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Second Offensive Assault In A Row Leads KU To Maui Finals With Win Over UCLA

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Jayhawks offered a glimpse of what they could be last night with a 92-73 victory over UCLA. It won't always be easy to score 1.28 points per possession (obviously) but the Jayhawks moved the ball well, attacked the lane, and leveraged that both into easy looks down low as well as wide open threes. It could have been even worse but for a couple of foot on the line jumpers, and there were still too many of those deep twos, but baby steps.

Kansas attempted just under 40 percent of its shots from 3, and made 43.5 percent of them. On the season, Kansas is now taking 34.4 percent of its shots behind the arc and shooting 43.8 percent on threes. They probably won't shoot that high of a percentage all season, but they don't need to in order to have a championship worthy offense.

The other satisfying area for Kansas last night was on the glass. The Jayhawks, one of the poorest power 5 defensive rebounding teams last season, allowed UCLA to rebound just 20 percent of its misses.

Every game, no matter the score, has its negatives. Kansas allowed UCLA to shoot 55 percent from two, though the interior defense was excellent in the first half, and forced turnovers on just 15.3 percent of the Bruins possessions. That isn't good to begin with, but especially not good when facing a team that is ranked worse than 250th so far this season at turning it over.

Still, the Jayhawks took care of the ball themselves, ran good offense both against man and zone, and played tough defense early to build that big lead. The final major positive is that Kansas was able to get out and run a lot, and as we've seen, few teams are better when turning games into a helter skelter affair.

Wayne Selden took a couple awful twos, but I will grant him some leeway if he's going to shoot 4-5 on threes. He had just 1 rebound, but also had 3 assists compared to just 1 turnover. He stayed within himself (for the most part) offensively, but he was probably the worst perimeter defender last night.

Frank Mason wont go 0-2 from three often, but he will go 4-5 on twos, 8-9 from the line, and have 7 assists and no turnovers often. he completely destroyed Bryce Alford in an underrated point guard head to head matchup.

Perry Ellis was 7-9 on twos, 2-3 on threes, and had 6 rebounds. Most importantly, he scored both through and over length. Ellis was fantastic all game, and if he can consistently score against big guys down low then he has potential for a seriously big year. Jury is still out on that given last season, however.

Devonte Graham had a nice offensive game, going 3-6 on twos, 1-2 on threes, and dishing out 3 assists, but did his best work on the other end of the floor. Other guys guarded Bryce Alford, but Graham's defense both on and off the ball was the biggest factor in Alford going just 1-6 from the field and having 2 assists. More than just having a bad game, Graham's defense made Alford basically have no game.

Jamari Traylor played his best game of the season last night, with a nice dribble drive attack, a made jumper, a decent rebounding effort, and some nice passes with just 1 turnover.

Svi Mykhailiuk struggled shooting the ball, going just 2-9 from three, but he made 3-4 twos, had 4 rebounds, 2 assists. Svi played some tough defense as well, and I liked that he wasn't afraid to keep letting it fly.

Landen Lucas played well in 13 minutes, with 4 points and 5 rebounds, and he also played some tough interior defense in the first half.

Carlton Bragg is showing those Marcus Morris comps, making a deep jumper and grabbing 4 rebounds. Bragg looked better defensively, and while he will have his growing pains, I think his basketball IQ is high for a freshman.

Hunter Mickelson got 10 minutes and mostly didn't really do anything. He passed the ball and set some ok screens, and had two rebounds. He missed his only shot.