments, but Coach Self could talk a vegan into eating a porterhouse steak.
So offensively we weren't great last night. 1.08 points per possession isn't really going to get it done, but even with that ugly number comes some positives. First of all, after an ugly start we only turned it over on roughly 15% of our possessions, which is better than our average in Big 12 play. We also shot 47% from three, and took 17 of them, which is right where we should be attempts wise in a game like last night's. Basically our problems came from shooting 16-36 from two, but anyone who watched the game saw how many in and outs there were. It isn't as if they were throwing up clunkers, they just didn't get friendly rolls. Also, there is going to be a game like this in the NCAA tournament where our offense isn't clicking and the other team is playing a style that is designed to frustrate us. It's nice to know that we can persevere and ultimately do just enough on offense to win.
Tonight's defensive effort was a throwback to a more traditional Coach Self team. The Jayhawks limited A&M to just .8 PPP, and held them to 43.7% shooting from two. They also forced turnovers on - get this - 30.5% of A&M's possessions. That's pretty damn good. And it's a good thing they forced so many because they got killed a bit on the boards. A&M grabbed 36.7% of their misses, far above the 25.8% KU normally allows. If there is a red flag from this game, I would point there.
- Given that it's Senior night, we'll start with the Seniors. Mario Little struggled a bit in going 0-5 from the field and not scoring, but he grabbed three rebounds and had an assist.
- Brady Morningstar made all three of his shots from the field and was 1-2 from the line for 9 points. He also had 2 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals and 0 turnovers. In all, exactly what we have come to expect from him.
- Tyrel Reed had 12 points and was 3-5 from three. Like Brady, he had four steals. He also was called for the most ridiculous offensive foul I have seen all year.
- In the never ending point guard battle Tyshawn and EJ played nearly an identical amount of minutes, and what I liked from Coach Self is that it seemed to be based on set intervals rather than based off who was playing well, so neither guy was looking over his shoulder and could just play. Clearly someone on the coaching staff reads the RCT comments section where I proposed that very thing (hire me!)
- In discussing which one of the two played better, I would say they played about the same. Each made nice plays, each made bonehead plays. Tyshawn had 9 points and was 2-5 from two and made his only three. He also made his only 2 free throws. EJ had 2 points and made his only two but missed his only 3. Though he had 3 turnovers I would say for the most part EJ stayed within himself and played steady basketball for the most part. Tyshawn meanwhile moved the ball really well and wasn't nearly as out of control as he can get. Defensively I EJ made the more spectacular plays but also let his man get loose much too often for some open looks, whereas Tyshawn played a lot more steady defense.
- Neither Morris twin had a great game, and had basically identical lines. Each was 5-10 from two, but Markieff was 1-2 from three whereas Marcus didn't take one. They each had 2 assists and 2 blocks, and Marcus outrebounded his brother 5-3.
- An interesting new chart on StatSheet