Tharpe tops ratings (again) in KU win over Oklahoma State


1 - Naadir Tharpe: His strong competitiveness showed when Marcus Smart picked him clean and Tharpe immediately did the same thing to him. He and Smart both did a strong job of running their teams, the biggest difference in their games being that Tharpe couldn’t miss a shot and Smart couldn’t make one, and Smart took better care of the basketball. Tharpe consistently turned back runs by hitting three-point shots and he did a good job of feeding center Joel Embiid, for whom the Cowboys had no solution. Tharpe made 7 of 8 field goals, 3 of 4 three-pointers and 4 of 4 free throws. He finished with 21 points, six assists, six turnovers and three steals in 39 minutes. He scored six of KU’s final seven points and hit a huge 18-footer that put his team up six with 36 seconds left, which at the time seemed like a dagger.

2 - Joel Embiid: Picked up a technical for the third game in a row when he, after the whistle, planted his palm on Le’Bryan Nash’s forehead and gave him a little shove. It didn’t hurt Kansas because the foul for which he was whistled on that play was his only of the game, other than the technical. He knows how to block shots without fouling because he’s keeping his arms straight up. Broke his own freshman record (seven, UTEP) when he blocked eight shots. His terrific hands and ability to get so high above the rim also make him a threat scoring against the zone, no matter how tightly guarded, because nobody can get their arms as high as he can. His conversion of Wayne Selden’s alley-oop pass when covered closely was yet another remarkable highlight for the 7-footer from Cameroon.

3 - Jamari Traylor: He has come a long way in a lot of ways. Always a terrific athlete, he now is using that to make strong basketball plays. He hit a free-throw line jumper, a new weapon, made 3 of 3 free throws and 3 of 3 field goals, had a huge blocked shot and again showed he can put the ball on the floor. Played 19 minutes and produced nine points and three rebounds.

4 - Tarik Black: KU’s best player on the court in the first half, when he scored eight points and made 4 of 5 shots, including a two-handed dunk he rocked to the back of his head. Also had a huge blocked shot and two rebounds. Never got off the bench in the second half, thanks to Embiid’s dominant performance.

5 - Frank Mason: He made just 1 of 3 free throws in the final 23 seconds but made up for it with the game-saving play, knocking the ball loose from Le’Bryan Nash before he could get up a shot. Had another big deflection earlier and hit a three that expanded a four-point lead to seven with 9:36 left. Mason, an amazing leaper who embraces contact, used those qualities to snare four rebounds.

6 - Brannen Greene:  Made good use of his seven minutes on the floor, scoring five points and hitting 2 of 3 shots, including 1 of 2 three-pointers. Good size and skills aren’t always accompanied by confidence, but they were in this one.

7 - Wayne Selden: Consistently long on his shot  (1 for 7) in first half, Selden compensated with strong defense, accurate free-throw shooting and three beautiful passes in a seven-point, three-assist, no-turnover half. As for the second half, he made several poor plays and turned it over four times. 

8 - Perry Ellis: Physical games don’t always bring out the best in Ellis and this was an example of that. He didn’t always go up strong and finished 3 of 8 from the field and totaled six points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

9 - Andrew Wiggins: Played so far below his standard that he sat most of the latter half of the second half and played just 23 minutes on the night. He contributed just three points and two rebounds and made just 1 of 5 shots in his worse game as a Jayhawk. That’s unfortunate timing for Baylor, Monday’s opponent.

10 - Conner Frankamp: Played just one minute and missed a three-pointer.


Joel Embiid 159

Andrew Wiggins 145

Perry Ellis 144

Naadir Tharpe 125

Wayne Selden Jr. 124

Frank Mason 114

Jamari Traylor 94

Tarik Black 77

Andrew White III 50

Brannen Greene 42

Conner Frankamp 38

Landen Lucas 31

Justin Wesley 8


Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

Wayne deserves to be farther up the list. He didn't shoot the ball well, and did have some turnovers as well, but his D was too important to be dismissed in a couple words.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Not the issue. Letting Forte loose for that open-look corner 3 was unacceptable, while Mason missing FTs late left the door wide open for OSU. Got to close better.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 10 months ago

Turn overs and poor defense is the only way a team erases 13 points in 7 minutes, the door was open in the first 7 minutes, tharpe is the quarterback, it has to come from him, we were sloppy, had no focus. He is the elder player and has to take control there. Poor offense could not handle the press, it was a complete failure

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Team also learned a lesson about not stepping on the throat, by coming out "soft" in the 2nd half. Just spent 15min resting during halftime, so being tired cannot be an excuse. Mental toughness, extra effort...(MTXE).

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Man, the sloppy 2nd half is more than just was a team-fail. Much like the end of the Michigan game: more than just poor EJ, several fail's from specific players (along with great plays by Burke, McGary...).

How about resisting the human tendency to "boil it all down" and make an analytical error by "oversimplifying" the real reasons? It was more than just Tharpe.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 10 months ago

Well since the article is that Tharpe was the best player in the game, my original comment was for me, he made to many lazy passes to be the best player. You disagreed, so I expanded my comment. Tharpe has had 10 TO''s the last two games and by my count 7 lazy passes on top of those. Love his scoring but sure wish he would take care of the ball better. Hard to think that he was the best player when he has holes like that in his game.

Also have to disagree about the MI game, EJ made 4 significant errors in those last few minutes of that game. There were other mistakes made but no one else had more than 1 or 2 that was on the floor at the end. EJ cost us that game. If he had just made 1 or 2 errors we have a great shot to get to another final four.

Since we are all humans, human tendencies are kind of hard to break? I tried being a dog when I was boy it didn't take. Oversimplifying, boiling it all down is what everyone's does on these posts. You just did it with your post so I am not sure where you are going, but if you get to say what you want without reprisal, why can't anyone else? So I will not be taking your advice about resisting. Sorry.

Rich Hetherington 8 years, 10 months ago

too many... I wasn't going to say anything, but after seeing it a second time, I have to mention that it's "too many" rather than "to many". I do believe that Tharpe was the best player on Saturday and that we won because of him, and not in spite of him. Sure he had a few questionable passes, but if not for his shot making, OSU may have stormed back and won by 5-10! Plus the 6 assists Tharpe did have were nice, and at least 2 of the 6 turn-overs were the variety where you wonder if it was even his fault. I love the way he's been playing lately and while I do see him get blown by on defense a couple times a game and that has definitely bothered me, outside of that, Tharpe is probably our MVP right now, not taking anything away from Embiid of course, who is right there with him.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 10 months ago

Rich, can I ask, please correct any words I use incorrectly, your MVP does not sit two games and play as inconsistently like he has. Compare KSU 3 games ago to recent games please. He is playing better, but the reason he has to extend is his poor play, which is masked by scoring. OKState was let back into that game due poor play which was lead by our PG.

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