Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three-point shooting helps KU hold off Leopards

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) shoots in a three-point basket in the first-half against the Lafayette Leopards Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) shoots in a three-point basket in the first-half against the Lafayette Leopards Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self talks starters, improvements from Oubre and Mickelson

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self answers questions following his team's easy win over Lafayette. The coach discusses changes to two of the team's five starters for the game, as well as the standout performances of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Hunter Mickelson.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Oubre, Mason, Mickelson discuss KU's 27-point win

Kansas University basketball players Kelly Oubre Jr., Frank Mason III and Hunter Mickelson meet with media members after contributing to a blowout victory agains Lafayette on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Box score

Lafayette's game plan on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse was to shoot well from the outside on offense, help inside on defense and hope to catch a couple of breaks that would allow the Leopards to hang in there against 10th-ranked Kansas University on its home floor.

By game's end, Lafayette was able to put a checkmark in each of those boxes, but that did not prevent the Jayhawks from rolling to a 96-69 victory.

A big reason for KU's success was the Jayhawks' ability to match Lafayette's outside shooting. The Leopards (7-3) entered Saturday shooting 42 percent from three-point range as a team and drained 12 of 26 three-point tries (46 percent) against the Jayhawks. KU's sharp-shooters answered that by knocking in the same number of three-pointers (12) in three fewer attempts (23) while shooting 52 percent from the three-point range.

Several of KU's triples came on possessions that followed Lafayette makes from the outside, which not only allowed Kansas (9-1) to maintain its lead but also got into the heads of the Leopards.

“After we make a shot, we know we need to play tough defense and hustle back,” said sophomore guard Monty Boykins, who scored 10 points and hit all three of his three-point attempts. “But when a team hits a shot right after that, it's pretty demoralizing.”

Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said the fact that KU played with a lead for so much of Saturday's victory may have helped the home team's shooting percentage.

“We were really trying to help inside a lot and they started to hit some threes, some long threes,” O'Hanlon said. “When you're playing a team and they have a 10- 12- 14-point lead, those threes are a lot less pressure than if it's in a close game.”

Despite KU's lights-out shooting, O'Hanlon and his players remained proud of the way they shot the ball and how it allowed them to play the Jayhawks tougher than many people might have expected.

“We have to shoot well to be in games,” O'Hanlon said. “And I thought we shot the ball well. We didn't get as many shots as they did, and a lot of that had to do with their rebounding.”

KU out-rebounded Lafayette 44-26, and that was one of those little things — with turnovers (12-5 in KU's favor), steals (8-3, KU) and depth being the others — that O'Hanlon and his bunch said ultimately made the difference.

“There were a couple of turnovers there that were key,” O'Hanlon said. “And when we turned it over they got a layup on the other end.”

Added senior forward Seth Hinrichs, who drilled three of six three-pointers and led Lafayette with 15 points and seven rebounds: “They're the 10th (ranked) team in the country and we competed for 30 minutes. I think we can be proud of that. But we would've liked to compete for the full 40.” 

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Lafayette

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Lafayette, 96-69

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Lafayette, 96-69


Tyson Ailshie 7 years, 11 months ago

The zone defense will not work on this squad. We proved it today. Now that this team has the players to drive and kick, it's not going to hamper us this year. Another thing that won't work is double teams in the post as we showed today that we can just kick it out to the arc for a triple. This team is going to be hard to beat. The only thing this team needs to do is keep the petal to the metal for the full 40.

Danny Hernandez 7 years, 11 months ago

Is Svi, Oubre, Green & Mason can continue to knock down the 3 consistently, the defense won't sag inside on Perry so much, thus freeing him up to do his thing plus allow Oubre the opportunity to drive inside more. The offense is definitely clicking...

Micky Baker 7 years, 11 months ago

Danny and Tyson,

The offense has improved, but it's not clicking yet. The outside shot has been going down consistently as of late and that is a good sign. However, Danny, It's not just Svi, Oubre, Green, and Mason that has been hitting the outside shot. Selden and Perry can knock that shot down, too. Traylor, Lucas, Ellis, Mickelson, and Alexander need to work on passing to each other down low too. If they can do that, they can offset some height advantages that some of our opponents are going to have.

You're both right that the outside shooting is going to be important, but this offense isn't clicking yet. We need to get better in the paint. Our guys need to take the ball to the rim or get the ball to the backboard quicker. I'm sure Self is on that and they're going to work on it. If we get both of those things going, we're going to be pretty darn good as long as we don't relax on defense. Causing turnovers on the defensive end will also help us score more in the paint.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 11 months ago

How many years has 3-point shooting been an Achilles heel for Kansas and proves to be our undoing at the worst possible time? Here's hoping that such is not the case with this year's team.

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