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Recap: Good shots the key to Jayhawks' win over Ohio State
Note: Here is a listing of definitions for some terms used in this blog. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below if something doesn't make sense.
Kansas turned it over on more than a fourth of its possessions but still had a great day offensively against No. 2 Ohio State in a 78-67 victory on Saturday.
The Jayhawks scored 1.11 points per possession — the highest PPP against Ohio State's defense in the Buckeyes' last 15 games.
So how did KU do it?
The simple answer is that the Jayhawks shot the ball well, though like most things, the answer is more complex if you want it to be.
KU had its best shooting game of the season, posting an effective field goal percentage of 67.7 percent — the fifth-best mark in its last two seasons.
The last time a team shot better than 67.7 eFG% against Ohio State was three seasons ago: Dec. 31, 2008, to be exact.
While the Jayhawks did pick a good game to make a lot of shots, they also deserve credit for getting great shots against the Buckeyes.
That becomes most apparent when you look at the shot charts from the game.
Though it might be unspoken, the goal for most teams should be either to get close twos or open threes.
From the shot charts above, it looks like KU only took five two-pointers from outside the lane — a low number considering KU had 48 field-goal attempts in all.
Yes, KU had a good shooting percentage, but the Jayhawks also helped themselves quite a bit by getting the ball in places where they had a great chance to be efficient offensively.
M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)
Offensively, Kevin Young was the Jayhawks' best and most consistent player.
The junior posted 1.44 points per possession used while ending 16.6 percent of KU's possessions while he was in.
Young also showed the ability to hit from the outside, making 2 of 3 three-pointers to go with his 6-for-8 shooting overall.
His effective field-goal percentage of 87.5 percent was second on the team (among players with more than one shot), while he also grabbed 7.5 percent of the available offensive rebounds and 12.8 percent of the available defensive rebounds while he was in.
KU coach Bill Self also was pleased after the game with Young's effort defensively against 6-foot-7 Deshaun Thomas.
“Kevin probably had as much to do with us winning the game as anything,” Self said. “He scored points for us, but he did a great job on Thomas the second half. Great job.”
Once Young checked in for the final time with 16:01 left, Thomas made just 1 of 4 shots the rest of the way.
Young's extended playing time did appear to come at a cost. The Jayhawks' second-half defensive rebounding seemed to suffer with Jeff Withey not playing as much (eight second-half minutes), as the Buckeyes had nine second-half offensive rebounds after grabbing five in the first half.
The Jayhawks also saw a dramatic change in their two-point defense in the second half.
Ohio State 2-point shooting
First half — 4-for-16 (25 percent)
Second half — 15-for-29 (51.7 percent)
There's no way to pin any of this on one player, and Young certainly should be not be faulted for defense that was lauded by Self.
It's important to point out, though, that taking Withey out of the game has the potential to affect KU in other areas that might be not immediately apparent.
Room for Improvement
Defensive rebounding and turnovers were about the only areas that could be nitpicked after the Jayhawks' 11-point victory.
Ohio State came away with 35.9 percent of the available offensive rebounds against KU — the second-most by a KU opponent this season.
Also, KU turned it over 25.7 percent of the time against OSU, and while that is high, it's still not as high as the Buckeyes' opponents are averaging this season (27.5 percent).
Tyshawn Taylor, Robinson and Conner Teahan all led KU in turnover rate, with each player giving it away on 33 percent of their used possessions.
Teahan takes the "Tough-Luck Line" after a poor shooting game.
The senior posted a team-low 0.78 points per possession while ending 19 percent of the possessions he was in there.
The sharpshooter made just 1 of 5 three-pointers while struggling with a tough defensive assignment.
Though Teahan's defense has improved this year, he wasn't quick enough to stay with future pro William Buford, who routinely went by him on the dribble. In fact, twice after Buford scored against Teahan, Self immediately went to his bench to sub Travis Releford back in.
The game also ended a hot-shooting streak for Teahan at Allen Fieldhouse. Coming into the game, the Leawood native had made 11 of 20 three-pointers taken in the building this season (55 percent).
Shooting percentages were the biggest difference in KU's 11-point victory over OSU.
Not only did the Jayhawks have their best shooting day of the year, they also held OSU to 42.7 eFG% shooting (second-worst this season). The Buckeyes' 0.96 points per possessions also were a season low.
Though KU's high turnover number isn't a good sign, those miscues can be more easily forgiven when the Jayhawks run their offense as effectively and efficiently as they did on Saturday.