Saturday, February 9, 2019

Notebook: Jayhawks currently viewed as a 3 seed by committee

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets in for a bucket against Oklahoma State forward Yor Anei (14) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets in for a bucket against Oklahoma State forward Yor Anei (14) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Midway through the first half of Saturday’s 84-72 victory over Oklahoma State, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee was busy revealing its early glance at where things stand today, with Selection Sunday now 5 weeks away.

Entering Saturday, the 13th-ranked Jayhawks, according to the committee, were a 3 seed, on the same line as Purdue, Houston and Marquette.

Committee chair Bernard Muir, of Stanford, explained the Jayhawks’ standing shortly after the Top 16 seeds — broken down in four sets of 1 through 4 seeds — were revealed.

“The final spot on the 2 line came down to Michigan State’s eight Quadrant 1 wins, five of which have come away from home,” Muir said. “While Kansas has a similar number of Quadrant 1 wins as the Spartans, we thought Kansas’ performance on the road, along with the unfortunate season-ending injury to Udoka Azubuike, kept the Jayhawks behind Purdue. At the same time, the abundance of quality wins kept Kansas ahead of Houston.”

Muir said the top seven teams in Saturday’s bracket reveal had clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack up to this point.

They were, in order, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina. Spots 8-16 were: Michigan State, Purdue, Kansas, Houston, Marquette, Iowa State, Nevada, Louisville and Wisconsin.

Dunk you very much

Harassed all season — even by his own mother — for not throwing down a dunk, Kansas freshman Devon Dotson needed just two possessions to change that on Saturday.

After a smooth jumper from freshman Ochai Agbaji got Kansas on the board, Dotson swiped one of his 2 steals and raced the other way for one of those uncontested buckets that he has delivered so many times before. This time, however, he gave it a little more, elevating higher and flying farther for a one-handed slam that put Kansas up 4-0 in the game’s early going.

His teammates, who have been looking for a spark wherever they can find it during the past couple of rough weeks, were appreciative, even if not overly complimentary, of Dotson’s gesture.

“I haven’t really seem him dunk, like, ever,” said Agbaji, who is far and away this team’s highest flier. “He doesn’t dunk in practice or when we’re just shooting around, but it was a good dunk. It kind of got everybody pumped up.”

Dotson finished 6-of-10 from the floor for 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and just one turnover in 37 minutes.

McCormack starts

Although he logged just 14 minutes total, Kansas freshman David McCormack earned the first start of his KU career during Saturday’s victory.

Pegged by many as a great answer to the void left in the starting lineup after the season-ending injury to 7-foot, 270-pound center Udoka Azubuike, McCormack has struggled to earn consistent minutes so far this season, playing just 7 minutes per game on average.

KU coach Bill Self said Saturday that the matchup — being able to play two bigs against the Cowboys instead of having to field four guards — favored the bulkier McCormack, and Self was eager to see what McCormack could do.

“I thought it was the best matchup for us,” Self said. “But I actually thought (junior) Mitch (Lightfoot) would be better for us finishing the game than Dave probably would, because of experience, and I didn’t see any reason to give Mitch 2 fouls in the first 5 minutes of the game.”

Despite missing all three shots he attempted, McCormack finished with 5 rebounds — 4 offensive — and also blocked a shot and picked up 2 fouls.

Black History Month

The Jayhawks broke out some new uniforms for Saturday’s victory, wearing what Adidas called “Harlem Renaissance uniforms” to honor Black History Month.

According to a press release, the jerseys and shorts were designed with features said to encapsulate the 1920s, when the Harlem Renaissance fostered black cultural identity and inspired people who took part in the movement to change stereotypes about the black community.

The KU women’s team also wore Harlem Renaissance uniforms during their Saturday night home game against Texas.

This and that ...

The Jayhawks on Saturday started four freshmen for just the second time in the Self era. The only other time it had happened before Saturday came during a game on Dec. 7, 2013, when Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., all were in the starting lineup in a KU road loss at Florida ... Kansas now leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 115-59, including a 63-12 mark in Lawrence and a 48-10 record in Allen Fieldhouse ... The Jayhawks have won 17 in a row inside their home gym, dating back to the end of the 2017-18 season. KU is 13-0 at home this season ... KU is now 90-12 following a loss in the Self era, including a 5-1 mark this season ... Dotson scored in double figures for the third game in a row and Lawson recorded at least one 3-pointer for the sixth consecutive game.


Bryce Landon 3 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, a 3-seed sounds just about right for Kansas. It's nothing to be ashamed of; we've been a 3-seed before. And we got to a Final Four as a 3-seed in 1991. We can still say we've never been seeded lower than 4th in the Self era if we get a 3-seed.

As for the uniforms...I don't care if they're for a good cause or not - BURN THOSE UGLY JERSEYS!

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 3 years, 10 months ago

Ballroom is ironic if you ever stepped foot on a court these days with dress shoes on. You'd be tossed out of class by security. I'd be interested in an article with more history on this harlem thing. If it's just a black thing then why is it promoted and not racism?

Andy Godwin 3 years, 10 months ago

Surprised the committee kept KU in the top 16 (number 10). Their way too early third seed is all based on early performances and KU's strength of schedule, but normally the committee takes into account serious injuries. It is unlikely that KU would have beaten the likes of MSU, Marquette, Tennessee, Villanova without Udoka (and Vick). KU is likely to fall again in the AP rankings after a week to losing to "unranked" KSU (actually #29) and beating an even more depleted OSU team. Thanks to Baylor folding, KSU holds a 2 game lead in the Big 12 (yes, officially 1.5 games but 2 games in the loss column which is all that matters) and should vault over both ISU and KU in the standings. Unless KU wins out (wishful and unreasonable thinking given they have struggled mightily on the road), it is doubtful they will be seeded this high. There is a lot of basketball to play, including the Big 12 tournament, but KU has little margin of error and must hope their re-invented team can play well on the road starting Monday.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 10 months ago

until unless we can win the rest of b12 regulars, and produce consistently 80 pts per game, we're worthy of #3 seed, oh, and we keep TOs under 10. I think we deserve the ranking. like you said, there's no room for any errors starting now. either we kill or get killed. if our guys don't give their 210% from now on, we won't even make the 1st round. our guys need to be more aggressive, meaning more physical, dribble drive with a purpose, use upper shoulder to hit the rim instead of being pushed out by opponents or too early to jack up stupid layups all the time.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 10 months ago

There is where their non-con schedule pays off. They are not one of the top 12 teams right now but 3 wins over top ten teams plus another win over a top 20.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 10 months ago

Bad losses to unranked teams make a 3 seed a little generous.

Armen Kurdian 3 years, 10 months ago

Might also be a question of other teams having some bad losses too. So maybe what I perceive as a seeding I'd consider higher than we deserve is probably more of a function of other teams' losses.

As we figured, we're looking back at the loss at WVU as what probably may keep us from #15. But now four starters down, the team needs support more than ever with just 8 scholarship players available tonight (did I get that right?).

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