And we’re back! Kansas tipped off its season (kind of) last night, with a 100-54 murder of Pittsburg State, which wasn’t really as close as it looked.
The Jayhawks scored a pretty insane 1.3 points per possession, while limiting the Gorillas to an equally insane .72 points per possession. It’s important to note in these things that Kansas has the overwhelming athleticism advantage, and just as notably a size advantage, which skews these numbers big time. I don’t think Kansas will have many games where they hit the offensive glass as well as they did last night, which means don’t go crowning them yet.
Below, the 4 factors graph. I probably should have put up a primer on this already, but will have it before the actual season opener. As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments:
A couple notes: First, Kansas likely won’t be able to force turnovers at this rate regularly. Their season high under Self was 23.8 percent, but that was in 2006. They haven’t been above 20 percent since 2012 (which probably says something about NCAA tournament success, but that’s for another day). Secondly, they obviously aren’t going to have that type of success on the offensive glass. I’ll expand more on the podcast, but I think they can do well on the defensive glass, considering how little teams try to attack the offensive glass these days, but probably not to the effectiveness they did last night.
On to the players:
- Malik Newman led the team in scoring with 19 points, and did a good job of showing off his jumper (though he needs to axe the long twos) and his ability to get to the rim. He also had 4 assists to just 1 turnover, which is a welcome sight to those (myself included) who had him pegged as just a jump shooter.
- Svi Mykhailiuk started slow, but rebounded to finish with 18 points. He was 3-7 from deep, which will be the key to him staying on the floor this year. He did have just 3 rebounds and 1 assist, however.
- Udoka Azubuike calmed the rebound worries for a game, grabbing 14 rebounds to go with his 17 points on 7-11 shooting. He was just 3-7 from the line, but I think 50 percent or so is all he needs to both be playable late in the game and to add more value on offense.
- Lagerald Vick put on a rebounding and dunking show, finishing with 11 rebounds to go with his 15 points. Vick was 7-11 from the field (though just 1-4 from three) and had multiple tip dunks.
- Devonte Graham had a rough shooting night, but finished with 5 assists and 1 turnover, and was in control all night. Even though he only took 5 shots, they were all good ones, and he knew better not to press with all of the talent he has around him. I suspect he will be able to go from having an 8 assist type night to a 20 point type night multiple times this season.
- Billy Preston had to leave the game early due to bumping his head, but when he was in he was electric with 10 points in 8 minutes, without missing a shot.
- Marcus Garrett just gets it. I said this last night, but I am starting his bandwagon. He didn’t make a shot from the field, but was 7-8 from the line, and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. He also had 3 turnovers, but those are going to calm down (especially as he gets into his sophomore season).
- Mitch Lightfoot was a disappointing 2-6 from the field, but had a team high 3 blocks. He needs to rebound better and be at least an option on offense if he wants more playing time, however.