Postgame Report Card: Kansas 82, Oklahoma State 68, Big 12 tournament
Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 82-68 victory over Oklahoma State during Thursday’s Big 12 tournament quarterfinals at Sprint Center.
Malik Newman became the seventh KU player to score 30 points in a conference tournament game and missed out on tying Wayne Simien for KU’s record for most points in a single conference tournament game by a single point. Obviously, that stole the show in this one. But, as a team, KU was pretty darn good elsewhere offensively, too. The Jayhawks shot 56 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range and knocked in 10 of 14 free throws while dishing out 17 assists. It was exactly the kind of game Kansas needed following last weekend’s brutal loss at Oklahoma State.
There were good moments and bad on defense, but, overall, the Jayhawks competed their tails off and the numbers showed that. KU held Oklahoma State to 40 percent shooting, 22.7 from 3-point range, and limited them to just 10-of-32 shooting in the second half. That half included an OSU scoring drought that nearly lasted eight minutes and allowed Kansas to take control of the game.
Graded on a curve, considering the fact Udoka Azubuike was out with a knee injury, the Jayhawks’ big men were still pretty darn good. Fourteen points and 14 rebounds combined for Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa was more than enough to make up for the absence of Azubuike. This would’ve been an A had it not been for the handful of bad fouls committed by both players. If they can clean up that part of their game, their confidence and production will only get better.
How about this for an oddity: Devonte’ Graham actually had one of the roughest days of the KU guards. Yes, Graham still had 10 points and nine assists, but he tossed in six turnovers to go along with that. Newman’s 30 points were magnificent and Svi Mykhailiuk added 13 on 50 percent shooting — not to mention grabbing six boards during an active rebounding day for the KU senior — and Lagerald Vick finally got going again in the second half with 11 points and four rebounds.
Marcus Garrett made his mark on the game by competing far harder than his final numbers showed and Silvio De Sousa did the same, albeit in slightly louder fashion. Add to that the essential minutes that football tight end James Sosinski played toward the end of the first half and, all in all, it was a darn good day for the Kansas bench.