Like the first meeting in Ames, Kansas saw a first half lead fall by the wayside in the second half and the Jayhawks trailed by a fairly large margin late in the game. Unlike in Ames, however, the Jayhawks battled back to take home a narrow victory on Senior Day. While it doesn't look as impressive as some of the other wins they have had this season, beating a good team that matches up well with Kansas on a day in which its team's best player is more likely thinking about how this is his last game than anything else should not be overlooked.
Even though the ball movement stagnated a bit in the second half, there isn't much to complain about when scoring 85 points in just 68 possessions (1.25 PPP). Kansas shot 51 percent from two, 40 percent from three, grabbed 39 percent of its misses, and turned it over on just 7.4 percent of its possessions. The lone misstep was the Jayhawks not getting to the line often, but that is understandable considering Iowa State never fouls and the Jayhawks haven't been great at getting to the free throw line this year. Kansas also shot just 60 percent at the line, but unlike other poor efforts from the stripe I think this one is just a sample size issue: only four Jayhawks attempted free throws, and four of them went to Wayne Selden who is (somewhat weirdly) a bad free throw shooter this year. If Kansas makes one more free throw, they shoot 75 percent for the game instead of 60 percent, and all for the difference of just one point.
Defensively Kansas didn't do well. They did much better on Monte Morris than they ever have before, but Georges Niang dominated, scoring 22 points on 8-16 shooting and adding 5 assists. I prefer letting Niang go nuts rather than Morris, however, as Morris playing really well opens things up for the rest of the team, whereas with Niang at least you know where you have to defend. Iowa State scored 1.15 points per possession, shot 51.2 percent on twos, and 35.7 percent from three. The Jayhawks really only did well at limiting 3-point attempts and got a bit lucky at how many threes ISU made, but it was enough.
Frank Mason was 4-7 from two, had 5 assists, and didn't turn the ball over once. Not bad.
Perry Ellis was 8-15 and had a Perrydunk in the final minute of his Senior Day, and also drilled a three on one of the bigger shots of the game. He also delivered multiple jokes in his Senior Day speech.
Jamari Traylor was 4-6 from two and had 3 steals and a block. He struggled a bit guarding Niang which was only really surprising because he seems like the type of player who you'd want guarding him, but everyone struggles guarding him so who knows. Traylor also had one of the more memorable Senior Day speeches in recent memory, and even made Bill Self cry awwwww.
Hunter Mickelson was 0-3 from the field but did have a blocked shot in 10 minutes of playing time. I am sort of surprised he didn't play a bit more given how much Kansas needed rim protection.
Evan Manning got the Senior Day start and played 6 minutes and committed one foul.
Devonte Graham was 2-3 from two, 4-8 from three, had 3 assists and 1 turnover.
Wayne Selden was good Wayne (mostly), going just 3-9 from two but was 3-4 from three, had 4 assists, and just 1 turnover. He was also one of the few Jayhawks to draw any fouls.
Landen Lucas was 3-4 from two and had 7 rebounds in 20 minutes. He didn't play great defensively until the end, but fortunately that's all Kansas needed.
Brannen Greene missed both of his 3-point attempts, but was 4-4 from the line.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk played just 5 minutes and didn't score.
Cheick Diallo played just 5 minutes, made his only shot, grabbed 2 rebounds, had a block, and a turnover. I think he probably should have played a bit more given Kansas's need for rim protection, but we got the full experience in those 5 minutes.
Carlton Bragg played 2 minutes, was 1-2 from the field, had 2 offensive rebounds and 1 defensive rebound.