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(Semi) Statistical Review of Memphis vs Kansas

Again, I have to wonder if Kansas fans (me especially) are either too spoiled or too greedy right now.  If you ask the average fan if Kansas has played well above average in any of the last three games and you'd likely get a strong "no".  Yet the Jayhawks have beaten an above average Arizona on a neutral court, UCLA at home with Tyler Honeycutt having a career night, and now #14 Memphis at Madison Square Garden.  It's not the toughest schedule out there but it's a decent one and Kansas has outplayed each opponent.  8-0 and the #1 recruit in the nation still in street clothes and we're not thrilled?  It's the reputation Bill Self and these players have built and I think it's deserved. 

This game highlights what this team is capable of even if the team never quite put it all together.  Beating Memphis by 13 points while having 12 turnovers in the first half (20 total) and shooting 58% from the free throw line is a pretty solid showing.  For the game, the Jayhawks averaged 1.09 points per possession.  Just for fun, on possessions that Kansas didn't turn the ball over they scored 1.5 points per possession.  Without context, it's tough to know how that compares to other teams (teaser) but it shouldn't surprise anyone because the Jayhawks are still shooting the ball extremely well.


  • Team assist percentage was 59% and the Jayhawks finished with a 1.05 A/TO ratio.  We know the turnovers were way too high but it was great to see the passing in the 2nd half.
  • Rebounding was outstanding on the offensive end and had stretches of being outstanding on the defensive end. 
  • 3 pt% for the game was 54.5 and the team is shooting 41.5% for the season.  When the shots being taken are wide open, they're good shots.  Marcus Morris was 1-4 and the rest of the team was 5-7.  Still wouldn't mind a few more attempts but Memphis was bellied up on the perimeter most of the night, so those opportunities weren't always there.
  • Free throws.  Frustrating...however, it's not as bad as it seems.  The Jayhawks were 11-19 from the line last night, good for 57.7%.  The national average is 68.1%, so 2 more free throws made and they would have been average.  Four more made and it's nearly 80%, well above the average.  Not saying they're not a problem, they're just a small problem compared to other parts of the game.

Players after the jump.

  • Tyshawn Taylor once again took control of the offense and did what needed to be done in the 2nd half.  He did have 4 turnovers but was also the only guard on the floor that penetrated the defense when they were overplaying on the perimeter.
  • Markieff Morris had an outstanding game.  8-11 from the field.  He had a floor percentage of 71.7%, which is very good.  That basically shows that when Kieff used a possession, the Jayhawks were getting points.  
  • Marcus Morris had another good but not quite great game.  Solid shooting night and good on the glass.  Five turnovers isn't pretty and he ends up with a 102.5 O-rating.
  • Thomas Robinson did what we want last night.  Ate up the glass, played solid interior defense, and did a decent job of scoring when he had the opportunity.  10 points and 10 rebounds. 
  • Elijah Johnson played a great game for what the Jayhawks need.  He took care of the ball, 3 assists and 0 turnovers in 21 minutes.  Also provided Sportscenter with an easy highlight dunk.
  • Not sure what to say about Brady Morningstar.  4 turnovers with 1 assist.  2-2 from behind the 3 pt line.  Didn't handle Memphis being in his face very well in the halfcourt sets.