Kansas Clinches Outright Big 12 Title In Loss to Oklahoma State

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I tweeted this during the game, but the fact that Kansas turned it over on 31% of their possessions and didn't lose by 30 is either a sign of how good they are or how bad Oklahoma State is. I lean towards the former, as the Jayhawks continuously coughed up the ball against the Cowboys and still almost came away with a win.

My question is this, though: of those turnovers, the vast majority were coughed up by Kansas with little or no coercion from Oklahoma State. The bad news there, of course, is that the Jayhawks threw away a win. The good news, I suppose, is that it seems a lot easier to clean up the turnover issue when they aren't forced.

Kansas was undone by poor three point shooting (26%) and poor two point defense (50%). They also gave up 33 free throws and only shot 18 of them. It negated a great effort on the glass, as Kansas grabbed 42% of their misses and limited the Cowboys to just 10%.

The Jayhawks again did a good job on Phil Forte (0-4 from three) and Marcus Smart (5-14, 3 TO) but Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash continued to be Jayhawk killers.

The biggest news, though, was the injury to Joel Embiid. He probably should get maybe a token appearance on Wednesday given it will be his last game in Allen Fieldhouse, but then hold him out until the round of 64 (or perhaps round of 32) NCAA tournament game. Between the defense against K State and the end of the game Saturday, it seems fairly obvious to me that with Embiid, Kansas takes a backseat to no one in terms of championship favorites, but without him they have virtually no shot.

Naadir Tharpe: 2. Yikes. It was a rough one for Tharpe, who had 6 turnovers, and was just 2-8 from the floor (2-5 from three though). He tried to do a bit too much in this one rather than keeping the ball moving on offense and shooting threes. Still, I'd rather have him have a rough game in a meaningless game vs. in the NCAA tournament.

Wayne Selden: 7. Selden did a decent job defensively, and shot 3-3 from two, but just 2-6 from three. He also failed to impact the game on the glass, though with how much the Jayhawks dominated that area that is perhaps a bit more excusable.

Andrew Wiggins: 4. Wiggins was just 1-7 from three and turned it over 6 times. He was good defensively and grabbed 5 offensive rebounds, but really struggled shooting.

Joel Embiid: 8.5. Embiid grabbed 13 rebounds, and shot 4-6 from the field and 5-5 from the line. Even with the Jayhawks' struggles holding onto the ball, had they just dumped the ball inside to Embiid every possession they probably win the game.

Perry Ellis: 6. I didn't feel like Perry had a great game, but he did go 5-9 from the field and grabbed 8 rebounds. I really have no idea as to how to rank him in this one.

No more rankings but of note: Brannen Greene got a DNP and this is the second straight game he's played minimally or not at all. Is he in the doghouse a bit? I assume Self wanted some extra ballhandling out there, but the rotation appears nowhere near set, especially in the backcourt. Something to watch going forward.

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