Some thoughts as Kansas gets its season back on track with a win over Iowa State...
1. Dedric Lawson’s back must be sore.
Lawson had the Jayhawks’ second 29-point, 15 rebound game since 2010-11, played solid defense, and hit a huge three late to give the Jayhawks the win. He’s 4th in the Big 12 in usage, 9th in 2-point shooting, and even 5th in shot blocking.
2. Marcus Garrett is a star.
I am still waiting for his offense to turn back into a pumpkin, but somehow Garrett is averaging 17 points per game over his last three, and is getting to the basket basically at will without a functional jump shot. Pair that with his incredible defense, and you have a 1st team All-Big 12 player.
3. Devon Dotson rebounded nicely.
Dotson had KU’s second 10+ point, 8+assist, 0 turnover game since 2010-11, and he hit the big free throws to seal the game late. The one concern is his inability to score at the rim as of late. He’s under 60 percent at the rim, which isn’t terrible but is also a far cry from the 75ish percent he was at earlier this year. One culprit could be the exceptional Big 12 defenses, but another reason is he’s not getting foul calls when he gets to the rim, leading him to shy away from contact and attempt more difficult shots.
4. What is wrong with Quentin Grimes?
Just when it looked like he had turned a corner, Grimes turned in a 0 point, 0 rebound, 0 assist effort in 19 minutes last night. His improvements on the defensive end are gone as well. I’ll just say his top KenPom comparison is freshman year Wayne Selden for a reason.
5. Ochai Agbaji clearly needs to play all the time.
Agbaji is shooting 40 percent from three this year (obviously small sample size), is making two thirds of his twos, and is putting in a nice shift on the glass as well. He got called for two fouls for getting run into last night, and Kansas was noticeably worse when he was off the floor.
6. Kansas should try some more Lawson - Lawson minutes.
KJ Lawson has had some issues with fouls, committing 6.8 per 40 minutes, and despite his ability to get into the lane and his overall ability to score (58 percent on twos), he has definitely taken his fair share of shots that might as well be turnovers. Still, he’s gotten better defensively, and despite the fouls he clearly works well with his brother.
7. The Allen Fieldhouse crowd was at its best last night.
I have criticized the atmosphere in the Fieldhouse the last couple of years (although it is not the students’ fault; it’s the fault of the rich people taking away multiple sections from them), but they turned in a vintage performance last night, practically willing the Jayhawks back from an 8-point deficit.