Postgame Report Card: Kansas 70, Kansas State 56
Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 70-56 road win vs. Kansas State on Big Monday in Manhattan.
The Jayhawks made 12-of-14 shots to open the game, 6-of-7 from 3-point range and raced out to a 15-point lead early and a 13-point lead at the half. KU's miserable stretch to open the second half brought this down a bit, but 46 percent for the game, 45 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the free throw line (not to mention a double-digit road win) easily kept it in the A range.
K-State's shooting totals are as ugly as KU's were pretty (32.3 FG, 22.2 3-point), but that was just the half of it. KU's 2-3 zone defense completely flustered Dean Wade, who could have won this game by himself the way he opened it, and Kansas competed hard on the glass to finally out-rebound an opponent for the first time in 11 games.
Give sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot the A and sophomore center Udoka Azubuike a C. That averages out to a B and the Jayhawks have Lightfoot to thank for a relatively easy win. He played over his head a little — although efforts like Monday are becoming somewhat expected and routine — and has become a reliably consistent force for the Jayhawks inside.
Forty minutes (again) for Graham, 40 more for Malik Newman and 39 for Svi Mykhailiuk, who led the Jayhawks in scoring. Heck, even Lagerald Vick looked as aggressive as he has in a handful of games and only Marcus Garrett actually struggled in this one, playing just four minutes and picking up three first-half fouls.
Garrett and Silvio De Sousa were non-factors in six combined minutes and Sam Cunliffe showed better on the stat sheet than he did to the eye. That leaves Lightfoot, who was good enough throughout this one to bring this one up a full letter grade. His stats did not fully illustrate his importance. Not even close.