It was yet another defensive clinic for the Jayhawks on Senior Day, as they allowed Texas to score just .926 points per possession. Part of that was that Texas lost the lottery a bit, going just 3-17 from three, but they were pretty good inside the arc as well: other than J'Covan Brown, the Longhorns shot just 10-27 (37%) from two.
Brown was fantastic, scoring 33 of Texas's 63 points, and unlike the game in Austin he did it efficiently, going 8-12 from two and making 14 of his 15 free throws. Brown was of course defended best by - you guessed it - Jordan Juenemann, who started the game locked up against the conference's leading scorer.
Offensively, Kansas did most of its work inside the arc. They took just 16% of their shots from three (making 4 of 10) and shot 51.2% from two. True to form, they turned it over a lot (22.1%) against a team who forces a lot of turnovers but encouragingly they were back to their old ways rebounding wise, grabbing 24% of their misses. They also allowed Texas to rebound only 27% of their misses, better than the KU season average.
After last year's team being a more offensively oriented group, Kansas was back to its defensive ways this year. The Jayhawks led the league in PPP allowed, eFG allowed, 2 pt% allowed, block% and steal%. Offense still wins in the tournament, but ideally both is best, and Kansas has both.
- Tyshawn Taylor almost fouled out of his own Senior Night, but he ended up having a great game, going 7-9 from two and 8-8 from the line. He also had 4 rebounds and 4 assists (and 4 turnovers, one of which resulted from him trying to go around the back for a layup, causing me to burst out laughing in the stands).
- Conner Teahan went 1-3 from three, and had 2 great steals. His defense hasn't exactly been Releford-esque, but he has at least had some active hands as of late, which is a major improvement from earlier this year.
- Jordan Juenemann played 3 minutes and most notably held J'Covan Brown scoreless.
- Thomas Robinson was 10-19 from the field and 5-10 from the line for 25 points, and grabbed 14 rebounds (5 offensive) in what probably is his last game in Allen Fieldhouse.
- The improvement of Elijah Johnson continues. Johnson went 3-4 from three, had 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 0 turnovers. The Johnson who does all of the auxiliary stuff is a valuable player, but if he shoots well from three too he could be a big big piece in a couple of weeks.
- Withey went just 1-3 from the field, but made 7 of his 10 free throws and had 3 blocks. Not a great night, but not a terrible one either for the Big 12 defensive POY.
- THARPE WATCH! Not 30 seconds after I yelled at HCBS to put Tharpe in the game, Tharpe came in the game. Regardless, Tharpe had a trillion, but I still have my spot as his bandwagon driver reserved for the next couple years
- Bonus Senior Day speeches analysis! All three of them went ridiculously long, Juenemann thanked God 50 times more than anyone or anything else, (he's also dating the hottest cheerleader, so upset of the millenium there), Teahan sounds like he should be on Friday Night Lights, and Tyshawn's sister stole the show. Tyshawn also didn't understand the concept of a microphone terribly well (though he understandably was nervous I'm sure. His speech was the best I thought as well).