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Kansas Struggles in Win Over West Virginia

The Jayhawks stayed undefeated in Big 12 play, but they needed to hold off a terrible West Virginia team to do so

Justin K. Aller

Let's get the most important analysis out of the way first: the uniforms were terrible. They are going to get put online and in stores and make the university money so more power to them, but they were terrible to look at. I'm honestly not a big fan of the home whites in the first place, but I really like their road unis. These however, are terrible.

Anyways, to the game. When it started to look like Kansas could lose before holding the Mountaineers off for a 61-56 win last night, I thought to myself "I'd rather lose a game where they just lost focus rather than one where they went up against a team as good as they are and just got beat" but nevertheless the lack of offensive ability is getting to be an issue. Kansas scored just under 1.02 points per trip, and could have put the game away in the first half but lacked the ability to get enough good shots to get there. While it's premature to cite stats like this midway through a season, Kansas is on pace to finish with the lowest PPP of the Bill Self era (however, scoring in general is down across college basketball, so it's not as big of an issue as some make it out to believe.)

The defense, however, is still elite: They held the Mountaineers to just .93 points per trip, and just a 40.7% eFG. They're still not forcing turnovers (broken record alert!) but they defended without fouling, didn't let West Virginia get good shots, and didn't let them get any offensive rebounds. I think they're for sure one of the best three teams in the country, but if a team is shooting well from deep against them I am not sure if they have the ability to get a score when they really need one.

  • Jeff Withey was 6-8 from two, had 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, but was just 3-7 from the line and is now shooting just 66% from the stripe. He also looks like some guy named Toby from a show called Pretty Little Liars according to my girlfriend (h/t @sportsbroad) so that's something.
  • Ben McLemore sat much of the first half with foul trouble, but still finished with 13 points on 7 field goal attempts.
  • Travis Releford was 6-8 from two and 1-1 from three, grabbed 4 rebounds and added 2 steals and 2 assists.
  • Elijah Johnson had just 6 points, but he added 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. It wasn't a great game, but it wasn't awful.
  • KenPom now gives Kansas about a 9% chance of going through the rest of the Big 12 slate undefeated. Even the most optimistic of us (hi) probably realizes that won't be happening.