Rarely will you see a more dour 18 point win, but that's what happened last night. Kansas sleepwalked through large portions of both the first and second halves, but some well time bursts of energy powered the Jayhawks to the win. Although K State has a middle of the pack defense, 1.07 PPP scored is nothing to write home about, but even though K State has a horrible offense, allowing just .82 PPP is pretty darn good regardless of opponent.
The only place where Kansas really struggled was on the glass. The Jayhawks allowed K State to rebound 40.6 percent of its misses while grabbing just 8 percent (yes, 8) of their own misses. In fact, Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas were the only two players in white to grab an offensive rebound all night. That's right.
Elsewhere, Kansas shot a very good 64.5 percent on twos, which surprised me after the start they had, and was 7-18 (38.9 percent) from three. Once again the Jayhawks looked like they passed up some wide open looks from three, but it is tough to complain about that when the team shoots 64.5 percent from two. The main bugaboo offensively was the aforementioned lack of rebounding as well as the turnovers. Kansas turned it over on 22.2 percent of its possessions, which I don't need to tell you is much too high.
I suppose I should talk about the Brannen Greene dunk at the end of the game even though that will be covered ad nauseam elsewhere. First, sports should be fun. I didn't have a problem with the Marcus Smart backflip, I don't have a problem every time Bill Snyder leaves his starters in at the end of a blowout, so I am sure not going to have a problem with a dunk. Secondly, college sports especially should be fun. These are kids playing for free without a lot of freedom in terms of leaving a situation they get stuck in, so pretty much anything they want to do is fine with me. Lastly, I feel very uncomfortable with the thought of primarily older white people telling primarily younger black men how to behave. I want to make it clear I am certainly not calling people criticizing Greene racist, and I am certainly not calling the guy who called it a dick move racist, but just the overall tone of the movement regarding class in sports makes me uncomfortable for those reasons.
On a more team specific note, at some point I hope Kansas will realize that when they show some effort and play hard like they did in stretches last night they can look like one of the best teams in the country, but when they sleepwalk through parts of some games even one of the weaker teams in the league can play with them. They haven't gotten that message yet, but one can still hope.
Devonte Graham finished with an offensive rating under 100 but I thought he was excellent. He made a couple early jumpers when the offense stagnated, improved his defense by quite a bit over the last few games, and finished with 3 steals.
Perry Ellis struggled in the early going with his patented plow into someone bigger than you and hope to draw a foul offense (shockingly it didn't work) but he adjusted, shot some threes, and finished with 19 points going 5-8 from two and 3-3 from three.
Frank Mason needs a day off. He was just 1-4 on twos (though he was 6-9 from the line. Nice) and had 4 assists and 2 turnovers. He showed some burst at times, but it clearly is a thing he can only do every so often. A home game against K State and a road game against TCU would have been a good opportunity to get him roughly 20 mpg but whoops.
Landen Lucas was hampered by foul trouble but other than that had an effective game. He was 2-3 from the field (maybe time to put that 15 foot jumper away permanently) and 4-5 from the line. He also had 6 rebounds and a blocked shot.
Wayne Selden followed up his epic game against Kentucky with....well, with another performance in a basketball game. That's for sure. Selden was 2-4 on twos, 1-5 from three, and had 3 turnovers.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk made his return to the lineup and put in a very solid shift. He was 3-3 on twos, 1-4 from three (yuck) and made his only free throw. He also had 4 assists and 3 steals. Remember, he's still the youngest guy on the team.
Jamari Traylor had the quintessential Traylor game. Some awful plays, some losing his man on defense, but a forced turnover late in the first half that sparked a run for the Jayhawks as well as a couple blocked shots.
Brannen Greene had the rare four point play and a sweet monster jam at the end. Probably should have gone and drilled a K State player since that is harmless fun.
Carlton Bragg played 5 minutes and had 2 points. He's the guy who I think should be playing more given how much teams continue to clog the lane.
Cheick Diallo played 2 minutes and had a 2 trillion. Tough to say whether or not he should have played more when he didn't get a chance to do anything.