Kansas fell to the West Virginia Mountaineers by a score of 92-86 on Saturday, despite a phenomenal game from Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins had 41 points, shooting 10/13 from two, 2/5 from three and 15/19 from the free throw line. He also led the Jayhawks in total rebounds with 8, offensive rebounds with 4, assists with 2, steals with 5, and blocks with 4. He was the first player in the last 15 years to have 40+ points, 4+ steals and 4+ blocks (via ESPN). He had a pretty good night.
The problem, unfortunately for Kansas, was that no one else showed up. Wiggins might have had 41 points on 18 shots, but the rest of the Jayhawks combined for 45 points on 44 shots. Yikes. In addition, KU's defense was quite awful in this one. West Virginia is somewhat of a tough matchup for KU, due to their penetrating point guard and ability to space the floor with shooting big men. As a result, WVU scored 92 points, shot 51.4% from two, 56.2% from three, got to the line 40 times and scored 1.29 points per possession. Kansas was down by more than 20 midway through the second half, but attempted a furious comeback to make it close late.
Naadir Tharpe was a complete no-show and got benched for most of the game by Bill Self. In 16 minutes, Tharpe had 0 points (0-3 FG), 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover, and 1 steal. Tharpe also got obliterated by Juwan Staten when he was guarding him. Again, it's getting nearly impossible to predict how Tharpe is going to perform on a night-to-night basis on the offensive end.
Tarik Black had a very disappointing night, coming off of his best game as a Jayhawk. Black finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 fouls in 22 minutes.
No one else had a really noticeably awful game, but no one really stepped up to help Wiggins, and no one else really played much defense either.
Kansas now figures to perhaps be a 2 seed at the moment, likely in the Midwest Region, but there's a lot of action happening between now and Selection Sunday. Hopefully KU can get Joel Embiid back healthy and pair him with Wiggins, who might have solidified himself as the Big 12 Player of the Year with this performance. Still, point guard play and perimeter defense are glaring holes in this squad at the moment.
KU will play in the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday at 2:00 PM Central time in Kansas City against the winner of the Wednesday matchup of Texas Tech/Oklahoma State.