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Kansas Opens Big 12 Play In Style With Blowout Win Over Baylor

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I have a bold prediction: Kansas won't lose many games in which it scores 1.3 points per possession. The Jayhawks did that yesterday, spurred on by a ridiculous opening minutes in which the Jayhawks couldn't miss from three. They didn't cool off much the rest of the game, as Kansas finished 58 percent behind the arc. Kansas did well in other areas offensively as well, shooting 52 percent inside the arc and turning it over on just 9.2 percent of its possessions.

Defensively the Jayhawks were impressive as well. Although Baylor ended up scoring close to a point per possession, the Jayhawks allowed Baylor to shoot just 42 percent on twos and 27 percent on threes. Kansas also did a very good job on the glass, allowing one of the best offensive rebounding teams in America to rebound just 26 percent of its misses. If nothing else, if I had known that number before the game started I would have told you Kansas would win comfortably. The lone problems for Kansas defensively were the Jayhawks only forced turnovers on 16 percent of Baylor's possessions and the Jayhawks sent the Bears to the free throw line 31 times while only getting there 24 times. Those are minor complaints, obviously, when considering how thoroughly Kansas dominated the game.

In particular, Kansas did well against Rico Gathers. Gathers, maybe the best offensive rebounder in America, grabbed just one offensive rebound in 29 minutes played. Frank Mason and Devonte Graham, meanwhile, did a great job on Lester Medford, as the Baylor point guard was just 5-12 from the field and had 2 turnovers and just 3 assists.

Wayne Selden continued his hot start, going 5-6 from three, grabbing 5 rebounds, dishing 4 assists, and not committing a turnover. Selden was just 4-10 on twos, but he missed a couple bunnies that I think he is going to make more often than not, and as I remarked on twitter, if he's going to not miss from three I'll let him take some awful twos.

Devonte Graham played some aforementioned good defense, and offensively was great as well. He was 4-4 on twos and 2-4 from three, had 4 assists, 3 steals, and 0 turnovers.

Frank Mason had another multiple turnover game, but had 4 assists, was 5-7 from two, and had 5 rebounds. Not his best game offensively, but he was still able to make some good plays when Kansas needed him to.

Perry Ellis was 5-10 on twos, 1-2 from three, grabbed 6 rebounds, and had 3 assists. He also played some good defense at times against the Baylor front line, which obviously has a size advantage against him. Another strong game from the all of a sudden forgotten Perry Ellis.

Hunter Mickelson certainly earned himself another start. He had a nice tip in, was 2-3 from the field and 3-4 from the line, had 6 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. His block percentage is back to a Witheyesque 14.4 percent.

Brannen Greene was 1-4 on twos and 1-2 on threes, and jammed his thumb late in the game. After how badly his hip injury affected him last season, Kansas will no doubt be holding its breath to see how his thumb recovers.

Landen Lucas played just 11 minutes, surprising to me given Baylor's size, but it certainly worked out. Lucas was 1-2 from the field and grabbed 2 rebounds, but also had 2 turnovers.

Jamari Traylor played 10 minutes, had a great chasedown block, and had a pair of assists.

Carlton Bragg also played 10 minutes, took a horrible long two, but saved his day with a 3 in garbage time. He also had 3 rebounds.

Cheick Diallo showed off a bit of everything in his arsenal. He made a long two, missed a couple awful long twos, grabbed 2 rebounds, had a nice block, and looked lost on both ends. I probably would have played him some more, but there's no doubt he needs to learn the offense and defense better.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has seen his minutes trimmed (understandable given his age) but he was 5-6 on free throws.

Lagerald Vick came in late and made another three. He is also your new eFG leader among scholarship players because of that three.