Mar 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson (15) puts up a shot against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half of the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Kansas defeated Texas A&M 83-66. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Not that I was cheering for Kansas to lose this game, but it wouldn't have been the worst thing to have a rest for the weekend and I sure didn't want them expending too much energy. Mission semi-accomplished as Kansas won 83-66 and didn't have to expend too much energy in doing so.
A pretty quick and dirty way of telling that Kansas wasn't terribly locked in effort was is the defense: they allowed A&M to score over a point per possession, and allowed them to grab 40% of their offensive rebounds. It was nowhere near enough as KU's offense was as good as it has been all season, scoring 1.28 points per trip. KU shot 58.6% from two and 66.7% from three for a ridiculous eFG of 72.7%, which makes it pretty irrelevant that they had a poor afternoon from a turnover and rebounding standpoint.
Next up is Baylor, who had a pretty strong game themselves offensively. The big question will be whether the hi-lighter uniforms gave Perry Jones some special powers or if he will revert to the form he displayed in the first two KU-Baylor games. Elijah Johnson will have to keep Brady Heslip from getting free behind the arc again. And of course the big matchup will be Pierre Jackson-Tyshawn Taylor.
- Elijah Johnson had a career high 26 points and chipped in 4 assists and 2 steals as well. Johnson shot 5-7 from three and has really shot the ball well over the last few games, raising his 3 point percentage to 33% on the season. It's not where I thought he'd be this year, but he still has time to get there, and as an added bonus if he continues to shoot well enough to raise his percentage KU goes from a dangerous team to a legitimate threat to cut down the nets.
- Thomas Robinson had 19 points and 10 rebounds for yet another double double, and also made both of the threes he took. He also made 5 of his 8 free throws, continuing his improvement from the charity stripe.
- Not a fantastic game from Tyshawn, but he still made 3 of his 4 threes. There's no question he needs to get better tomorrow for Kansas to win, but there isn't much doubt in my mind that he will be better, which says it all about Tyshawn this year.
- Another solid game from Withey, going 3-4 from the field (but only 5-8 from the line) and grabbing 6 rebounds. He also added 4 blocks; a nice bounce back from him defensively.
- Travis Releford had a typical Releford game, going 2-2 from the field, 3-4 from the line, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Glue guy!
- THARPE WATCH! Tharpe played 5 minutes, had an assist (and should have had another one) and a steal as well.