It's no secret that Bill Self loves to win with defense. That's why, despite putting up 1.28 points per possession against Georgetown on Saturday, he was probably a lot happier giving up under a point per possession. And, in more good news, Kansas is allowing opponents to shoot just over 50% at the rim, one of the best marks in the country. They're still giving up a lot of shots at the rim, but that and the FG% allowed has been steadily declining.
And, to tell the truth, while this team won't end up a defensive powerhouse like the last two teams were, the offense is so good (or at least has the potential to be) that it doesn't matter. Kansas shot 62.5% from two against Georgetown and now are 4th in the country in shooting inside the arc. They still struggle at shooting from three, but once Andrew White III gets on the court again they'll have players who are shooting 39%, 37% (Selden), 36.7% (Tharpe) and 35% (Wiggins). It's not going to light the world on fire but it's enough to make teams think twice about packing it in on Embiid and Ellis. If Kansas goes 5-14 in every game this year, I think that will be enough to win. It just won't be enough to save them if everything else goes wrong.
Elsewhere, Kansas took care of the ball again, and held Georgetown off the glass. The defensive rebounding still could get better for the Jayhawks, but they're starting to get a lot better on the offensive glass.
Andrew Wiggins: 6.5. It was probably Wiggins' worst game as a Jayhawk, as he shot just 1-5 from two (though the 2-5 from three was nice) and, though he had 4 assists, had 3 turnovers as well. He did have three steals on the day, but his defense wasn't great overall. He also, for some reason, can't draw a foul even though he gets hammered every time he goes to the hole. Might need to work on that flopping game.
Wayne Selden: 8.5. Selden and Wiggins had fairly similar games, but Selden was 1-2 from two and 2-4 from three. He also pitched in 3 rebounds, 4 assists and had just 1 turnover. If he is really a 37% three point shooter (and who knows at this point) then his offensive game takes a step up, but his defense has really been subpar this year, especially off the ball.
Naadir Tharpe: 8.5. Tharpe had a near perfect game offensively, going 3-4 from two and 1-2 from three. He had 4 assists (including on KU's first three baskets) and just 1 turnover.
Joel Embiid: 10 (thousand). Embiid had 17 points on just 4 shots from the field (!) and went 9-12 from the line. He added 8 rebounds, a block, and two steals. Oh and he did it in 21 minutes. He's the #1 pick. Sorry, everyone else.
Perry Ellis: NR. I'm not going to rate Perry given that he had to be taken out, but I want to use this to get on my soapbox a bit: thankfully it looks like his injury was just a bruised nerve and it won't be too serious, but before, when they thought it was a concussion, Bill Self it was a mild concussion. I am no doctor, but repeat after me: there are no mild concussions. It's your brain getting bounced violently against your skull. Thankfully Kansas has a full week off before their next game.
Jamari Traylor: 9. In a perfect world, this is how Jamari would play every game. 3-3 from two, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. He's certainly not smooth on offense, but his first couple steps are really explosive and I think HCBS has done a better job lately of letting him just go out there and be an athlete.
Tarik Black: 10. This is kind of burying the lede a bit, but I am really happy for Black. With his parents watching he had 17 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and two blocks. He also had just one foul, partially because he did a better job of not fouling, but also partially because the refs in this game respected verticality a bit more (most of the time). What a novel concept.
Everyone Else: Landen Lucas had 2 rebounds and a block in 2 minutes. Future national rebounding leader. Greene and Frankamp barely played in this one, which is fine because they were winning, but it seems disingenuous to complain about a lack of outside shooting when three guys who can make them are sitting on the bench.