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Kansas Jayhawks Basketball: A (semi) Statistical Recap of Kansas State

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In another game that likely won’t make the Kansas history reel, the Jayhawks let K-State come all the way back twice after building big leads in both the first and second halves.

Offensively the Jayhawks were pretty good, scoring 1.16 points per possession, although it was mostly their shooting that saved them. Kansas shot 54 percent on twos, 43.5 percent on threes, and 88 percent from the line. However, Kansas rebounded only 31 percent of their misses (somewhat to be expected), and turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions (way too many). It’s notable that most of the two point shooting came from just one player, but the Jayhawks missed a ton of makeable looks inside, and were generally able to get good shots whenever they wanted.

Defensively, uh, was another story. Freshman Cartier Diarra and junior Dean Wade committed some sort of murder, combining to go 10-16 on twos and 5-9 on threes, although if you wanted to be charitable you’d note Wade made multiple jumpers that were guarded fairly close and Diarra made a couple of nearly impossible runners in the lane. Svi Mykhailiuk really struggled against Wade and they had to switch Malik Newman onto Diarra (and then went away from it for some reason despite Newman doing well).

In all, the Jayhawks let K State shoot 56 percent on twos, although they did a pretty good job on the glass (rebounding 65 percent of the Wildcats misses) and forcing their fair share of Wildcat turnovers (19 percent, although it probably should have been more with Kamau Stokes out).

Kansas also got saved, again, by Bill Self being a better late game coach in the final minutes than anyone else in the league. From K-State not taking their opportunity to go 2-for-1, to Self knowing what play K State was going to run, to K-State apparently not having a counter if Kansas knew their play, it was quite the clinic.

  • Svi Mykhailiuk had his aforementioned struggles defensively, but was 3-6 from three with a pair of assists.
  • Devonte Graham also struggled defensively, but was 4-8 from three and 9-10 from the line. He had 5 assists, but also had an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers. Probably a game he’d like to forget.
  • Malik Newman was 1-3 on both twos and threes, but had 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and was probably the Jayhawks best defender. He also hit the two free throws to win the game
  • Udoka Azubuike was 8-9 and had 5 blocks, and basically got whatever shot he wanted when Kansas got him the ball on the block. He needs to do a better job of getting position before the catch, but if he can do that he’s going to be unstoppable.
  • Lagerald Vick had another quiet game, going 1-3 on twos and 2-3 from three. He also had 6 rebounds.
  • Marcus Garrett made his only two, grabbed 2 rebounds, and had an assist.
  • Mitch Lightfoot had a two, a block, and 2 fouls in 4 minutes.
  • Sam Cunliffe missed a three in 4 minutes.
  • Silvio De Sousa made his Jayhawk debut and had a turnover in 4 minutes, and generally looked lost on offense. But, I do think he played pretty good defense on each of the (admittedly limited) possessions he was in there for, and should get worked into the rotation more.