Recap: Kansas unsteady but decent vs. Tech


Kansas has won games on the strength of its guard play, its shooting and its defense multiple times this season. Thursday, the Jayhawks won because of their size and talent around the basket.

Look no further than StatSheet's breakdown of the game to see how completely KU bigs Cole Aldrich and the twins Morris dominated the smaller Red Raiders.

• The Jayhawks grabbed seven percent more offensive rebounds and seven percent more defensive rebounds than the Red Raiders. Aldrich and Markieff Morris were especially active on the glass, as each scooped up more than 20 percent of available rebounds during his playing time.

• KU blocked 12.3 percent of Texas Tech's field goal attempts. If a team were to post those numbers for a whole season, it would rank second nationally in Block Rate behind only Marshall (KU is currently ranked ninth in the nation). Aldrich and Markieff Morris each blocked multiple shots and freshman post Thomas Robinson also chipped in with two rejections in five minutes.

Next up for KU is a Texas A&M team with a strong post presence in forward Bryan Davis. Davis is an active offensive player with decent efficiency numbers. His Rebound Rate is solid, so it should be interesting to see how Aldrich and the Morris twins handle him. KU center Cole Aldrich presented Texas Tech's smaller frontcourt with problems — LJW Photo/Nick Krug

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

The honor could certainly go to Aldrich, whose 18 rebounds (15 defensive) helped trigger KU's offense and kept Texas Tech from getting second shots. But KU guard Sherron Collins was so relentlessly efficient during his 26 minutes that Thursday's award was his. Collins battled a rare case of foul trouble against Texas Tech, but served as a shot-making machine while not sitting on the bench. The stocky guard went 5-for-8 from the field, 6-for-6 from the free throw line and created 1.56 points per possession used.

Room For Improvement

You don't need to see this chart if you have watched much KU basketball this season. But here it is, anyway, compliments of

KU's issue is apparent: It has problems putting teams away. After building a comfortable double-digit lead early in the second half, the Jayhawks yielded a run that allowed the Red Raiders within two points with less than six minutes to play. Granted, KU hasn't had much of a problem surviving these scares. But for the sake of Jayhawk fans' health, KU might want to grow a lead or two in the Big 12 tournament.

Tough Luck Line

Early on, it looked like Xavier Henry might end up with an ugly line. Henry, however, recovered to score 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting. That left guard Tyshawn Taylor as the lone Jayhawk with a lame line. Taylor wasn't terrible: He didn't commit a turnover while distributing four assists. But he finished 0-for-3 from the field and 2-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Bottom Line:

For all the talk of KU's unsteadiness and streakiness, the Jayhawks really put together a pretty decent performance on Thursday. KU outscored Texas Tech by 0.16 points per possession, just less than the Jayhawks' conference season average.


Keith Kienzle 12 years, 2 months ago

zomg, is that a graph???? Now I'm getting excited! Did you assess "KU lead safe" by # of Missouri fans exiting the building?

Drew Alan 12 years, 2 months ago

yeah, as "shaky" as the game was, when you compare it to the rest of the games yesterday we actually played a pretty comfortable one. Of the 47 games yesterday, only 16 were decided by a wider margin than ours, and 5 of those were upset-blowouts! So we had a more "comfortable" final score than about 2 thirds of the games that occurred yesterday. Also vital, I think, is that Nebraska pushed A&M to the brink, and 4 A&M players played at least 28 minutes, with two of them playing 35 or 4 minutes. Compared to KU yesterday where no-one played over 29 minutes. These guys should be in great condition, but playing on back to back days can definitely take a toll, and quickly.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 2 months ago

Asher, my question is how if you have a lead can it be considered less than 50% safe? What is the percentage referring to? When KU was up 12, 75 to 63 it says the lead was 46.3% safe. Is that meaning to say that there is a 53.7% chance that KU will lose.

Ben Kane 12 years, 2 months ago

I only got to see the second half yesterday. In fact I got in trouble at work for leaving to go watch the game. That's what they get for not granting me vacation time when i ask for it. I wonder how many kentucky fans didn't show for work today. :)

but as for the game... Cole was a beast from what I saw. I don't recall the last time I saw him so aggressive on the offensive end. This just serves to open everyone else up that much more. Certainly a trend I'd like to see continue for the next few weeks.

We are getting to the point where Lunardi's brackets is more and more likely to be fact. What does everyone think about his matchups for us?

AsherFusco 12 years, 2 months ago

leikness — From my understanding, a lead safety number of 0 means the game is tied, or each team has a 50 percent shot of winning. In that case, 46.3 percent safeness would mean KU had a 70-ish percent chance of winning at that time.

milehighhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Asher - out of curiosity - was the lead safety number in the 08 championship game with about 2 minutes left?

AsherFusco 12 years, 2 months ago

The highest Memphis got its lead safety in the title game was 22.9 percent with 2:12 remaining (score was 60-51). Check out the graph at

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