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Postgame Report Card: Washington 74, Kansas 65

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Washington guard Matisse Thybulle (4) grabs a rebound over Kansas guard Clay Young (21) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at Sprint Center.

Washington guard Matisse Thybulle (4) grabs a rebound over Kansas guard Clay Young (21) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 74-65 loss to Washington on Tuesday night at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Offense: C-

Outside of Lagerald Vick, who, himself, had a few ups and downs but also delivered a career-high 28 points, the KU offense struggled to deliver good possessions and had a tough time getting leading scorer Devonte' Graham good looks. The offense was bad for most of the night, but Vick's effort pulled it into the C range.

Defense: D

There were times when the KU defense looked good. But those were few and far between and scarce in the second half. Washington opened the second half by doing and getting whatever it wanted on the offensive end to build a sizable lead and the Huskies' second-chance points proved to be a big part of this one.

Frontcourt: D+

The zone again proved to bother Azubuike, but the big fella enjoyed moments of being the kind of factor he needs to be for this team. First-half foul trouble for both him and Mitch Lightfoot again hamstrung KU coach Bill Self.

Backcourt: C-

Good thing for Lagerald Vick. Otherwise, this one could have really been ugly. Devonte' Graham had an off night shooting the ball but did not really do much to pull himself out of it. Malik Newman was non-existent again and Svi Mykhailiuk missed six of his eight 3-point attempts and made more than a couple careless passes.

Bench: D

On a night when KU coach Bill Self needed a spark from someone off the bench, he got next to nothing from Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot and once again was forced to use walk-on Clay Young in the first half.

Comments

Joe Shaw 1 week, 4 days ago

Matt, how about a coaching grade? Ability to make in game adjustments, rotation, play calling, motivation, etc.,

Matt Tait 1 week, 4 days ago

I don't grade the coaching because (a) I'm not a Hall of Famer with 600-plus victories to my name and (b) I don't know the finer details of each scouting report and game plan and, therefore, can't be certain (until after we talk to them in interviews) EXACTLY what was and was not supposed to happen out there.

That said, Self took a lot of the blame for this one and said he didn't do enough to help this team through its struggles. So, yeah. I would imagine he would give himself a lousy grade tonight, too.

Joe Shaw 1 week, 4 days ago

I'm messing with you a bit here, but I guess using the logic that you aren't a Hall of Fame coach, thus you can't give the coaches a grade. I can only assume that you were/are a giant 7'2" center with gigantic muscles who can rip the rim off the backboard at will. That would be the only way you could feel comfortable giving Azubuike a grade.

Creg Bohrer 1 week, 3 days ago

Your not a future or past professional basketball player either.

Layne Pierce 1 week, 4 days ago

We all new this game was coming. Finally a team with the athletes to take advantage of our weakness. Which is post defense. Azu still needs work, and he needs to get much better.

My suggestion for this defense would have been for Svi and Newman to also step inside occasionally for short jump shots. We just got desperate when the 3s were all contested.

if we don't get another big body, there will be more games like this. When we make shots we are the best team in America, but bad shooting nights are going to be tough for us, unless we get De Souza, and or Billy P.

Does anybody else think Newman is lost out there right now. He has not figured out how to let the game come to him.

Oh well, we'll bounce back, but will we get better, that is the question? Rock Chalk

Matt Tait 1 week, 4 days ago

Maybe so, but I'm really, really surprised it came tonight. Having just seen the Syracuse zone, I thought this team would be much more prepared to handle it. And then, when I looked at Washington's personnel vs. what Syracuse had, I thought it would be much easier.

The big difference was the game plan that UW coach Mike Hopkins implemented and the fact that Graham (and others) couldn't hit an outside shot.

Had those not fallen against the Orange, Syracuse likely would've won that one.

Kind of an interesting blueprint out there now on how to beat this team. That said, you still have to have the horses to do it and execute when you're on the floor...

Brian Leslie 1 week, 3 days ago

I think that crowding KU off of the 3-point line is something we will see a ton of. We don't have great penetrators, and when we do try that, we're either looking to pass out to a perimeter guy or maybe force it into Udoka. Really, Vick could and should have scored 40 in this one considering how open he was. I would have liked to have seen Svi in the soft spot of the zone to change things up when Vick clearly got rattled.

A big "what if" for me is what if Billy Preston was the guy getting the ball 8 feet from the basket instead of Vick? He is an explosive leaper and a huge physical presence. He would have been getting dunks and layups pretty much every time (which means UW would have had to try a different gameplan). This is the first game where Preston's absence really cost the Jayhawks.

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