Survive and advance is the name of the game and that's what the Jayhawks did today. The game started fairly positive as NDSU looked to be fairly one dimensional as a three point only threat. Jayhawks locked down said threat and a new one dimensional team emergerd with a guy named Ben Woodside.
Our offense was never really the question except for a brief stint when the young Hawks seemed to stand around waiting for Sherron to knock down long jumpers. Then a little reminder of the big man on the interior and we were back on track.
Nonetheless, the big question always seemed to be whether or not the Jayhawks could outscore this Woodside fellow. After the adjustments were made and a sudden perimeter defense emerged things settled in and I would say I was comfortable come about the 1:30 mark but not a second sooner. Good win to have, sure it wasn't a great win but it's good to get that one under our belts with this group. Onto the next round and either West Virginia or Dayton.
As far as the gameflow the Jayhawks were pretty steady as she goes in terms of offense. The spikes and plateau's that we saw in the first half by the Bison turned into a steady stream of Woodside scoring and it got pretty close.
More stats and breakdown after the jump...
Kansas certainly handled things in the rebounding department as Cole was an animal inside on this one. The Jayhawks also continue their recent success in taking care of the ball which is absolutely huge in terms of this group turning the corner. Two areas that were somewhat out of the control today were the FG% and the FT efficiency. Ben Woodside alone made that a solid game for the Bison but the Jayhawks didn't disappoint on their end. All in all a pretty good game and certainly didn't feel like a 3 vs 14 at any point in time as the Bison are certainly a formidable foe for many teams in the field.
Player impact chart goes exactly the way we need it to, ok maybe not quite this unbalanced but it's still not a bad thing. Sherron started out absolutely enfuego and it looked like he was going to own this one. Late in the game though Cole was relied on heavily to produce and he did just that while also controlling the glass for much of the game.
In the team stat department we held NDSU below their average in the shooting department, we shot above our average and look closely...only 5 turnovers for the Jayhawks. We'll certainly be playing more athletic teams as time goes on but it was a good effort in taking care of the ball so effectively.
As always with player stats I like to look at the more unsung heroes and as we discussed in the OGT Marcus Morris stepped up today. Many of us commented that the play of the Morris twins would be critical today and they didn't disappoint. In their first tourney game the two, primarily Marcus, went for a double double and more importantly didn't make a lot of silly mistakes. They seemed comfortable with their role and effective in playing it. I like it.