clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

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

New, comments
Baylor v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As the old saying goes, a stopped clock is right twice a day. For awhile now I have been saying Scott Drew is a good coach because he gets guys to buy in, gets them to play hard, and does a pretty good job of identifying talented under the radar guys, and then it all evaporates in the last minutes of a close game. So it was last night when Baylor, trailing by 3 with 25ish seconds left and a timeout, inexplicably did not know whether they wanted a two or a three, then aimlessly passed the ball around the perimeter before throwing it out of bounds. No one took the timeout they had to draw up a play, and they didn’t call a timeout the instant the players asked whether they wanted to go for three or two (my take: given how bad Kansas is at shooting free throws at times, probably best to get a quick two and then foul, forcing Kansas to make two just to get it back to a three point lead, at which point you’re in basically the same position you were at worst. I do not recommend passing it around aimlessly and throwing it out of bounds).

Kansas struggled offensively in the first half, but rebounded to score 1.09 points per possession. A big problem all night was unforced turnovers. Baylor really doesn’t force any, yet Kansas obliged by giving them the ball on 22.4 percent of their possessions. Fortunately Kansas managed to get a lot of open threes against the zone (although they should have attempted more) and went 9-20 from deep. They also shot just 39 percent on twos, and while Baylor has a very good interior defense, Kansas missed some basically unguarded bunnies. They also missed some through contact, but you’re not going to get calls on every one (even when you attack the basket all game and the other team takes jumpers, refs aren’t going to call every one just because of optics), and KU’s big men need to do a better job of finishing through that contact.

Defensively Kansas played really well. The defensive rebounding tightened up in the second half, but still allowed Baylor to grab 42 percent of its misses. Baylor also turned it over on 22 percent of its possessions, mitigating the stealing extra possessions gambit a bit (although as I pointed out, KU’s turnovers basically canceled that out). Pretty much all game Kansas played pretty good first shot defense, allowing Baylor to shoot just 44 percent on twos even with all of their putbacks, and the Bears were nearly saved by shooting 36 percent on threes and making a number of tough shots (ie Al Freeman’s bank and Manu Lecomte flailing two). They did a pretty good job of limiting Johnathan Motley in the second half as well. They probably won’t get to as good as they were last year defensively, but it is becoming tougher and tougher to get up a good first shot against Kansas, which is a good first step.

No grades

  • Frank Mason was just 2-9 on twos, but 12-12 from the line and 1-3 from three. He also had 6 assists to just 2 turnovers, and 3 steals.
  • Josh Jackson was incredible again. He was 6-9 on twos and 2-4 from deep (he’s now up to 40 percent in Big 12 play, which is wild), and added 10 rebounds. He also had 5 turnovers, which is not good, but mostly has to do with his wanting to be a distributor more than a scorer at times. He also did an admirable job on Motley despite being totally overmatched size wise.
  • Devonte Graham was 2-3 on twos and 3-6 from three. He had 2 assists and 1 turnover. I actually don’t remember much about how he played defensively, which is probably a positive.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk was 3-5 from deep, added 2 rebounds, an assist, and 2 turnovers.
  • Landen Lucas was just 2-6 inside, but hit a big one late, and grabbed 11 rebounds. He also made a ridiculous recovery to get off the ground, sprint the length of the court, and challenge Freeman on a three late in the game, forcing him to double clutch.
  • Lagerald Vick didn’t make a shot, and had an assist and a turnover.
  • Dwight Coleby had 6 rebounds in 6 minutes, but overall still doesn’t look like his knee is healthy enough to do more than spot duty.
  • Mitch Lightfoot had a finish off an alley oop, drew a charge, and blocked 2 shots in 5 minutes. He probably should have played more to be honest.