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Recap: It's been a long time since KSU's defensive rebounding was this bad

Note: Here is a listing of definitions for some terms used in this blog. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below if something doesn't make sense.

It's going to be hard to overstate just how important Kansas' rebounding dominance was in Wednesday night's 67-49 victory over Kansas State.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson wags his tongue with delight behind Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during a Jayhawk run in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson wags his tongue with delight behind Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson during a Jayhawk run in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Surely you know by now that the Jayhawks outrebounded the Wildcats, 50-26, but the performance on the glass was even better when you compare it to recent history.

KU grabbed 57.6 percent of its misses on Wednesday night, which was the most ever by a Bill Self-coached KU team against a Big 12 opponent.

Looking at it from the other direction, it was Kansas State's worst defensive rebounding effort in nearly 10 years. The last time the Wildcats grabbed less than 42.4 percent of the available defensive rebounds was March 8, 2002 against Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's Jabahri Brown, left, and Daryan Selvy, center, battle
for a loose ball with Kansas State's Larry Reid. Oklahoma
outrebounded K-State 54-30 on Friday in the Big 12 quarterfinals
and rallied for a 63-52 victory at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.

Oklahoma's Jabahri Brown, left, and Daryan Selvy, center, battle for a loose ball with Kansas State's Larry Reid. Oklahoma outrebounded K-State 54-30 on Friday in the Big 12 quarterfinals and rallied for a 63-52 victory at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. by AP Photo

(Just to give you some context, also on March 8, 2002, Jeff Boschee had 21 points, while Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich added 18 points apiece as KU defeated Colorado, 102-73, in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament. ... And I was in high school.)

Ku's Jeff Boschee (13) triggers over Stephane Pelle.

Ku's Jeff Boschee (13) triggers over Stephane Pelle.

KU also limited KSU's offensive rebounding, which is one of the Wildcats' greatest strengths. K-State grabbed just 27.9 percent of the available offensive rebounds, which was its worst mark of the season and second-worst percentage in the last two years.

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Travis Releford was about as good as we've seen him at KU on both ends of the floor.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin greets KU's Travis Releford at the end of the Jayhawks 67-49 win against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin greets KU's Travis Releford at the end of the Jayhawks 67-49 win against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. by Mike Yoder

The junior posted 1.31 points per possession used while ending a season-high 22.9 percent of the possessions he was in (meaning he was more involved in the offense this game than any other).

Releford also helped hold KSU's Rodney McGruder — who had made 16 of his last 18 shots and six of his last seven threes coming in — to 5-for-14 shooting (1-for-5 from three).

Releford also seamlessly moved into the post late after Thomas Robinson picked up his fourth foul. Playing as a 4, Releford muscled up to Jamar Samuels after chasing down McGruder most of the night.

The most interesting statistic for Releford lately has been his offensive rebounding.

Kansas guard Travis Releford and Kansas State's Jamar Samuels battle for a loose ball Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford and Kansas State's Jamar Samuels battle for a loose ball Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

In KU's first 12 games this year, the Kansas City, Mo., native grabbed a combined 10 offensive rebounds.

In his last two games, Releford has combined for 11 offensive rebounds.

Whatever the reason for the surge, Self has to hope it continues. On Wednesday, Releford grabbed 24.2 percent of the available offensive rebounds (first on the team) and 15.5 percent of the available defensive rebounds (fourth on the team).

He's also quietly become the Jayhawks' third-leading rebounder, as his 4.3 per game put him only behind Robinson (12.3) and Jeff Withey (6.0).

Room for Improvement

KU's outstanding rebounding made up for a horrible night with turnovers in a low-possession game (64 possessions).

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tyshawn Taylor, (10) left, loses the handle on a ball against Kansas State in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

The Jayhawks gave it away on 31.2 percent of their possessions, which was their highest mark this year and 10th-highest mark in the Self era.

Tough-Luck Line

This goes to Tyshawn Taylor, whose stat line will look worse than his actual production.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor looks to make a move against Kansas State guard Martavious Irving during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor looks to make a move against Kansas State guard Martavious Irving during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The senior posted 0.75 points per possession used while ending a team-high 32.1 percent of KU's possessions.

Taylor's turnovers dragged down his numbers, as his eight giveaways were the second-most for him this season.

Still, it's hard to criticize too much, as Taylor's driving ability led to some offensive rebounds and also opened things up for KU.

This shouldn't be overlooked. KSU coach Frank Martin said after the game the main reason he switched to a zone defense was that the Wildcats didn't have anyone who could stay in front of Taylor.

That change ended up biting KSU, as the Jayhawks hit a couple of huge three-pointers (including one by Conner Teahan) against the zone that broke the game open.

Bottom Line

Kansas State's two biggest strengths offensively were getting to the free throw line and offensive rebounding, and KU neutralized both.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan and the Jayhawk bench go wild following a Jayhawk bucket during a run against Kansas State in the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan and the Jayhawk bench go wild following a Jayhawk bucket during a run against Kansas State in the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Along with the rebounding numbers above, KU also held K-State to a free throw rate (free throws divided by field goals) of 28.1, which was the lowest mark by the Wildcats this season.

With few offensive rebounds, limited free throws and a poor shooting performance (36 eFG%, second worst team mark this season), the Wildcats scuffled to 0.76 points per possession — their worst mark of the season and second-worst total in the Frank Martin era.

Mark this as another game won more by KU's defense than its offense.

;

Comments

Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey, by the way, where is Jaybate? Is he cruising the Mediterranean again or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or caucussing in Iowa???

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longtimehawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Maxhawk, you are correct and I totally agree. Kansas ST. is a lot better then what they did against KU. Lookout KU, in Manhatten. Missouri has a great team, they are fast and talented. Missouri will go far this year, they will be another team KU has to be aware of. They can come in here an put a real burn on yea.

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 3 months ago

This just shows you how ridiculous it is to look at stats as a way of evaluating anything. KSU is a very good rebounding team that had a bad night and was out hustled by a hungry KU team.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I will root for Frank+purple to knock of Mizzoo+Baylor (simply for the sake of the conference title chase). Both games are in Manhattan, and Frank should have that scrappy team refocused. They did come to within 3pts, then had several empty possessions. They will/should be a handful vs. Mizzoo+Baylor, especially at the Sherrontagon-o-gloom with a purple crowd...

Its a long, 18game conference season, so I'll take the help whenever we can get it, as long as we also take care of biz in games we 'should' win.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 3 months ago

I was watching the Michigan-Indiana game last night and ESPN II Color Analysist, Dan Dawkins (sp), was giving a lot of love to the Jayhawks. The win over K-State opened some eyes nationally. Have a good day everybody!

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ParisHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Watched the game last night. Travis was tireless, great on D, rebounding and intangibles, plus he scored in different ways. Getting that kind of effort and production from the 3 spot makes us so much more complete.

Taylor looked so fast on some drives!

When things are clicking we have 4 1/2 scoring threats among our top six guys. If EJ starts driving some we will get to 5. Withey will create few scoring opportunities but his value is elsewhere.

Turnovers will cost us at least one game this year, hope it's not the last one...

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

The whole "Taylor's wild shots led to offensive rebounds" line is a little irritating to me. We've heard this before. It's not bad enough that people excuse away him throwing up a ton of bricks, entering the lane NOT looking to pass but rather to attempt some circus shot, but when people start actually crediting him for his erratic play...you know the defense of him has passed the point of insanity. As if they are passes (which has been not so subtly implied on the TRob dunk). What happens if the other players don't gather the rebounds? Is it then somehow their fault that we have an empty possession? Like "hey, Tyshawn put it up there for you guys. You just didn't go and get it," followed by one of Coach Self's "this team is soft" speeches.

Look, I know he's athletically gifted. Fast. Long. Great at getting by his man and into the paint. Capable of defending at a high level. I'm not questioning his heart or his toughness. I don't wish him off the team, and I know we have no one better on the bench. But on a night when he has 8 turnovers & shoots poorly and the announcers tell us that Self says he's one of the 5 best guards in the country!...it strains the mind a bit to think just how bad he has to play before people stop apologizing for him and say flat-out "yeah, he was awful." I mean, it wasn't that long ago that we were reading about how he'd watched tape of the Duke game over & over again and he admitted his mistakes were correctable. So are they correctable and he is just unwilling or unable to correct them? I don't know, I'm just grateful that his teammates picked him up and those mistakes didn't cost us this game.

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SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

lol look at Teahan's face in the last picture. Look's like he's got a giant mouth

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Kevin Crook 2 years, 3 months ago

Kstate has some good bodies, and some nice players. The return game will be interesting in Manhattan. KSU did not defend the post well, did not rotate well on defense, and were not good handling penetration. I think our turnovers were a combination of KSU being good at pressuring the ball and our lack of depth. TT makes a lot of silly mistakes when he looks tired. He seems to get picked at half court at least once a game trying to cross over right in front of someone. He needs help handling the ball. Travis was a beast last night. That's what we knew he could do. That was a great win.

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Marc Frey 2 years, 3 months ago

I love winning by D.I know you win by hanging scores on the board. We will get our shots, but when we go cold, it is good to know that we can shut the other team down as well.

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