It wasn't as clean or crisp as you'd like to see, but it was UCLA in Pauley Pavillion. Kansas led from the opening tip and never relinquished that lead to a clearly rebuilding UCLA squad. From a gameflow perspective Kansas truly began to pull away in this one near the 17 minute mark of the second half after UCLA pulled as close as it would for the duration at a six point deficit. I can't recall for certain but it seems this may have coincided with the eye poke from hell.
Of the four factors to winning the Jayhawks won three of them. eFG%, TO% and offReb%. Most surprising was that the Jayhawks pulled out the advantage in offensive rebounding percentage but that might have more to do with the disparity in FG% than it did with the actual offensive boards. Kansas was more efficient as a whole on Sunday and combined with the talent gap it made for a pretty comfortable win.
From a statistical standpoint this game was pretty even minus one column and that's the FG department. Kansas was plain and simple better at finishing. A lot of that has to do with Markieff Morris' effectiveness underneath as well as Xavier Henry's efficiency from the field. Minus that area though this one was surprisingly pretty even. A slight rebounding edge to Kansas in the game but turnovers, FG attempts, steals and nearly everything else this thing was played fairly even. Prime example of getting by on talent alone in this one.
|3pt FG Att||17||17|
|3pt FG Made||5||6|
|3pt FG Pct||29.4||35.3|
Markieff Morris comes up big in the player impact chart which is great to see. The overall improvement in the Morri from last season to this season has been HUGE. The maturity level of their game, the lack of silly fouls and turnovers and finishing around the rim has been night and day comparitively. If these two continue to develop at this pace, they could become damn fine Jayhawks before it's all said and done.
From an individual statistic standpoint I'm looking at the minutes and really hoping we can find a way to keep Sherron from having to go 37 minutes in a contest. In some ways Sherron's game yesterday resembled a bit of last season. Pushing things instead of letting the game come to him. A big part of that might have to do with the lack of a 2nd point guard or someone who can carry the torch as Tyshawn Taylor is also channeling his struggles from a year ago.
Cole is doing the job on the interior in terms of rebounding and causing havoc defensively, but he hasn't quite found his niche offensively with the new/improved talent on this team.
Fortunately the Morri went for 23 pts, 15 rebounds and only 3 turnovers. Another bright spot continues to be Xavier Henry who easily contributed 16 and got in the mix with 5 rebounds. His 4 turnovers were tops on the team but if I recall correctly 2 were very early on when he may have been a little juiced up playing at UCLA.
All in all, it's a win. Still this team has a ways to go in order to find it's identity. They are winning every game right now based on talent. The good news is Bill Self is still sitting on that bench and he finds a way to gel teams better than nearly anyone.