Postgame Report Card: Kansas 83, Iowa State 77
Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 83-77 road win at Iowa State on Tuesday night.
The Kansas offense scored more than 80 points for the first time since Jan. 9 — the last time the Jayhawks played Iowa State — and shot 48.4 percent from the floor while bouncing back from last weekend's 6-of-31 shooting performance from 3-point range with a 9-of-26 night that included some clutch shots from a couple of key players.
The Jayhawks weren't necessarily terrific defensively but a lot of their good offense was fueled by stops on the defensive end and they did limit the Cyclones to 18.8 percent shooting from 3-point range for the game while making it incredibly hard on guards Donovan Jackson (3 points on 1-of-9 shooting) and Lindell Wigginton (12, 3-of-12) for most of the night. Kansas was out-rebounded 40-31.
Udoka Azubuike was an absolute monster, scoring 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and carrying the Kansas offense at times. He also blocked three shots and committed just one bad foul, an improvement upon recent games. During the minutes they were on the floor, Mitch Lightfoot and even Silvio De Sousa also did a decent job of holding down the fort for Azubuike, even if it wasn't always pretty. Give most of the grade here to Azubuike, though. He was big and Kansas needs more of that moving forward.
Rare is the game where Lagerald Vick and Malik Newman were more productive, efficient and clutch than seniors Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, but that's what we got on Tuesday night. Add to that the fact that Self said some of KU's best basketball came with guard Marcus Garrett on the floor and this one just barely creeps into the A range, mostly because Vick and Newman's solid nights were so big but also did not come on a night when Graham and Mykhailiuk disappeared.
The numbers might not have been the most eye-popping, but for this team, I think the bench you saw on Tuesday night was exactly what you'll need — and want — to see the rest of the way. From here on out, it's up to KU's top five to carry the day. And they obviously won't be able to do it alone. But they are going to have to play the bulk of the minutes and those three subs are going to have to fill in by keeping things together as best they can when they're asked to step onto the floor. Lightfoott, Garrett and De Sousa did that in this one. And they did it well.