It's often said that college basketball is a game of runs. That was certainly true last night as Kansas built an 18 point lead at halftime, but UCLA cut it to just six with 5:47 remaining in the game. Fortunately the Bruins expelled a bit too much energy in the comeback and couldn't quite complete it.
Granted it was just UCLA, but it ended up being a very solid game for the Jayhawks, who scored 1.14 PPP and held the Bruins to .89 PPP. Kansas's advantages manifested themselves in two somewhat unlikely areas: shooting and offensive rebounding. Kansas put up a 58.5% eFG and grabbed a whopping 40% of their misses. UCLA had been reasonably good at defensive rebounding, and I thought that was one area Kansas could be taken advantage of, but a 40% offensive rebounding rate is phenomenal.
Sadly the ability to crow about taking care of the ball so well is over, as Kansas turned it over on 28.6% of its possessions. They were roughly at 25% at the half, so it's no surprise that an increase in turnovers helped UCLA's comeback.
Also helping UCLA's comeback was some unconscious shooting from deep. At one point they made 5 in a row, and overall shot 8-14 from three. Granted part of this was because Kansas struggled on close outs a bit, but part of it is it was just one of those days, and for Kansas to respond to that mini run and such hot three point shooting says a lot about this team. Other than threes, offense wasn't really happening for the Bruins as they shot just 26.6% from two and grabbed only 20% of their own misses.
Like the Georgetown game it didn't look terribly pretty (and there weren't even many alley-oops) but a win is a win.
- Elijah Johnson played the type of game we all hoped he would regularly, going 4-5 from two and 4-8 from three for a tidy little 76.9% eFG.
- Robinson had a much more efficient game than last, shooting 7-10 from two and 1-1 from the line en route to a 15 point 10 rebound effort. Still, he looked downright confused when double teamed and is going to have to become a better passer if this team wants to make some NCAA tournament noise.
- Tyshawn had a pretty classic Tyshawn game where every amazing play he made was coupled with a head scratcher. He ended up shooting 3-7 from two, 1-3 from three and made all 4 of his free throws. He also had 6 assists, but 4 turnovers.
- Why +/- is stupid, example 3503252035. Jeff Withey was 1-3 from the floor, grabbed 6 rebounds and had 3 turnovers in 21 minutes, yet led the team in +/- at +21
- I bagged on Releford for looking lost out there yesterday, so even though his stat line was worse against UCLA (8 pts, 50% eFG) I'll make a mention of the fact that he played much more under control and didn't look like he stole a D1 player's jersey out there.
- Duke prediction! KenPom has us at 42% to win, and losing 76-74 in a 72 possession game.