Before the season started, one of my priorities was kicking Nebraska to the Big 10 with their tails between their legs. That plan was almost foiled in Allen Fieldhouse, but the Jayhawks executed it to a T yesterday, beating them by 20. Nebraska's defense coming into the game was 10th best in the country, allowing just 87.9 points per 100 possessions (adjusted). Yesterday Kansas scored 124.6 points per 100. Granted it was helped by going 13-24 from three, but Kansas has the best 2 point offense in the country for a reason, and they showed it yesterday, shooting 57.1% from two, just shy of their season average.
One quick note about the free throw situation: yes we shot only 69.7% yesterday, and we're 236th overall as a team, but I'm not really worried about it for a couple of reasons (and yes this is partly me trying to talk myself into it): First, we shot 33 free throws. Not only is that a lot of free throws, that's a lot of fouls. If we draw that many fouls from teams trying to send us to the line, there isn't a team in the country deep enough up front to be able to execute that strategy well. Either they will wait until it is too late to matter, or their best big men will have to sit due to foul trouble or be ineffective when they play. Secondly is that each game is a sample of one. We aren't predestined to shoot 66% from the line because that's what we shoot on average. It could happen that we shoot a lot better or worse just because of simple variance. And lastly, and I think this is the big point, our main ballhandlers are good freethrow shooters. Selby is at 81%, Tyshawn is at 75%, Brady is at 75% and Tyrel is at 86%. They don't get fouled as much as our bigs, but late in the game those are the guys who are going to be at the line the majority of the time.
- How about a hand for Brady Morningstar for being the high scorer? 19 points going 5-7 from three and 4-5 from the line. He also had 6 assists to 0 turnovers, 2 rebounds and a steal. It certainly is in the discussion for best games by a guard this year, especially considering the opponent.
- Tyrel's three point stroke is back, going 3-6 from three, and he was also 3-4 from the line. He pitched in 3 rebounds and a steal.
- Markieff Morris had 17 points with an insane 125% eFG, and if he had more than 1 rebound and less than 5 turnovers we would really have a candidate for best game of the year.
- Marcus was pretty unguardable himself yesterday, going 4-4 from two en route to scoring 16 points. He added 7 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.
- 8 and 6 for Thomas Robinson, which isn't great, but it game in 16 minutes played. Playing time is all that is stopping him from being ranked amongst the best defensive rebounders in the country.
- There is no doubt that Tyshawn had a rough start to the game, turning it over twice right away, but if you take away the first couple minutes or so he had a 5 to 1 turnover to assist ratio and he was one of the main catalysts when we finally started to pull away. This was one of his worse defensive games I think, but I also think that players like Lance Jeter aren't really the type of guys he is best at guarding.