Saturday, February 10, 2018

Tom Keegan: Pregame injury serves as bad omen for Svi, KU’s offense

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and the Jayhawks come back into the game after a timeout late in  the second half, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2018 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and the Jayhawks come back into the game after a timeout late in the second half, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2018 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.


Waco, Texas — You know it’s not your day when you can’t escape pregame warmups without an injury to a key player.

It was not Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s day. Ditto for the Kansas basketball team, which lost at Baylor, 80-64, Saturday during an afternoon in which the Jayhawks couldn’t put the ball in the basket in the first half and couldn’t prevent Baylor from scoring in the second.

Warmups didn’t go any better for Kansas.

Mykhailiuk arrived at Ferrell Center eyes wide open and well aware that a strong team effort is needed to win in any Big 12 venue.

He just didn’t have a clue that his troubles would start well before the center jump.

During that early phase in which the players take the court to shoot and get loose without falling into organized layup lines, freshman Marcus Garrett went up for a dunk and missed, a harbinger of KU’s lid-on-the-hoop shooting performance.

As Garrett’s arm swung back in the aftermath of the miss, his hand accidentally smacked Mykhailiuk in the face, his right eye taking the brunt of it.

By game time, ice had played a part in Svi’s eye looking much better than it did when he it was swollen partially shut in the layup line.

From tipoff all eyes were on Svi’s shooting eye, seeking clues as to how the shiner would impact him. His first shot, a 3-point attempt from left of the circle, which clanked off the backboard, right of the rim, indicated the flukey accident probably had done a number on him. Nothing about how he shot the rest of the day suggested otherwise.


Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) wears a fresh black eye during warmups prior to tipoff against Baylor, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2018 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

In 35 minutes, Svi made 1 of 8 shots and missed all six 3-point attempts. His only field goal of the week came on a putback.

Even before he took shot to the eye, his shooting eye had cooled a bit. He made just 2 of 9 3-pointers a week earlier in a loss to Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse. He missed his only two shots in a grind-it-out victory Tuesday at home against TCU.

“Everybody goes through those little shooting slumps,” fellow senior Devonte’ Graham said of Svi. “But Svi, he’s a good shooter. So who knows, next game he might go 7 for 7. Right now, he’s just in a little shooting slump.”

The issue isn’t whether Svi will break out of it. He will. The bigger issue is how KU can survive his off days better than it did in scoring 20 points for the entire first half. The solution, of course, lies in getting more consistent production from Malik Newman and Lagerald Vick. The mysterious duo combined for three points in the first half, 20 in KU’s 44-point second half, most of them coming on drives.

For the day, Kansas made 6 of 31 from beyond the arc.

Svi didn’t blame his Saturday shooting woes on his shiner, but nobody else bought that.

“It didn’t really affect my vision,” he said. “I was good.”

He also blamed himself for the accident, saying, “I was just too close and he missed a dunk.”

Graham said he thought it “could have,” thrown off Svi’s shot.

“It’s hard when you have a black eye,” Graham said. “You can’t really see.”

Kansas coach Bill Self agreed with his best player.

“Oh yeah,” Self said. “He was messed up. He was messed up. He was icing it the whole time.”

Rough timing.

“Svi didn’t miss (Friday) when we were scrimmaging,” Self said. “I think he made eight 3s in a row. I thought he may come out and be on fire, and then he really never was able to get on track.”

Other than Graham, Svi had plenty of company in that regard and Kansas (19-6 overall, 8-4 in Big 12 play) suffered through its lowest-scoring game of the season.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU

By the Numbers: Baylor 80, Kansas 64.

By the Numbers: Baylor 80, Kansas 64.


Brad Watson 4 years, 4 months ago

What I saw was a pretty good Baylor basketball team......much better than their record........similar to Texas Am......records do not show how good they are........its a long season......tough league......shake it off..... and get ready for the next game....

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 4 months ago

Baylor is not a good team, KU is currently playing like crap.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 4 months ago

Coach better start thinking of different offense strategies. Other opponent teams are getting better and better at attacking the rim (with our limited defense) we should at least be able to counter attack. It's not easy, but it's doable - that's a challenge that he has to overcome. While other teams have their bigs post to go deep to score, Lightfoot catching a pass just to kick the ball out. That's a good move if we make the 3s, but that's usually low percentage with the team we have now. While other teams have their guards penetrate and dish, ours penetrate and kick.

Sorry, but without good passing, cutting, lobs, dribble drives, FAKES, how do you expect a different outcome with kicking the ball out for 3pts? 30 attempts? We've got 2 bigs on the floor at most of the time?? You've got to be kidding right? There are tons of ways to score. Or at least encourage the kids to be "CREATIVE" - create their own moves, otherwise, they will play too cautious - they will never develop their instinct. Anyway... I'm waiting for a good show from our boys, our grown up boys - it's not too late. Otherwise, don't expect anything will change next season even with different lineups.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 4 months ago

You're right, Steve. We have a top-three recruiting class coming in, tremendous talent on the bench that can't play this year, and Bill Self's track record of having much better teams than this one, but clearly none of that matters; one mediocre (by KU's standards) season means it's hopeless from now into eternity.

Lord have mercy, do you even believe your own crap???

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 4 months ago

What's wrong with "this one"? We've got Dok, Newman, they both are top 25 recruits. Plus seniors Svi, Graham. Let's talk again next season.

Brad Watson 4 years, 4 months ago

I think 12-6 might win the league this year....check Texas Techs schedule.....we win our final 6 games and we will win this game at a time....Ames is never easy.......we win there and it will be the start we need........I like these kids...they're hard workers and WINNERS!.......its just a very tough league this year and I still like our chances a lot....even though we have some issues.....I think we have the best team and are the class of the conference and in my opinion ....we have the very best coach in the country and if anyone can find the magic....its Bill Self!

Gary Wilson 4 years, 4 months ago

Where are the excuses for Svi's game against TCU? Did he lose an eye in warmups there too?

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