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5 stats that popped in KU’s loss at Oklahoma

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Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) is called for a foul on Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) while trying to knock away a pass from Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) is called for a foul on Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) while trying to knock away a pass from Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

Norman, Okla. — When taking into consideration all that led to Kansas suffering a Tuesday night road loss at Oklahoma, certain factors loomed much larger than others.

The dawning of the Hack-a-Dok era notwithstanding, some numbers other than sophomore center Udoka Azubuike’s 1-for-8 free-throw shooting stood out in the defeat.

Here are five statistics that shaped an entertaining evening of Big 12 basketball that ultimately cost Kansas a game’s worth of cushion in the league standings.

Crunch-time slump

Leading by 6 points on the road with 7:03 left in the second half, KU picked a bad time to hit an offensive funk.

After freshman Marcus Garrett drove in for a layup to give KU a 76-70 lead, the Jayhawks tailspun down the stretch, as Oklahoma implemented a Hack-A-Dok strategy that at the very least ravaged KU’s offensive flow.

From that point on Kansas made just 2 of 10 field-goal attempts, went 0-for-6 at the free-throw line — all six misfires by Azubuike — and turned the ball over once.

The Sooners finished the victory on a 15-4 run, as Trae Young went 6-for-8 at the foul line down the stretch and 3-pointers by Christian James and Brady Manek assured OU of a victory.

Off night for Graham

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) comes in for a shot against Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) comes in for a shot against Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

KU’s best player, senior point guard Devonte’ Graham, wasn’t able to replicate his typical scoring production. Graham entered the anticipated matchup at OU averaging 20.4 points in Big 12 play, but matched his lowest output of conference action to date, with 11, equalling his total in a win over Iowa State.

Graham — a 42.7% shooter on the year — went 4-for-19 (21.1%) at Oklahoma. It was his second-lowest field goal percentage of year (1-for-8, 12.5 % in a loss to Washington).

A 41.7% 3-point shooter this season, Graham connected on just 1 of 9 (11.1%) against the Sooners. It was his least successful 3-point showing of his senior year.

Of course, Graham did plenty to help KU, too, with 9 assists and only 2 turnovers in nearly 40 minutes — not to mention the task of chasing around Young (26 points, 9 assists) much of the night.

Out-rebounded yet again

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) battles for a ball with Oklahoma guard Kameron McGusty (20) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) battles for a ball with Oklahoma guard Kameron McGusty (20) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks’ losing streak on the battle of the boards continued in Norman.

Oklahoma’s 40 rebounds outnumbered KU’s 35, marking the ninth consecutive game KU has come up on the losing end in that category.

Indicative of the guard-heavy Jayhawks’ struggles on the glass, senior guard Graham (7 boards) led the team in rebounding for the second straight game.

KU has not had a double-digit rebounder since Azubuike grabbed 13 in the Big 12 opener at Texas.

Free-throw woes

For the second time this season Kansas didn’t even make half of its foul shots. Thanks in large part to OU fouling Azubuike and the big man going 1-for-8 on the night at the line, Kansas hit just 6 of 15 (40%).

KU actually fared even worse at the line at home against Iowa State two weeks earlier, when the Jayhawks shot 5-for-13 (38.5%) in a win. Azubuike wasn’t great that night either, going 1-for-4, but his teammates helped out — even Svi Mykhailiuk went 1-for-3.

At OU, though, only two other Jayhawks shot free throws: Graham went 2-for-4 and Malik Newman (20 points) made all three of his tries.

In the meantime, Oklahoma hit 20 of 25 in the win, led by Trae Young’s 10-for-12 night. The Sooners made 13 of 17 in the second half.

Svi’s second half

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts a shot past Oklahoma center Jamuni McNeace (4) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts a shot past Oklahoma center Jamuni McNeace (4) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks might not have ever looked capable of winning at OU Tuesday night had it not been for Svi Mykhailiuk’s second-half scoring.

Mykhailiuk began cranking up his offense after intermission. The senior from Ukraine looked like one of the most experienced players on the floor nearly every time the ball reached his hands in the first portion of the second half, which he opened for KU with a 3-pointer, providing the Jayhawks their first lead since the midway point of the first.

Every spurt KU made during the opening 10 minutes of the second half featured either a Mykhailiuk drive and layup or 3-pointer, as he put up 13 of his 24 points during that post-halftime stretch.

Mykhailiuk accounted for five of KU’s first 13 second-half baskets, went 5-for-10 from the floor, made 3 of 7 shots and looked — per usual — like every shot that left his hands had a better shot of falling than rimming out. The 6-foot-8 shooter reached 20 points for the seventh time in his senior year.

He missed a potential go-ahead 3 with 0:52 to play and another that could’ve cut OU’s lead to 2 with 0:15 left, but Mykhailiuk was hardly to blame for the loss that snapped a five-game KU winning streak.

Comments

John Brazelton 4 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, this team goes into long spells where no one on offense scores points. In the past, Frank would drive to the hoop and either get fouled or make points, plus a foul. We also tend not to be in a position to rebound when we need a rebound the most.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 6 months ago

Mykhailiuk did completely fail to cover his man when OU drilled that dagger three toward the end of the game. As a a senior he should have recognized the situation. Defense is still not his strong suit.

Benny Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

Michael, this is incorrect. The defensive lapse that freed up that three was on Devonte not Svi. Self told them to switch the screens, Svi went with Young like he was supposed to, Devonte didn't follow the slip screen and left them wide open for the shot.

Elliott Teters 4 years, 6 months ago

In watching this replay, several times, and hearing that Devonte was wrong by not going out with Manek, I don't see how that was possible. Both Svi and Manek were behind Graham, well behind. Unless Svi was calling out to Devonte to go with Manek, he had no way of seeing him move.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 6 months ago

So, Vick's inability to score becomes a regular now.. Well, we all just have to lower our expectation. Out 5 starters or players on the court, we will only have 3 active scorers. Or 4 if he's doped. I hope things will change SOON.. I can't believe up to this point we don't have consistent 3 pt shooting from these guard-heavy team.. But good thing is I'm seeing more and more:

  1. pick-n-roll sets, especially from 'Tae to Mitch or Dok..

  2. Dok has become aware of who's cutting or sneaking behind him (Vick or Garrett), not to worry kicking the ball out (which has been a predictable move from BS)

  3. Newman is more patient with his shooting and he's not afraid to take jumpers! He just needs to learn to lob to our bigs. He's been great dribble-driving. Coaching staff should really make Vick and Garrett to work on their one-on-one offensive moves.

  4. Assists# looks good - we shared the ball more vs OU, no worries.. next game will be ours if we play this good together.. guaranteed!!

Go Jayhawk!!

Doug Fogleman 4 years, 6 months ago

Rebounds were even until Dok missed the series of free throws. Which give OU easy rebounds on his missed free throws. Tough game to lose.

Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes rebounds were fine; 2nd chance points and points off TOs combined were dominated by KU. The key in the game was another Vick no show (Garrett had the same points with 12 fewer minutes) and Devonté basically wearing down; it’s too much to ask him to guard one of the best players in the country AND play 40 minutes. Graham needs 2-3 minutes of rest per half; I truly don’t see why that can’t be done.

David McNickle 4 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone know what opponents are shooting from the line against us for the year. It's gotta be 80% at least? Also, how many points a game does KU lose to opponents in free throws?

Robert Brock 4 years, 6 months ago

Vick is not a productive player. Maybe Self should shorten his minutes and add a few to Lightfoot and Cunliffe.

Mike Nicco 4 years, 6 months ago

I think many of us would like to know the back story about Cunliffe especially with Vick struggling.

Elliott Teters 4 years, 6 months ago

I was really frustrated watching this game, not so much about Self not pulling Azibuke, but about him not ever resting Graham. I cannot believe the team would have suffered that much if Self had given him a couple minute rest before one of the timeouts. He was so tired he fouled out. When's the last time we saw that happen?

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