Kansas wrapped up the Big 12 tournament title last night in what ended up being convincing fashion, pulling away from West Virginia late. It wasn't easy, but the Jayhawks held off run after run from the Mountaineers in another game in which the team simply refused to lose. Kansas scored 1.07 PPP on the league's top defense and allowed just .93 PPP.
Offensively, the Jayhawks struggled at times with the press. Breaking it was usually not much of a problem, but after getting it over half court the Jayhawks were at times too eager to look for the flashy play rather than the simple play, and West Virginia did a good job of speeding Kansas up, forcing some bad passes. Kansas turned it over on 26.3 percent of its possessions, which is a few too many obviously, but when they attempted shots things went well. Kansas shot 49 percent from two, 60 percent from three, and 88 percent from the line.
Defensively Kansas had a good effort despite one of its worse efforts on the defensive glass. West Virginia rebounded 35 percent of its misses, but Kansas combated that by forcing the exact same 26.3 percent turnover rate. If West Virginia doesn't win the turnover battle by quite a lot it is obviously going to be tough for them to win and the Jayhawks did a good job of proving that. Elsewhere, West Virginia shot 57 percent on twos, which is not great for Kansas, but a lot of that was Devin Williams going insane. Fortunately, West Virginia shot just 2-15 from three, although I don't think Kansas did a very good job of defending, which led to a lot of Mountaineers being able to get into the lane or have an easy entry pass to Williams.
Frank Mason shot just 2-7, missing a couple layups, but he did have 7 assists and just 2 turnovers. The big news is his reported bruise on his foot. Good thing Kansas plays Friday so Mason can rest all week and hopefully heal up. Edit: whoops Des Moines is Thursday Saturday. No idea why I thought it was Friday. My bad.
Wayne Selden didn't play well defensively and turned it over a lot on offense, but he was 5-8 on twos and 3-5 from three to make up for it.
Devonte Graham clinched the Big 12 tournament MVP by going 1-4 on twos, 5-6 from three, and 10-10 from the line. He also had 5 defensive rebounds, and 3 assists, but 3 turnovers as well.
Perry Ellis finished 5-10 on twos despite missing some bunnies early, and had 5 rebounds and a block.
Landen Lucas finished 2-2 from the field and had 5 rebounds. At times he played good defense on Devin Williams, forcing him outside the lane, but at other times Williams got the best of him, like on his putback dunk. It happens.
Jamari Traylor had one of his worst games of the season, with just 1 point and 1 rebound and 3 turnovers in 12 minutes. He's just not the right matchup for teams that force turnovers and attack the offensive glass.
Carlton Bragg cooled off a bit from his first two games, going 1-2 from the floor and grabbing 2 rebounds. He's just not there yet from a strength and defensive standpoint, but he'll get there.
Brannen Greene was 1-1 from three in 9 minutes and had 2 assists.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk played just 3 minutes, which surprised me given his perimeter defense and his ability in the pick and roll.