For a game in which both teams scored well over a point per possession (1.2 for Kansas, 1.09 for Baylor) that game sure won't be featured in any best of basketball montages. Although it is weird to say it seemed like Kansas played poorly offensively in a game in which the Jayhawks shot 55.6 percent on twos, 42.1 percent on threes, and rebounded 48 percent of their misses. Some of it was that Kansas turned it over too much (22 percent of possessions), some of it was the multiple shot clock violations, and some of it was that the Jayhawks seemed relatively confused against the zone for much of the game before going ahead and just scoring on the possession anyway.
Defensively Kansas wasn't as bad as it seemed. The main culprit was obviously rebounding, as the Jayhawks actually allowed Baylor to rebound more of their own misses (55.6 percent of them) than Kansas misses. Other than that, though, Kansas didn't play too badly on that end. The Jayhawks withstood Baylor shooting 40 percent from three, including Rico Gathers making the only three he's ever taken. The Bears shot just 34 percent inside the arc, another great effort from the Jayhawks, and probably even better considering all of the offensive rebounds Baylor had. Yes, in order to grab an offensive rebound you need to miss a shot, but a lot of those rebounds dropped right to a Baylor player for what should be a relatively easy putback.
I said on the podcast that if the game came down to the final minute or so I was 95 percent sure Kansas would win. I didn't foresee Scott Drew using all of his timeouts that early, and I didn't foresee the total drought Baylor had at the end of the game, but I knew Kansas would get a nice out of bounds play (the lob to Selden), someone would make a big play on offense (Selden's finger roll) and someone would make a big play on defense (Mason's steal). I would rather have had a 20 point win obviously, but it's hard to win on the road, and it's doubly hard to beat good teams on the road, and Kansas has now clinched a winning record on the road.
Devonte Graham had a nice rebound game, going 3-7 from three including a couple big ones when Kansas couldn't find anything offensively. He also had 7 assists and just 2 turnovers.
Frank Mason was 5-7 from two, 2-4 from three, had 3 assists and just 1 turnover, and had the steal to clinch the game.
Perry Ellis was 3-6 from two and 1-2 from three and made all 6 of his free throws. He struggled on the boards at times and turned it over twice, but also had 3 assists and 2 blocks. Not bad when you can be reasonably disappointed by a 15 point, 5 rebound game.
Landen Lucas played some more really good defense, and did it without fouling! He had 2 steals, a block, and led the team in defensive rebounds with 5. He also led the team in offensive rebounds with 5. Lucas added 5 points but was just 2-6 from the field.
Wayne Selden disappeared for much of the game before turning it on late, grabbing a huge rebound, nailing an alley oop, making a tough finger roll, and dishing out a couple of key assists. He ended with just 6 points, but added 6 rebounds and 3 assists and played pretty good defense all night.
Jamari Traylor made both of his shots but had just 1 rebound and 2 turnovers in 12 minutes.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was 1-2 from three and had an assist in 9 minutes, all in the first half. Given how well he moved the ball at a time in which Kansas was struggling in that area, and given how good his on ball defense was, I am surprised he didn't get more playing time in the second half.
Brannen Greene played 7 minutes. He made a corner 3, missed an open layup, and then was never heard from again.
Cheick Diallo played 2 minutes and managed to squeeze in a turnover, foul, and blocked shot. The full experience.
Carlton Bragg played just 1 minute, missing his only shot. He isn't good defensively or on the defensive glass, but given that Baylor basically wasn't guarding Lucas, I think Bragg could have played more to stretch out the defense.