Woo basketball! This is the perfect offseason for Kansas to take advantage of the rule allowing basketball teams to take a trip abroad once every four years. With eight scholarship Freshmen the Jayhawks obviously have a lot of new faces to break in, and they did so with a 79-76 victory over Switzerland that was a lot closer than it should have been with the Swiss nailing a couple desperation threes in the final minutes of the game.
Kansas got off to a slow start (shocking, eh?), leading just 10-8 after the first quarter, and nearly gave away the 8 point lead they had after three. Kansas played like you would expect a young team to play, struggling to find their offense at times, and committing 28 turnovers compared to just 14 assists. But, a win is a win. Some tempo free stuff and individual analysis after the jump:
KU offensive rating: 0.93
KU defensive rating: 0.95
KU actually had a worse offensive rating than their opponent, but still managed to win the game because of the sheer number of extra possessions they were able to grab (22 offensive rebounds on 37 misses will do that).
KU eFG: 47%
KU eFG allowed: 45%
There must have been something wrong with the rims or something because Kansas shot just 3-15 from three and the Swiss were 9-35. Yikes.
- Kevin Young was statistically probably the best player on the floor with 9 points and 8 rebounds (6 offensive!) in just 13 minutes of playing time. This team isn't going places if Young is the best player, but he definitely has proven he can contribute at a high level
- Elijah was just 5-13 but had 8 rebounds and 3 assists next to 0 turnovers. I think he turned the corner with his stroke late in the year last year but I also don't know how much of that we will get to see because (at least early on) he's going to have to do a lot of creating and scoring, so he'll probably be forced into some bad looks.
- Jeff Withey was just 6-11 from the floor (extra disappointing because the Swiss don't have a ton of size) but hit a nice 18 footer that will hopefully become part of his arsenal this year. He had 10 boards and (yawn) 3 blocks as well
- Andrew White was 2-5 from three and had 10 points, but also a game high 5 TOs
- Zach Peters was 3-7 from the floor and had 4 rebounds
- Perry Ellis had 8 points and 4 rebounds in his debut, though didn't really shoot great. I wouldn't call it good but he wasn't bad either and they're my arbitrary categories so deal with it.
- Ben McLemore had an inauspicious debut, going 0-6 from the field and turning it over three times. He did have 7 rebounds though, so hopefully he won't be the type of player who will carry offensive struggles to the other end of the floor.
- Naadir Tharpe had just 5 points, and also turned it over 4 times with just 1 assist to go with it. I still think he'll be a good college player because of how smart he is, but he definitely can't squander playing time chances with all the talent in the backcourt. (though for what it's worth Jesse Newell thought he played well, so I'll defer to someone who was at the game)
- Jamari Traylor: 8 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound
- Landen Lucas: 4 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds. Obviously the playing time will rotate over the course of this trip and they have a couple months to get better in practice but I am really looking forward to who will get redshirted and who will get playing time out of the bigs. To the surprise of no one (hopefully), early advantage Peters.