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5 stats that popped for Kansas in a Senior Night win over Texas

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Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) pulls up for a three pointer during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) pulls up for a three pointer during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The No. 6-ranked team in the nation, Kansas sent seniors Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk out in style on Big Monday, with an 80-70 win over Texas in the Jayhawks’ Allen Fieldhouse finale.

KU (24-6 overall, 13-4 Big 12) at times overwhelmed the undermanned Longhorns, even out-rebounding the visitors 37-30 — just the Jayhawks’ third positive margin in that category during league play.

Here are five more statistics that stood out for Kansas, on a night the program wrapped up an 18th outright Big 12 championship and finished the home portion of the schedule with a victory for the 35th consecutive season.

So many quality shots

A game that in the first half felt as if a blowout was just a spurt or two away never got there because Kansas didn’t play particularly well down the final stretch, with 9 turnovers after halftime.

Still, the Jayhawks had little reason to feel threatened — even when Texas cut the lead to 6 early in the second half — because KU’s players kept searching for the high-percentage shots the Longhorns’ defense would allow them.

Kansas, a team that entered the night shooting a respectable 46.9% from the field in Big 12 play, made 60.6% of its shots in the first half and an even 60% in the second.

This game didn’t have the drubbing factor of KU’s win over Oklahoma a week earlier, but the Jayhawks showed the same offensive persistence.

Points in the paint

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) hammers in a dunk before Texas forward Jericho Sims (20) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) hammers in a dunk before Texas forward Jericho Sims (20) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

A direct result of their determination, the Jayhawks always felt comfortable because they kept finishing possessions with dunks (9) and layups (13).

The Jayhawks achieved 50 paint points for just the second time this season, putting up 52 inside against a Mo Bamba-less Texas team. Previously in conference play, KU had only reached 40 points in the category three times — twice against Oklahoma and once versus Iowa State — doing so against two of the Big 12’s worst defenses.

Udoka Azubuike proved uncontrollable for UT, shooting 10 of 11 and coming through with rim-shaking dunks six different times.

His teammates who don’t have the size and frame to slam so effortlessly settled for an array of layups, as well as a few wide-open dunks.

Freshman Marcus Garrett scored 6 of his 11 points off layups. Sophomore backup big Mitch Lightfoot scored all 6 of his points at the rim, via two dunks and a lay-in. Malik Newman, on a 4-for-9 shooting night, picked up one layup and one jam. Mykhailiuk scored two lay-ins on the way to 17 points. Graham spent most of the night distributing 11 assists but scored a layup, too. Junior Lagerald Vick made two shots all night, both in the paint. Freshman Silvio De Sousa scored his one basket on a putback.

Kansas scored 56% of its points off layups and dunks, winning points in the paint, 52-38.

Scouting report defense

At times the Jayhawks had issues with trying to stop two of the Longhorns’ most athletic finishers, big man Jericho Sims (6-for-9 shooting) and Kerwin Roach II (7 of 15).

Playing minus Bamba and Eric Davis Jr., the Longhorns only had so many options on offense.

Kansas welcomed two of UT’s least effective scorers to take a bulk of the shots and defended them appropriately to come away with stops. Longhorns big Dylan Osetkowski made just 5 of 14 shots, while Jacob Young finished 6 of 13.

Outside of Sims and Roach, the rest of the Longhorns combined to hit 16 of 44 shots (36.4%).

Mr. 40 Minutes Double-Double

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) celebrates a dunk from Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) celebrates a dunk from Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Look out, Azubuike. Mr. 40 Minutes is coming for your double-double crown.

For the 15th time this season, Graham played every minute for Kansas. In his fieldhouse finale, the senior point guard put up 10 points and 11 assists, his fourth double-double of the season.

Sophomore 7-footer Azubuike leads the team with five double-doubles this year.

With one game left in the regular season and the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments to follow, who would you expect to finish the season as KU’s double-double leader? It’s hard to bet against Graham.

On the season, Graham is averaging 17.7 points and 7.2 assists, while Azubuike is contributing 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Quick-start Svi

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk gives a hug to Kansas head coach Bill Self before his senior speech.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk gives a hug to Kansas head coach Bill Self before his senior speech. by Nick Krug

Mykhailiuk is making a habit of igniting KU’s offense early in games.

With 14 first-half points on 6-for-9 shooting during the first 20 minutes, the senior from Ukraine scored 13 or more points before intermission for the eighth time this season.

Whether driving in to finish inside or showing off his smooth 3-point stroke (45% accuracy as a senior), Mykhailiuk’s offense so often is just what Kansas needs to get rolling.

After making 3 of 5 from 3-point distance in the win, Mykhailiuk has drained 95 from long range this season, the fourth-most in KU history.







More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas


By the Numbers: Kansas 80, Texas 70.

By the Numbers: Kansas 80, Texas 70.

Comments

Steve Zimmerman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Good observation on "Mykhailiuk is making a habit of igniting KU’s offense early in games"! Just realized it, too. I really like his aggressiveness to the basket and how he quickly sets up himself for an open 3s right after passing works like a champ - it works out pretty well.

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