Texas Tech is a pretty solid team, and a far cry from what they were a year ago. That said, when Kansas is playing well, they're possibly the best team in the country. They turned it on on both ends last night, beating the Red Raiders by 25 in a game where they scored 1.26 points per trip and allowed just .88.
As always, I like to keep track of what teams do from two point range, and the Jayhawks were masterful in that area as well, allowing the Red Raiders to shoot just 40.5% inside the arc while making almost 65% of their attempts inside the arc. For the league season, Kansas is allowing opponents to shoot 44% from two, which isn't great, but is inching closer to the non-Withey teams of the past. Given how good the Big 12 has been this season offensively, and the new rules, I suspect the defense isn't quite as bad as we are making it out to be. They did struggle a bit on the defensive glass last night, though I imagine missing a certain 7 footer had something to do with that.
Offensively, the Jayhawks only turned it over on 17% of their possessions, and looked like the well oiled machine we've come to know and love. The outside shooting wasn't necessarily there, but if they can shoot 33% from three (like they did last night) I like their chances to score enough to win games.
Lastly, it was nice to see the Jayhawks play so well without Joel Embiid. It puts a bit of a stake into one of my major theories of the season (small sample size aside) but there are now four different post players that I feel confident in going into the NCAA tournament, which is probably three to four more than any other team.
Tarik Black: 10. Tarik Black has been one of my favorite Jayhawks ever, and he's only been around for a short period of time. After struggling with fouls, and losing his starting spot to Joel Embiid, he could have pouted and probably could have submarined the entire season, but he's been a mentor to the younger guys, he's provided tough minutes, and he's basically a free basket whenever he touches the ball, shooting 71% on the year from two. He's having a great year rebounding, and even blocking some shots as well. Hopefully his future NFL teammates won't let him play too much pickup ball. In this one he was only 9-9 with 6 rebounds, an assist, two blocks, and a steal. Not too shabby.
Wayne Selden: 6. Selden didn't play great in this one, but he's another guy who deserves a lot of credit for his attitude. He was a top recruit, who could have gone other places and been the main guy in the offense and potentially been a top 10 pick, but instead he's come here and been the 3rd or 4th option in the offense (sometimes even 5th) and yet he probably has the best attitude on the team. He hustles, he plays hard, he's always picking up his teammates. I'm not a big intangibles guy, but there's no doubt that Wayne Selden is a guy you'd love to play with. He's also stepped up his defense quite a bit lately, and just in time.
Andrew Wiggins: 8. Wiggins started off his last game in Allen Fieldhouse with a tip dunk, and finished 2-4 from two and 1-3 from three in his final home game. He also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.
Justin Wesley: 10. I am dismayed that Wesley didn't foul out on Senior Night, but he did get a blocked shot.
Niko Roberts: 10. Niko was oh so close to making a couple threes, but did make a free throw in six minutes of action.
Naadir Tharpe: 9. Tharpe rebounded from a poor game to shoot 3-6 from three, and 5-5 from the line. He also had 5 assists and didn't turn it over once.
Perry Elils: 8. Perry had the quietest 13 points I can ever remember, making every shot he took from the field, and 4 of his 5 free throws. He also grabbed 5 rebounds.
I'm not going to review everyone. Andrew White had a nice assist in his final home game, Conner Frankamp finally made a three, Landen Lucas had 4 rebounds in 11 minutes, etc. etc. etc.