Postgame Report Card: No. 3 Kansas 65, Oklahoma State 50
Stillwater, Okla. — Quick grades for five aspects of the Kansas basketball team’s 65-50 win over Oklahoma State on Tuesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
• Sometimes the Jayhawks looked right at home in the first half against the Cowboys’ zone defense. But their 3-pointers (6-for-19 before intermission) weren’t always falling. And they could only find consistent good looks in the paint in transition.
• KU made only 34.5% of its field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes and turned the ball over 6 times.
• The Jayhawks improved to 4-0 in Big 12 road games by opening the second half with some more consistent 3-point shooting in the opening minutes after the break. A 3-for-4 start from deep helped KU quickly build a double-digit lead.
• KU shot 39% in the win, connecting on 11 of 33 3-pointers. The Jayhawks turned it over 10 times and were outscored in the paint, 24-16.
• The Cowboys hit just 26.7% of their shots in the first half and went 2-for-12 on 3-pointers.
• It didn’t get much better for the home team in the second half, when KU outscored the Cowboys, 36-26.
OSU hit only 28.1% of its shot attempts in defeat and only got 2 of 18 3-pointers to drop.
• With Udoka Azubuike able to stay on the floor and avoid a third personal foul in the second half, the Jayhawks, predictably, began to pull away with their best lineup on the court.
OSU’s zone aimed to take away Azubuike in the first half, and between that and his two fouls sending him to the bench for two stretches, he didn’t even attempt a shot before halftime.
But on this night, KU just needed the senior center on the court to make everything else function. Even when he wasn’t getting catches in position to score — he saw virtual triple teams on multiple occasions — his presence alone was enough to overwhelm OSU.
Azubuike finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks.
• In his first career start, freshman Christian Braun showed the assertive approach that has fueled his growth throughout the past month.
KU’s ball movement and patience against OSU’s defense often allowed Braun to shoot open 3-pointers or attack off the dribble.
Even better, Braun put in work on the glass, finishing with 9 rebounds to go with his 16 points and 4-for-8 3-point shooting.
• Junior guard Marcus Garrett was up to his do-everything tricks. Defense. Rebounding. Attacking the paint. Passing. A little scoring.
The versatile guard came away with a stat line worthy of his overall game: 7 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists.
• Ochai Agbaji’s up-and-down season in terms of offensive effectiveness continued.
The sophomore shot 2-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-7 on 3-pointers. But the Jayhawks are better off with him on the floor than not, thanks to his defense and athleticism.
Agbaji provided 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
• Devon Dotson only played 25 minutes, keeping his production a little lower than what KU is used to getting out of the speedy point guard.
Some foul issues led to the dip, but the Jayhawks actually played well without him, surprisingly enough.
Dotson had 11 points and 3 assists.
• Isaiah Moss looked like a great sixth man option, coming in off the bench with some scoring punch.
After starting against Tennessee he looked better as a substitute specialist. Moss pourred in 13 points and went 3-for-8 on 3-pointers as KU rolled.
The KU bench outscored OSU, 16-11, even with its shortened rotation.