This was the rare game that was both as close and yet not as close as it looked. Siena narrowed it to a two possession game with just 5 minutes to go, but Kansas had control of the entire game and the underlying numbers suggested if Kansas would ever make a perimeter jumper, the game would be over fast. And it was. Kansas pulled away, eventually scoring 1.23 points per possession and allowing .93. Of course Siena had a couple players out so by the 2016 rules of college basketball they now get to play in the NBA whereas KU’s win is invalidated and they have to disband the program. Oh well, it was a good run.
Siena’s newfangled ability to hold onto the ball was pretty true to form, as they turned it over on roughly 15 percent of their possessions, but the ability to crash the glass was not as Kansas turned in another fine effort on the defensive glass, allowing the Saints to grab just 30 percent of their misses.
Most notably, it was another horrific day from three on both sides of the ball, as Siena shot 8-21 (38 percent), while the Jayhawks made just 3 of 12 attempts (25 percent). Kansas is now sitting at 23.1 percent from deep, which ranks 319th nationally, and is allowing opponents to shoot 43.7 percent from deep, which ranks 317th. I’ll expand on this more at a later date, but this is actually great news for Kansas going forward (the short version is both numbers are going to regress, especially if Kansas starts shooting more threes). For now though, Kansas turned in an impressive defensive effort where it is most repeatable, allowing Siena to shoot just 36 percent on twos.
In the spirit of rotation, it is back to no grades:
- Frank Mason had another fine effort, going 5-9 on twos and 5-8 from the line. He also had 3 assists but also 2 turnovers. He will never be a pass first kind of guy, but I think as guys like Vick and Jackson emerge, he will do more drive and kick type stuff than we have seen.
- Devonte Graham was probably the game’s best player overall. The junior was 4-4 from two and 5-7 from the line (0-3 from three though). Most impressively was his 9 assists without turning the ball over.
- Carlton Bragg had one of the quietest double doubles I can remember. I had no idea he was closing in on a career high in points (he finished 5-8 on twos and 5-7 from the line for 15 points) and had no idea he had 11 rebounds. Even though Bragg added 2 steals, he still has some things to work on defensively. That’s probably going to be the next video post.
- Landen Lucas struggled offensively, but was the main driving force behind Kansas allowing Siena to shoot just 36 percent on twos. He had 5 blocks in the game and several other possessions where jumping and staying vertical caused Saints players to change their shots.
- Josh Jackson was 5-6 from two, added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. He had 4 turnovers, but two of those were offensive fouls which were dubious calls. It’s just three games, but the kid appears to be as advertised.
- Lagerald Vick had maybe the quietest really good game other than Bragg. He was 6-8 on twos, had 8 rebounds, 2 assists, a block, and a steal. Once his 3-pointer starts falling he’s going to take off.
- Svi Mykhailiuk was 2-4 from deep (and had another basically all the way down before it rimmed out) and added a rebound and an assist.
- Udoka Azubuike came back to earth a bit, with a point, 3 rebounds, and a block in just 7 minutes. The most impressive thing he did though was guard a couple pick and roll switches and make a couple good shows to the ball during said pick and rolls. Kids his size shouldn’t be able to move like that.