Although Kansas allowed Holy Cross to score almost .9 points per possession, and at times they looked pretty ugly defensively, it's tough to entertain thoughts that the defense was horrible when they allowed the Crusaders to shoot just 35 percent on twos for the game. They also forced turnovers on 29 percent of Holy Cross's possessions and allowed them to rebound just 21 percent of their misses (although that one was more Holy Cross's doing than Kansas's.) It's a testament to the power of the 3-pointer that Holy Cross shooting roughly 10 percent above its season average can have that much of an impact on not just how we view the defensive effort, but the final point total as well. If Holy Cross had shot its season average last night, Kansas would have allowed just .8 points per possession, and we'd all be heralding the effort on that end. At this point in the season it's still about process more than results, and the process was very good.
Speaking of threes, Kansas shot 12-20 behind the arc last night, and is now shooting 46.3 percent from three on the season, which is 5th best in the country. They're up to taking 31.4 percent of their shots from three, good for 254th nationally. Kansas rebounded 45 percent of its misses, got just one shot blocked, and shot 65 percent on twos. A higher than it should be turnover percentage is the lone blemish, but that's the tradeoff sometimes when trying to speed the other team up.
Frank Mason had 2 turnovers, which is uncharacteristic for him this season, but one was Mickelson's fault, and Mason still had 5 assists and 13 points. The size of the defense matters, but it was nice to see him score on those layups that he seemingly can get anytime he wants. It was nice to see him play fewer than 30 minutes as well.
Perry Ellis had another strong game. He made all 6 of his twos, grabbed four rebounds, had a steal, and didn't turn it over. In the wise words of Jesse Newell on twitter last night, Kansas fans will probably ignore it.
Devonte Graham scored 10 points, made two of his three 3s, had 5 assists, no turnovers, and 3 steals. The calls for him to play less are getting quieter and quieter.
Wayne Selden can't miss. He was 3-4 on threes, and is now shooting 58 percent behind the arc this season. He's also 12th nationally in eFG at 71.1 percent.
Hunter Mickelson got a rare start, and although the stats aren't terribly kind (0 points, 2 rebounds) he played well defensively with 2 blocked shots, 2 steals, and a number of tipped passes. This is the type of game Mickelson should be playing in. Kansas doesn't need a rebounder because Holy Cross doesn't try to rebound, and they don't need someone who can establish post possession deep because Ellis can score over Holy Cross's smaller defenders.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was 1-2 on twos, 1-3 on threes, and had 4 rebounds. He had a couple rough turnovers and got beat defensively a couple of times, but overall I think he was strong on the defensive end of the floor. His 3-point percentage for the season is now 35 percent.
Carlton Bragg had 5 more offensive rebounds and has surged ahead of Landen Lucas for the team lead (percentage wise). Bragg had 2 turnovers, but he'll get those out of his system as he gets more experience.
Cheick Diallo had a game that was equal parts exciting and equal parts frustrating. His jumper probably needs some work but at the same time he can make it so I would be hesitant to change much. He had a nice dunk, just missed another when he got fouled, and made all of his free throws. He is the black hole to end all black holes, however: he's taking 32 percent of the team's shots when he's on the floor. For comparison's sake, that's more than Thomas Robinson ever had in his career.
Brannen Greene came back and made both his twos and was 3-4 from three, his first miss of the year. Clearly he needs another 5 games off. Greene's eFG this season, for the record, is now 125%.