Halfway there, everyone. This was probably the best scouting job of the tournament by the staff: Kansas held Richmond, a team which scored 1.1 PPP this season, to just .9 PPP. The 16th best three point shooting team in the country shot only 4-26 (15.4%). Some of that was missing a couple of open looks, but a lot of it was that the defense just didn't allow anything outside. That was partly exploited by the Spiders, who grabbed 36% of their misses, roughly 10% more than Kansas usually allows, but when allowing a team to only have a 36.9% eFG it's obviously easier to live with the lack of defensive rebounding.
That's not to say Kansas didn't do well offensively. Although they didn't get to the free throw line, the Jayhawks shot a 54.8% eFG, shot 47% from three, and only turned it over on 14.3% of their possessions. Expect more on Sunday, as VCU forces more turnovers, but I don't think they force them with the frequency that will bother Kansas too terribly.
Lastly, a ton of credit needs to go to the guys for being the perfect mix of ready to play and loose. I think the pregame crap in the tunnel helped (which I'm not a big fan of, but I would rather win with it than lose without it) as well as Brady's technical, but the team could have puckered up and been in for a close game when Markieff picked up the two quick fouls, but instead Thomas Robinson came in and stabilized everything, Tyrel, Brady and Selby hit some big threes, and there was no sense that Richmond was going to crawl back into the game.
- Brady Morningstar has been on fire lately, and could be a nice Regional MOP pick on Sunday regardless of who wins the game. He had 18 points and was 4-7 from three. He also had 4 assists and 2 steals in typical Brady fashion. And of course one technical that got Coach Self's blood boiling, which was pretty hilarious I might add.
- Marcus Morris didn't really have a typical game, going 4-9 from two and 0-1 from three, but he hit 5 of his 6 free throws and grabbed 7 rebounds.
- Markieff was limited due to fouls, and only had 5 points on 2 of 8 shooting, all from two. He did grab 6 rebounds, including a game high 5 offensive boards.
- Thomas Robinson picked up the slack down low, finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds in just 16 minutes played (and my conspiracy theory gets more traction). He was 5-9 from two and 2-2 from the line.
- Josh Selby hit 3 of his 5 threes and grabbed three rebounds, along with playing some good defense. If he returns for his Sophomore year Kansas will have a great guard trio to fill the shoes of the sleepy eyed Kansans.
- Tyshawn had only 4 points, but 7 assists next to 3 turnovers, and mostly good defense.
- Elijah made both of his shots for 4 points, and also had an assist
- Tyrel Reed broke out of his shooting slump a bit, going 2-4 from beyond the arc.