Zach Clemence's 26 seconds of action enough to land top spot on off night for Kansas
1 – Zach Clemence – He played just 26 seconds before leaving for good with a cut over his left eye, but in that time he recorded a block and a big boy rebound. On a night when nobody in KU blue played well enough to write home about, Clemence was by far the Jayhawks’ most effective player. Maybe he would’ve had better numbers if he had played more. Then again, the way this one went, maybe if he would’ve played more, he would’ve finished with the same sad-sack numbers as most of his teammates. That kind of night for the Jayhawks. But know this; if Kansas coach Bill Self thinks Clemence will rebound the ball on Thursday night, he’ll be on the floor a lot in that one.
2 – Jalen Wilson – Wilson had nine of his 13 points in the first half and he was one of the most aggressive players on the floor during the opening 20 minutes. What happened from there is anybody’s guess. I think plenty of it had to do with the fact that the KU offense was awful in this one, and not just from a shooting-percentage standpoint (37%). KU’s guards drove 1-on-5. Nobody seemed to want to move the ball. And the entire lineup, no matter who was on the floor, seemed to play with the panic of a team down 40 instead of just four. Wilson fell into some of that in the second half. But he finished with decent numbers — 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 7 rebounds and 1 turnover in 34 minutes.
3 – Ochai Agbaji – Agbaji got good looks and he worked hard to create them, but boy oh boy did he have an off night shooting the ball. He took 17 shots, missed 13 of them and finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 turnovers in 37 minutes. When you consider that three of his makes came from eight 3-point attempts, you’re looking at a guy who was 1-for-9 on 2-point shots. And it all started on the first possession of the game, when KU won the tip and Agbaji rushed the ball up the floor only to take — and miss — and off-balanced 6-footer to open the game. A sign of things to come that proved to be. Self said after the game that Ochai at least played the way they’re supposed to play. But that consolation prize isn’t worth much in the way of “atta boys” when you shoot 4-for-17 from the floor.
4 – Joe Yesufu – I’ll be honest, I’m only going with Yesufu this high because Self said after the game that he was the best of KU’s three point guards in this one. He played just 10 minutes and made 1 of 2 shots. Nothing special at all in the way of stats. But, when you look back at it, he did at least attack the TCU bigs and try to force the issue. On a night when too many Jayhawks allowed themselves to be dominated, Yesufu’s willingness to attack and fight stood out to his head coach and, yes, eventually to me.
5 – Christian Braun – I thought Braun was the most quiet player in a KU uniform on Tuesday night. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting and also added 5 rebounds, but none of it had that signature Braun fire and passion behind it. He was just kind of out there. This Kansas team isn’t good enough, nor deep enough, for him to just be another dude. He’s got to be that dude, the guy he was against Missouri and so many others. Chalk it up to an off night and be on the look out for a serious dose of the Braun way on Thursday night.
6 – Dajuan Harris Jr. – It’s hard to ignore the 7 assists and 0 turnovers, but don’t let those numbers fool you. KU’s offense, which Harris runs, still shot just 37% and scored 64 points. Harris was off from the jump and he hasn’t quite looked like himself of late. I’m not sure if it’s fatigue or a slump or some other type of frustration that’s plaguing him. But there’s no doubt that he’s off in some manner, particularly when it comes to scoring, which Kansas still does need him to do. He missed all three shots he attempted in this one, including a pair of 3-pointers. Just think what 6 or 7 extra points from KU’s starting PG who played 25 minutes could’ve meant down the stretch. Wherever Dajuan went and whatever it is that’s got him a little off, this team needs him back. Badly.
7 – Mitch Lightfoot – Lightfoot was good early on the offensive end, but he didn’t do much of anything on defense. He grabbed one rebound and watched TCU players score over and around him for much of the 13 minutes he was out there. Still, he deserves some credit for being a stabilizing presence after David McCormack’s rough start. Lightfoot scored KU’s first five points and looked like he took to heart that “We need more out of Mitch” line from Self this week. Moving forward, the Jayhawks need more out of Mitch.
8 – Jalen Coleman-Lands – I liked what Coleman-Lands did in this one. He shot the ball when he was open, he looked to be aggressive and he was a willing defender. He did have a bad foul. And he only played 7 minutes. But he was out there enough to take a crack at making a difference, and he almost came through. His 3-pointer before halftime was big at the time. But it was his behind the back, stop-on-a-dime dribble to get out of trouble that might’ve been most memorable in this one. Unfortunately for Kansas, it came in the backcourt and was simply a require move to get the ball to the KU point guard safely. They don’t award points or take them away from the opponent for moves like that.
9 – Remy Martin – He played 12 minutes and showed flashes of outstanding effort on the defensive end. But it wasn’t enough. He also threw it right to a TCU player on a key transition opportunity and shot just 1-of-2 from the game. Martin’s still working his way back into the flow, but he’s not going to get more than 10-15 minutes any time soon unless he really shows some of that fire, passion and play-making ability that was there early in the season. The question isn’t whether he can do it or not. The question is whether it’s even still there for him to tap into.
10 – David McCormack – Off from the start to the point of getting yanked out of the game 1:21 into it, McCormack never got going in this one, missing so many close-range shots and struggling to gain control of himself throughout. He finished with decent numbers — 13 points and 8 rebounds — but he played just 21 minutes and got so many of those rebounds by badly missing in close. Give him credit for fighting to get them back, but had it not been for a 7-of-9 night at the free throw line, McCormack’s numbers would’ve matched the way he looked in this one. It’s going to be real interesting to see how he looks against that big, athletic TCU front line in the rematch.
11 – KJ Adams – Adams played just seven minutes, missed his only shot and offered nothing close to the kind of resistance or athletic countering that KU needed against TCU in this one. Every time you think he’d be perfect for a certain matchup, you remember that the guy has played 151 minutes of college basketball in his entire life. Some of these guys play that in four or five games. Because of that, he’s still just not quite there in terms of feeling fully comfortable to the point where his size, frame and natural athletic ability can make enough of an impact in a game like this. No matter how much Kansas could use it.
1 – Ochai Agbaji, 261 +
2 – Christian Braun, 244
3 – Dajuan Harris Jr., 217
4 – Jalen Wilson, 194 •
5 – David McCormack, 166
6 – Mitch Lightfoot, 139
7 – Remy Martin, 123 z
8 – Joseph Yesufu, 94
9 – Jalen Coleman-Lands, 84 b
10 – KJ Adams, 77
11 – Zach Clemence, 72 y
12 – Bobby Pettiford, 50 x
• Missed first 3 games to serve a suspension
x – Out with abdominal injury starting Dec. 6 (returned Jan. 11) Done for the season on Feb. 25.
y – Out with a toe injury starting Jan. 11 (returned Feb. 12)
z – Missed 10 games with a knee injury (returned Feb. 26)
- – Missed 1 game because of COVID-19
b – Missed 1 game because of a migraine headache