Well Hilton Magic might just be losing a bit of it's luster. It's been awhile since Kansas has been caught by the magic trick and Saturday was no different. Start to finish Kansas played pretty well for the most part. Granted Iowa State is a depleted team but Kansas did come out with good intensity on the road and beat the Cyclones the way a good team does.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Saturday, the bigs. Cole played as well as he has all year shooting 8-11. Jeff Withey came of the bench to put in 8 while also playing solid defense on Craig Brackins. Finally, Marcus Morris continues to emerge as a major piece to the puzzle for Kansas and his confidence and production since conference play began has been taken to another level.
It's tough to get overly excited about this one, but playing the way the Jayhawks did today certainly makes any fan feel a little better about the short turnaround for Missouri on Monday. The Tigers come to town and should provide a test equal to or better than the Baylor Bears. Rock Chalk and turn the page.
In terms of the statistical breakdown Kansas turned back to it's most reliable formula for success and it starts with defense. The Jayhawks weren't great in the shooting department, in fact only 3 of 17 from the three point line. Still they caused problems for the cyclones and forced them into a lot of low percentage opportunities. The result is another advantage in the eFG%.
In addition to shooting Kansas did an excellent job in valuing the basketball(Jay Bilasism alert). Kansas more and more is doing a better job in this department and Monday night it will be HUGE as far as the outcome of the game goes.
Offensive boards and rebounding in general returned to where it should be after a little bit of a night off against the Baylor Bears. Aldrich had a big role in that as did some of the smaller players on the court. Both Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor were productive in attacking the boards during their time on the court.
|Stat||Game||Season Avg||Opp Season Avg|
|3pt FG Att||17||10||19||17||18||18|
|3pt FG Made||3||4||7||7||5||6|
|3pt FG Pct||17.6||40.0||40.7||42.0||31.5||33.9|
From an individual standpoint it is always good when Sherron can have an off night by his standards and the Jayhawks pick up the slack in other areas. As mentioned above Cole, Withey and Marcus Morris all made big contributions from the interior. In addiition Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor made solid contributions from the 2 guard position for the Jayhawks. If we look at Brady and Tyshawn as a combined person similar to what we've done with the Morri and the 4 spot, we get a line of 14 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and just 1 turnover.
So now we've got steady production underneath, solid games from the point and shooting guard positions and....and...oh that's right the 3 spot. Xavier Henry continues to struggle. At this point it is certainly an area of concern, but by the same token Xavier is a freshman. It's the middle part of a long season and perhaps he's hit a wall of sorts. Now we just need him to get past it. All in all though, not much to complain about today.