A look at Kansas basketball players' long-range shooting vs. ranked foes
Olpe — Kansas enters the NCAA tournament with a 28-4 record, including a 5-2 mark against schools that were ranked at the time the Jayhawks played them.
Since ranked teams generally play better defense than unranked ones, let’s take a look at the relatively small sample to see which KU players’ talents translate the best to tougher competition.
Not surprisingly, Josh Jackson’s performance stands up, even improves in some areas, against ranked teams. Jackson averaged 17 points, 6.3 rebounds and had a .524 3-point accuracy rate in the seven games. Overall, Jackson averaged 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot .377 from 3-point range.
Frank Mason also performed at a similar level vs. ranked and unranked foes in most categories, except not nearly as well in 3-point shooting (.487 overall, .310 vs. ranked teams). Mason averaged 20.8 points overall, 21.9 vs. ranked squads. He had a slightly better assists-to-turnover ratio vs. ranked foes (2.3) than overall (2.0).
With the exception of Jackson, the biggest decline when comparing unranked vs. overall came in 3-point shooting: Svi Mykhailiuk (.401/.267), Lagerald Vick (.383/.263), Devonte’ Graham (.379/.321) and the team overall (.405, .325).
Well, that's it for now. I’m going to put the headphones on and Listen to Neil Young’s “The Last Trip to Tulsa,” while wondering if he found himself as badly lost behind the wheel as Matt Tait just found himself on our trip to Tulsa. I no longer need to wonder what all the small Kansas towns I’ve heard about through the years look like. We’ve hit pretty much every one of them. Some are beautiful, others not my thing. Not to worry. Benton Smith has switched seats with M@ T8, so we’ll get there eventually.
Oh well, everything happens for a reason and maybe the reason we strayed so far off the direct path to Tulsa was so that Tait could hear this half of a conversation: “I looked out the window and there was a coyote. So my daughter said, ‘What you going to do, Daddy, shoot it?’ I said, ‘That’s a hell of an idea.’ So I reached behind the front seat, grabbed a rifle and I shot the SOB.’ ”
What a touching family moment. Here’s hoping that inspires a Hallmark card of some sort, perhaps even a holiday special TV show to watch while wrapped in blankets, huddled around the fireplace.