Ben McLemore said he heard a pop when he went down with an injury late in Kansas's win over Baylor, but Bill Self says that McLemore only has a sprained ankle and should be fine in a few days. I have a hard time believing that if there was a pop in his ankle that McLemore would be able to walk off the court or that the trainers would let him even attempt to walk off the court, so hopefully a sprain is all that it is. If nothing else it is bad timing, as the Jayhawks go to Austin and to Manhattan for their next two contests.
Regarding McLemore still being in the game, I am of two minds. On one hand, Bill Self knows what he's doing and how to manage his team's minutes (for the most part), and it is just as easy for someone to get hurt in practice with how hard those guys play. But on the other hand, isn't it all about minimizing risk? There was no conceivable way Baylor was coming back (by Bill James' metric, the lead was 100% safe with 3 minutes left in the game) so I probably would have had the walk ons in, but like I said it could just as easily have happened in practice.
Back to the game, Kansas had one of their best defensive efforts of the season, holding Baylor to just .65 points per possession. That's almost a half point below their average on the season, and it is their worst offensive output of the year. Kansas dominated inside the paint, blocking a shot on almost one of every four possessions. Baylor shot just 21% from two for the game (meaning they had a worse shooting percentage from two than Kansas had a block percentage) and 28.6% from three.
Offensively it wasn't as pretty for the Jayhawks, as they shot just 21% from three, but they won the rebounding battle and the turnover battle. Still, the offense has slipped to 17th in KenPom; something to be monitored going forward.
- I suppose we have evidence that Perry Ellis or someone in his family or someone in the basketball program reads RCT, because he looked like a different guy last night. He definitely did not shoot well, going just 3-9, but he rebounded well and defended well and played with a lot of energy.
- Jeff Withey was a bit overwhelmed inside offensively, going just 3-10 and getting a couple of his shots blocked. He grabbed only 6 rebounds as well, but blocked 3 shots and affected countless others on that end.
- Other than his injury, McLemore was back to form, going 5-9 from two, 2-4 from three and 1-1 from the line. He also grabbed 8 rebounds and had 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
- Elijah Johnson was 3-5 from two and 1-3 from three. He's shooting under 36% from three now after a recent cold stretch, but I like how he is attacking the rim a lot more frequently now.
- Speaking of, Travis Releford was 2-3 from two last night and actually leads the Jayhawks in FG% at the rim, shooting 78% there, but he was 0-3 from three. He absolutely destroyed Brady Heslip defensively though, as the Baylor sharpshooter took only 1 three all game, missing it.