It was a sluggish start for the Jayhawks (and you’ll probably have to get used to that due to the depth issues) but a sparkling second half, especially defensively, let Kansas relatively cruise to their second exhibition win.
The defense was the star of the show, allowing just .76 points per possession. The Jayhawks also allowed Fort Hays to shoot just 38 percent inside the arc. Kansas didn’t do a great job of forcing turnovers, but they kept FHSU off the offensive glass, and allowed maybe the lowest free throw rate I’ve ever seen. (both due to the number of threes FHSU took and the international conspiracy to favor Kansas in every game).
Offensively, the Jayhawks mostly got good shots, either open threes or shots around the rim, and only an off night from deep saved this from being a total blowout. Kansas shot just 29 percent from deep (and took half their shots from three; someone listens to the podcast), but shot 74 percent from two. They also turned it over on just 18.9 percent of their possessions. Maybe they could have taken a few more inside the arc given how well that was working for them, but an open three (even a missed one) is better than driving into a crowded lane and turning it over, so it’s tough to fault the gameplan. And it’s hard to see how a team with as many good shooters as this one has will shoot under 30 percent from the arc too many more times this year.
- Devonte Graham was the star of the show, with 27 points (on just 12 shots), 8 assists, and 1 turnover. Maybe I wasn’t watching terribly closely, but I didn’t really notice any wow plays from him or get the sense he was playing great, and yet he has those kind of numbers. He’s good.
- Udoka Azubuike had 15 points on 6-8 shooting, and grabbed 9 rebounds, including a team high 5 offensive. He also was 4-6 from the free throw line.
- Lagerald Vick had a better game than I think he’s getting credit for, with 12 points and 5 rebounds. He was just 1-6 from three, but took open shots, and attacked the basket fairly well.
- Svi Mykhailiuk had a game to forget, going 0-7 from three. He did have 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals, but also 4 turnovers and got beat a few times defensively. I do like that despite not making any threes, he kept firing.
- Billy Preston had just 3 rebounds and 3 turnovers, but Kansas won’t turn down 11 points on 5-6 shooting.
- Marcus Garrett was just 1-4 from the field, but had 7 rebounds, a block, 3 steals, and was KU’s best defender for a lot of the game. He’s probably going to play a lot of small ball 4 this year.
- Mitch Lightfoot had 3 rebounds and a steal in 16 minutes.