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Kansas Jayhawks basketball vs Stanford Cardinal: A (Semi) Statistical Recap

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NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas welcomed back former player and assistant Jerod Haase in style(ish), pulling away for a 89-74 win.

Kansas allowed Stanford to score over a point per possession (1.01 to be exact) for just the third time this season, and that was with Stanford shooting 2-8 from three. The 2-point defense wasn’t terrible either, as Stanford shot just 45 percent. The main culprit was Kansas letting Stanford take 37 free throws, and the Cardinal making 30 of them.

Kansas also had a major defensive lapse in the 2nd half when they majorly overplayed the passing lanes, allowing for some backdoor layups for Stanford. Not to sound mean, but the way to beat Stanford is to just sort of stand there and let them screw up.

I’m not as worried about the interior D going forward as some seem to be, even though Reid Travis gashed the Jayhawks for 29 points and 9 rebounds. Landen Lucas in particular forced him into some tough looks, and he still isn’t fully healthy. Once he is, the interior D will look better, and I expect Azubuike to get better at that once he adjusts to playing D1 college basketball a bit more. Kansas did do a good job on the defensive glass, however, allowing Stanford to grab roughly a fourth of its misses.

Offensively Kansas was lights out, scoring 1.22 points per possession. The Jayhawks shot 12-22 from three, but even a weaker output from deep wouldn’t have been an issue, as Kansas still shot 50 percent on twos.

They went through some ruts at times on that end of the floor, but when the offense is humming there aren’t many that can keep up with them. They move the ball so unselfishly, have a couple guys who can score in isolation, and have four unbelievable perimeter shooters. There will be bad games offensively, obviously, but at this point it seems like any bad games will be a result of KU errors rather than opponent successes.

Numbers time:

  • Devonte Graham: 9. 0-2 on twos. Embarrassing. Although I guess it helps that Graham was 5-9 from three, had 4 assists to just 1 turnover, and 2 steals.
  • Frank Mason: 9.5. Mason was 5-7 from two (including one of the best layups you’ll ever see), 2-3 from three, had 5 assists and just 1 turnover. One thing I had noticed a bit before but probably not as sharply as I did yesterday is how much quicker his release has gotten from 3. He used to be limited to only the most open of looks due to how slow his release was, but now he can take them in almost any situation. That’s a big plus when you can get to the rim at will.
  • Josh Jackson: 7. It’s funny. I thought Jackson was just OK in this one and I look up and he has 13 points on 5-11 shooting, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, a block, and 3 steals. He did have 4 turnovers and took some horrible jumpers however. I’m fine with him taking threes, but he needs to get rid of that pull up immediately.
  • Lagerald Vick: 7. Vick didn’t have as big of an imprint on the game as Jackson, but was much more efficient. He was 2-3 from deep, had an offensive rebound, and 2 assists. After a horrid start to the year, he’s now shooting 42 percent from three.
  • Udoka Azubuike: 5.5. He had a couple of thunderous dunks and 3 blocks and 4 rebounds, but foul trouble limited him to just 11 minutes.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk: 6.5. A bit of a quiet game for Svi until the end, but he finished 3-5 from three, and 2-3 from two.
  • Landen Lucas: 7. Even with the line for Travis, Lucas played well defensively. He also added 8 points and 5 rebounds to go with 3 blocks.
  • Carlton Bragg: 6.5. Bragg needs to play more. He has struggled defensively inside, but can guard on the perimeter fine and was 3-4 from two and had 6 rebounds and 2 assists in just 16 minutes.
  • Dwight Coleby gets an incomplete but fouled out in 7 minutes. That’s awesome.