Kansas has won games on the strength of its guard play, its shooting and its defense multiple times this season. Thursday, the Jayhawks won because of their size and talent around the basket.
• The Jayhawks grabbed seven percent more offensive rebounds and seven percent more defensive rebounds than the Red Raiders. Aldrich and Markieff Morris were especially active on the glass, as each scooped up more than 20 percent of available rebounds during his playing time.
• KU blocked 12.3 percent of Texas Tech's field goal attempts. If a team were to post those numbers for a whole season, it would rank second nationally in Block Rate behind only Marshall (KU is currently ranked ninth in the nation). Aldrich and Markieff Morris each blocked multiple shots and freshman post Thomas Robinson also chipped in with two rejections in five minutes.
Next up for KU is a Texas A&M team with a strong post presence in forward Bryan Davis. Davis is an active offensive player with decent efficiency numbers. His Rebound Rate is solid, so it should be interesting to see how Aldrich and the Morris twins handle him.
http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... KU center Cole Aldrich presented Texas Tech's smaller frontcourt with problems — LJW Photo/Nick Krug
M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)
The honor could certainly go to Aldrich, whose 18 rebounds (15 defensive) helped trigger KU's offense and kept Texas Tech from getting second shots. But KU guard Sherron Collins was so relentlessly efficient during his 26 minutes that Thursday's award was his. Collins battled a rare case of foul trouble against Texas Tech, but served as a shot-making machine while not sitting on the bench. The stocky guard went 5-for-8 from the field, 6-for-6 from the free throw line and created 1.56 points per possession used.
Room For Improvement
You don't need to see this chart if you have watched much KU basketball this season. But here it is, anyway, compliments of StatSheet.com:
KU's issue is apparent: It has problems putting teams away. After building a comfortable double-digit lead early in the second half, the Jayhawks yielded a run that allowed the Red Raiders within two points with less than six minutes to play. Granted, KU hasn't had much of a problem surviving these scares. But for the sake of Jayhawk fans' health, KU might want to grow a lead or two in the Big 12 tournament.
Tough Luck Line
Early on, it looked like Xavier Henry might end up with an ugly line. Henry, however, recovered to score 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting. That left guard Tyshawn Taylor as the lone Jayhawk with a lame line. Taylor wasn't terrible: He didn't commit a turnover while distributing four assists. But he finished 0-for-3 from the field and 2-for-4 from the free throw line.
The Bottom Line:
For all the talk of KU's unsteadiness and streakiness, the Jayhawks really put together a pretty decent performance on Thursday. KU outscored Texas Tech by 0.16 points per possession, just less than the Jayhawks' conference season average.