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Kansas Loses To West Virginia Thanks In Part To More Three Point Blunders


Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Some numbers. First, the relevant but not as important ones: Kansas attempted just 21 free throws compared to West Virginia's 47, and committed 12 more fouls than the Mountaineers. Given that West Virginia is the most foul prone team in the country, either something went wrong there or we just have to accept the fact that Kansas is going to get fewer foul calls than the average Big 12 team. Why that is I don't know, but it is a nice lead in to the important stuff....

Kansas didn't get foul calls, yet continuously pounded the ball inside for some unknown reason. The Jayhawks shot 36 percent on 28 2-pointers, and shot 50 percent on 20 3-pointers. I'm not saying Kansas would have won had they attempted more threes, but they would have won had they attempted more threes.

To me, there are two ways to go about this. We can get mad, say the gameplan was stupid, etc etc, or we can realize that Bill Self is an extremely good and successful coach and like most good and successful people he is stubborn and you might as well shout into the wind when talking about the threes or things like continuously running the weave up top when it doesn't do much or having Frank Mason go 1 on 4 repeatedly despite how gassed he was. It's not going to change, so we might as well deal with it.

As bad as the offense was, Kansas played fairly well defensively. West Virginia did score a point per possession but it was on the back of getting to the line more times than they deserved. The Jayhawks held them to 35 percent on twos and 25 percent on threes, and for all the talk of how West Virginia dominated the glass, they only rebounded 32 percent of their misses. That's a good job by Kansas against anybody, and a great job against a team that rebounds as well as the Mountaineers.

Perry Ellis had a nice game, going 7-13 on twos and 1-1 from three while grabbing 7 rebounds. Kansas went away from getting him the ball in the second half for some reason, but he was a matchup nightmare for most of the night.

Frank Mason had his worst game in awhile, and is clearly already getting gassed by the minutes he plays and how many times he has to drive right into the heart of the defense and get knocked around. Even on plays when he isn't drawing a foul (and even on plays where there shouldn't be one called) he's having to deal with a lot of contact. He had just 2 assists and 7 turnovers last night and was awful on defense.

Devonte Graham was 0-4 on twos but 2-3 from three, had 3 assists and just 1 turnover. He wasn't great defensively but I think played better overall than he got credit for last night.

Wayne Selden was 3-6 from deep but had an awful game. Poor defense and 6 turnovers won't make you Bill Self's favorite player.

Hunter Mickelson started again but played just 5 minutes. He had a block, 2 rebounds, and didn't turn it over. I'm not sure why he didn't play more to be honest.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was 0-3 from three and didn't score, but was pretty good defensively. He did a pretty good job taking care of the ball as well.

Landen Lucas played 15 minutes and had 6 rebounds and a blocked shot, but given  how much of a zero he was on offense I could understand why he didn't play more.

Jamari Traylor held his own on the glass last night and was a net positive in turnovers (1 TO, 2 steals) in 11 minutes. Most surprising thing of the night probably.

Brannen Greene played 11 minutes filled with his usual terrible defense, but he didn't have the threes to make up for it last night.

Carlton Bragg played 6 minutes and had a three in garbage time, but was pretty bad elsewhere when he was in.

Cheick Diallo played 4 minutes and got outmuscled on the glass and in the post. At this point I think it's fair to say he isn't ready for Big 12 basketball. Again, it's not entirely his fault, but it is the situation.

Lagerald Vick was 1-2 from three in 4 minutes, and while I don't get to see him in practice obviously I wonder if he should be getting some more minutes, if only to give the backcourt a bit of a rest or give the wing a skillset that Greene and Svi don't give you.