Postgame Report Card: Kansas 81, West Virginia 70 - Big 12 title game
Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 81-70, Big 12 title game victory over West Virginia on Saturday night at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Five guys in double figures. Big shots and timely moments. Spreading the wealth and going for the dagger late instead of trying to run clock. It wasn't a perfect night on the offensive end, but there's no doubt that the Jayhawks did and got what they wanted for much of the game. The Jayhawks shot 56 percent from the floor, 55 percent from 3-point range and managed to win despite shooting 50 percent from the free throw line in two fewer trips than the Mountaineers.
Daxter Miles Jr., scored 25 points but needed 20 shots to do it. Jevon Carter added 17 points but shot 5-of-12 to do it. And Silvio De Sousa's 10 rebounds, six from Malik Newman and five from Lagerald Vick all were huge parts of the defensive effort in this one. Kansas limited WVU to 40 percent shooting for the game, including 33 percent from 3-point range. There were some rough stretches, but they were few and far between and most of what West Virginia got on offense was a credit to them. The Jayhawks competed all night and were terrific when they had to be.
Udoka Azubuike sat in street clothes and Mitch Lightfoot delivered little. Luckily for the Jayhawks, Silvio De Sousa decided to have his best game of the year. In 26 minutes, the freshman tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds and provided more than enough for the Jayhawks inside.
Newman buried 6-of-8 3-pointers and Svi Mykhailiuk knocked in 4-of-8. Devonte' Graham chipped in three triples and added 18 points and 13 assists. And Lagerald Vick gave terrific effort for most of the game, making a couple of big shots, none more impressive than the baseline riser early in the second half that is basically indefensible. In short, KU got big time games from all five guards who played, including Marcus Garrett, who did not put up big numbers but was key against the WVU pressure.
Even though he started the second half, Silvio De Sousa is technically still a bench player. Good thing, too, because that keeps alive KU's stretch of A's from this game. As you know by now, De Sousa was sensational in this one, helping lead Kansas to the Big 12 title with equal parts grit and passion. If this really is just the beginning for the big fella, the next couple of weeks could get pretty interesting.