Postgame Report Card: Oklahoma 85, Kansas 80
Quick grades for five aspects of No. 5 KU’s 85-80 road loss to No. 12 Oklahoma on Tuesday night in Norman, Oklahoma.
KU's offense carried them for a good chunk of this one, so it's easy to presume the Jayhawks would've received a solid grade. But check out these second-half numbers — 47 percent shooting from the field, 25 percent shooting from 3-point range and 14 percent shooting from the woeful free throw line. Even just a little better in any one of those areas and KU probably walks away a winner.
The Jayhawks weren't bad defensively and competed with the Sooners on the glass. But they also sent OU to the line 25 times and were forced to play through foul trouble in some shape or form throughout the game. Trae Young didn't kill Kansas, but Kansas did not exactly hold him down either. Still, KU's defense was probably good enough to win and helped the Jayhawks erase a 10-point deficit late in the first half.
Stop me if you've heard this one before, Udoka Azubuike sure was good when he was out there. But he did struggle at the free throw line late and also suffered through another night of foul trouble that began when he was whistled for a foul 15 seconds into the game. Azubuike probably deserved a C. But Mitch Lightfoot brought this one up to the B range by keeping Kansas in it during a strong first half in Azubuike's place.
Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman were terrific. Lagerald Vick disappeared again. And Devonte' Graham was really good in some ways but shot 4-of-19 from the floor while doing it. Toss that all together and you're looking at a low B simply because the Jayhawks could not find a way to make those winning plays down the stretch even after the Azubuike free throw debacle.
Lightfoot and Marcus Garrett were actually pretty darn good in this one. Garrett played a ton and, as usual, gave great energy. And Lightfoot was the story of the game for KU in the first half. Silvio De Sousa's one minute on the floor was largely forgettable so we'll forget it here, too.