Kansas Survives West Virginia Thanks To.....Defense?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this contest, it was actually West Virginia who had the second best offense in the league. That little tidbit is no more as the Jayhawks held them to under a point per trip. The Jayhawks did so due to some three point luck, as West Virginia was just 6-23 from beyond the arc, but they did well in other areas as well. West Virginia turned it over on nearly 20% of their possessions, and grabbed only 14.7% of their misses.

Offensively, Kansas shot a robust 65% inside the arc as they got to the rim (and the line) repeatedly. Though they shot just 29% from three, they scored 1.17 points per possession thanks to the aforementioned 2 point percentage, as well as turning it over on just 17% of their possessions.

The biggest problem for the Jayhawks in this one was stopping guard penetration. Juwan Staten is probably the best guard in the league at getting into the lane, but the Jayhawks still allowed WVU to shoot 52% from two because of it. I imagine as we get into the NCAA tournament we will start to see either Andrew Wiggins guarding those guys, or else some sort of zone.

Next up, Kansas State. Bramlage is a tricky place to go, but Self and the Jayhawks will know that a win removes the Wildcats from being of any consequence in the title race. Kansas State now has the best defense in conference play, but also gave up 86 points in a 64 possession game against Kansas, so who knows what will happen.

Andrew Wiggins: 8. Wiggins didn't make a three, but shot 6-11 from two, had 3 assists, 2 steals, and played excellent defense. He was also active around the offensive glass all game.

Naadir Tharpe: 5.5 Tharpe struggled shooting and defensively, but had 4 assists to 1 turnover.

Wayne Selden: 8. Selden shot 3-5 from three, but turned it over 3 times and didn't impact the game very much defensively.

Perry Ellis: 5.5. Ellis didn't do much offensively, going 4-8 and not getting to the line, but he had 2 steals and 5 rebounds.

Joel Embiid: 7. Embiid looked like he hit the wall early in the game, but finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He also might be in the lead for Big 12 player of the year after the Marcus Smart incident.

Frank Mason: 7.5. Mason played decent defense, shot 2-4 from the field, and had 5 assists to no turnovers.

No more ratings. Olympics are on. Tarik Black and Jamari Traylor played excellent though.

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