Bill Self says they were terrible. They, of course, weren't, but one could be forgiven for thinking that from only watching the game. Still, when it was over the Jayhawks allowed just .82 points per possession, better than their season average so far. Offensively it was a bit different as they were about .1 PPP below their season total, but given that Marcus hurt his ankle and only played 18 minutes, it is at least semi-excusable that the Jayhawks would play poorly. You don't want to pin your fortunes on one player, but when it's one of the best 5 players in the country maybe it's not so bad.
To compensate for the departure of McMorris, Kansas did a couple of very smart things: First, they played slower than they normally do (67 possessions compared to 72). Although on a micro scale maybe it is not as smart of an idea because they have such a talent advantage over Colorado State, it is good practice in case they are hobbled against a team that is close to their equal in talent. And secondly, they shot more threes. Part of this is probably because they have shot it so well lately and were going to anyways, but nearly one third of their points were from threes last night, whereas their season average is just over one fifth of their points.They only shot 35% from three, but attempting 23 of them is roughly what I would want to see from the Jayhawks for the rest of the year.
Four factors and player stats after the jump
- With Marcus out, Markieff filled in with a double double with 12 pts and 11 rebounds, though he got his far more inefficiently than Marcus usually does. Kieffer had an under 50% eFG, though that is mostly explained by him going only 1-4 on threes. The best defensive rebounder in the country this year did his work on the offensive glass last night, with 5 offensive boards.
- Tyrel Reed took 10 threes. He only made 3 of them but he can take 10 any night he wants. Bill Self has said that Reed has the green light whenever he wants and he has demonstrated that the past couple games.
- Brady Morningstar had a really nice under the radar game: 2-6 from the field (1-4 from three), 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
- Despite early season speculation that Josh Selby would be running the show, Tyshawn Taylor has been given the keys to the Porsche that is the Kansas offense and he has responded. An efficient 12 points on 3-5 shooting, making the only 3 pointer he took. He also had 6 assists. He's not a lottery pick, but T2 has been making himself some NBA dollars this year.
- A high energy 17 minutes played for Thomas Robinson and while Self was pretty mad at him in the first half, I'd rather have him making aggressive mistakes than tentative ones. 7 and 8 won't jump off the page, but add in the fact that it was on 3-5 shooting and he had 3 blocks and the night seems much better.