clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears Basketball: A (Semi) Statistical Recap

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

At halftime, Kansas found itself down six despite not making many (relatively open) jumpers, and Baylor was shooting a bit better than you’d expect. It was reasonable to suggest Kansas would shoot better in the second half and have a chance to win the game. Well... Kansas shot just 25 percent from three for the game, but still managed to squeak out a road victory to all but seal up the Big 12 title.

Kansas scored 1.05 PPP, a number that would have been much higher had they shot anywhere near their season average on open jumpers, by shooting 51 percent on twos, turning it over on just 14 percent of their trips, and going 16-20 from the line. Kansas frequently found themselves getting open looks against the zone, and whenever Baylor did switch to man Kansas was usually able to get the Bears in tough spots via the pick and roll. Frank Mason in particular was able to get to the rim or into the lane pretty much at will, and he did an excellent job dumping passes down for easy looks.

Defensively, Kansas played as well as they have all season. They let Manu Lecomte get a couple open looks, but they did especially well on Johnathan Motley, attacking him with a variety of double teams, and forcing him to make a lot of tough passes out. It worked. Motley ended up with 19 points, but took 21 shots from the field and got to the line just 3 times. He also committed 6 turnovers.

I got a little pushback on twitter wanting Kansas to let him take those mid range jumpers (obviously contest them but don’t let him drive) but the math is obvious: Motley is shooting 43 percent on mid range jumpers, which is a good mid range number but obviously not a way to score a ton of points. Meanwhile it also takes Motley out of there as an offensive rebounder. Baylor rebounded 41 percent of its shots, so that didn’t totally work out.

But where Kansas made major inroads defensively was committing turnovers on 25 percent of Baylor possessions. Had Baylor not grabbed a lot of its misses and shot a bit better than you would expect from three, they wouldn’t have scored over a point per possession.

  • Frank Mason was amazing. 6-9 on twos, 1-3 from three, 8-8 from the line, 8 assists, 1 turnover, and really good defense other than one lapse letting Lecomte open. He was incredible.
  • Devonte Graham defended well, but struggled offensively going just 0-3 from two and 1-9 from three. He did have 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and just 1 turnover however. His threes weren’t off the mark by much either. It could have been a much different game had those gone down.
  • Josh Jackson was 6-13 on twos (and didn't miss a dunk!) and made his only three, late in the half to get the deficit to 6. He also had 4 blocks and a steal.
  • Landen Lucas was at his best, going 3-4 and making the 2 free throws to give Kansas the lead late. He also had 6 offensive rebounds, 3 blocks, and was the defensive anchor.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk has had better days. He was 1-5 from three and had 2 turnovers, and just a tough game defensively.
  • Lagerald Vick had 8 points, was 2-3 on twos, 1-2 from deep, and added 6 rebounds.
  • Carlton Bragg had 2 points and an assist in 5 minutes, but was overmatched defensively.
  • Mitch Lightfoot had a block in 4 minutes, but needs to get stronger before he can play a lot of minutes against a team like Baylor.