Postgame Report Card: Kansas 77, TCU 68
Grades for five aspects of the Kansas basketball team’s 77-68 win over TCU on Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse.
No, the Jayhawks didn’t drain 3-pointers (5 for 21) as they converted to a four-guard lineup. But they still got the ball inside and scored 38 points in the paint without their 7-footer, Udoka Azubuike.
KU shot 43.3 percent from the floor against TCU and it wasn’t the team’s cleanest outing offensively. But Dedric Lawson played comfortably even as the Horned Frogs tried to swarm him, and Lawson’s ability to thrive allowed Kansas to get by.
The best thing KU did defensively was force TCU turnovers (20). The Frogs shot 46.3 percent from the field and 9 of 21 on 3-pointers, but KU’s guards were active enough to disrupt their foes much of the night.
Interior defense without Azubuike, though, remains a concern, especially for opponents who have go-to players inside, which TCU didn’t.
KU now operates with basically a one-man frontcourt and Lawson (31 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 14 rebounds) often was the team’s only answer offensively.
The redshirt junior had space to operate, and the next step for him will be setting up teammates with his passing. His low-post defense isn’t ever going to be a strength and that showed versus TCU at times.
The guards reminded you of why they’re not the focal point of this offense and rather the catalysts to sets and actions that feature Lawson.
TCU’s gritty backcourt gave Devon Dotson (0-for-6 shooting) troubles at times. And fellow freshman guard Quentin Grimes only went 2 for 5.
Senior Lagerald Vick finished with 6 turnovers, but at least joined Lawson as a double-digit scorer, with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting, and dished 4 assists.
Marcus Garrett scored a pretty layup off a drive in the half court and put up 8 points, but shot 3 of 8. His ability to defend, though, remains a strength and a key to KU’s future success.
Fueled by the newly unleashed Ochai Agbaji (7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), KU enjoyed some bench production for a change.
K.J. Lawson contributed, too, with activity on the offensive glass and energy that helped him score 7 as a sub.
Junior forward Mitch Lightfoot provided some interior defense, as well as 2 points and 3 rebounds.
KU’s subs edged TCU’s, 16-14, in scoring.