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A (semi) Statistical Recap of North Dakota

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The weirdest game of the year for me personally ended up pretty great in my view: Kansas won, the bench players got to play a lot, and I thought the Sioux showcased themselves quite well and set themselves up as Great West favorites and a possible NCAA Tournament team in a couple of years.

Kansas scored 1.2 points per possession and allowed .83, which is actually probably more than a team would like to allow against a cupcake. But at the same time a lot of that probably came with mostly backups playing (and it should be noted that Jordan Juenemann spent 7 minutes defending UND's two most athletic players, which was as bad as it was hilarious). The big "problem" defensively came from inside the arc, oddly enough, with the Sioux shooting 43.5% from two. That's actually about 5% over Kansas's season average, but a lot of that likely has to do with Jeff Withey playing only 8 minutes due to being in Bill Self's doghouse. I don't second guess Self often, but if he limits Withey's minutes because he makes a dumb mistake or two I will personally go to his office to yell at him.

Offensively the biggest problem came in shooting from deep. Kansas shot just 22.2% from three, and it's something that will need to get better if Kansas is to win an 8th straight Big 12 title. But despite that Kansas still had an eFG over 53% and took care of the ball as well as they have all year, turning it over on just 14.3% of its possessions. Even without Withey in there they managed to outmuscle the undersized Sioux, nabbing 40.5% of its misses (and limiting UND to just 20.6%).

  • Tough not to start with Thomas Robinson. The first 30-20 game for Kansas in 50 years and just the 5th player to have a 30-20 game in Big 12 history (trivia question: name the other four). Nothing more needs to be said but for good measure he did it taking only 14 shots from the field. 30 points. 14 shots. 30 points. 14 shots. It was only UND but sweet god that is amazing.
  • Elijah Johnson has been Mr. Facilitator lately: he had 7 assists and just 1 turnover on Saturday, and also went a hilarious 2-10 from three. Miles Simon made the point a few times but with how athletic he is he needs to get into the lane some more. It would also let him have some more time to shoot threes rather than needing to go quickly on a 30 footer.
  • Tyshawn had 18 and was 6-10 from two and 1-3 from deep. He's still our biggest three point threat, now up to 51.4%. The improvement on his jump shot has been fantastic.
  • D2 All-American Conner Teahan was just 1-6 from three.
  • Tharpe only played 6 minutes. He again should have gotten more playing time so that he's A. ready for next year and B. doesn't entertain the thought of transferring but hey making sure we beat North Dakota by 40 is more important.
  • Merv only got 4 minutes and I still haven't gotten a good explanation as to why he doesn't play over Tehan other than "Tehan knows the system" BS.