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Recap: How KU defeated Oklahoma State despite terrible shooting

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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.

It's a bit ridiculous when you realize what Kansas pulled off Thursday in its 63-62 victory over Oklahoma State.

The Jayhawks trailed by six points at halftime, scored only 28 points in the second half, and still were able to win in regulation.

Obviously, foul trouble hurt OSU in the second half, but the Jayhawks still should be commended for their defensive effort in the final 20 minutes.

Let's take a look at the half-by-half, point-per-possession numbers:

First half
KU — 1.03 PPP
OSU — 1.21 PPP
(34 possessions)

Second half
KU — 1.0 PPP
OSU — 0.75 PPP
(28 possessions)

As you can see, KU's offense didn't change much Thursday, staying consistently below average in both halves.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson gets caught under Oklahoma State defenders Jarred Shaw (1) and Matt Pilgrim (31) during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson gets caught under Oklahoma State defenders Jarred Shaw (1) and Matt Pilgrim (31) during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. by Nick Krug

It was mostly KU's defensive effort — dropping OSU's production by nearly a half-point per possession in the second half — that allowed the Jayhawks to escape with the close win.

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Tough call on this one, as almost all the Jayhawks had an off morning offensively.

We're going to go a little outside the box here and award the M.O.J. to Markieff Morris, even though he was hampered by foul trouble and only played 18 minutes.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris puts up a shot as Oklahoma State forward Jarred Shaw is called for a blocking foul during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris puts up a shot as Oklahoma State forward Jarred Shaw is called for a blocking foul during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. by Nick Krug

Really, he was about the only efficient Jayhawk. He posted 1.21 points per possession used while ending 25 percent of KU's possessions; that's more impressive considering that out of KU's top seven in the rotation, only one other player posted better than 1 point per possession used (Brady Morningstar, 1.09).

Markieff finished 3-for-5 from the floor and also helped foul out OSU's big men, getting to the line five times himself (making four). He came down with 27.7 percent of the available defensive rebounds and tied with Tyshawn Taylor for the highest eFG% on the team (60 percent).

Markieff's 10-point, five-rebound stat line is impressive considering he didn't play much. During his time on the floor, KU outscored OSU, 33-27.

That's enough on this day to earn him an M.O.J.

Room for Improvement

The Jayhawks did a lot of things well against the Cowboys, but they just couldn't shoot a lick.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris shoots over Oklahoma State forward Matt Pilgrim during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris shoots over Oklahoma State forward Matt Pilgrim during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. by Nick Krug

KU's eFG% of 39.8 percent was its second-worst of the season behind the Michigan game. The Jayhawks' 20-percent shooting from three-point range also tied for their second-worst effort this year, while their 25 threes attempted were their third-highest this season.

KU needed someone — anyone — to hit a couple open long-range shots in a row, as OSU was daring the Jayhawks to shoot it from deep.

Instead, KU's guards combined to go 3-for-20 (15 percent) from three-point range — a number that's almost hard to fathom considering KU's accomplished shooters.

Tough-Luck Line

Tyrel Reed just never could get his shot going on Thursday.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed puts up a floater past Missouri guard Marcus Denmon during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed puts up a floater past Missouri guard Marcus Denmon during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

After making his first three-pointer just 2 minutes, 55 seconds into the game, Reed missed his next seven long-range tries. Most of those were open shots as well.

The bad shooting killed his stat line. He posted just 0.81 points per possession used while ending 14.5 percent of KU's possessions. Not only that, his eFG% of 18.7 percent was his lowest all season.

He also struggled from the free-throw line, making just 3 of 6 shots there.

Reed appeared to move fine with his foot injury, and he still was able to play 31 minutes against OSU, so for now, we'll just chalk this one up as a bad shooting game.

Bottom Line

On a day when shots weren't falling, KU performed well in other statistical categories to come away with a win.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson defends against a drive by Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson defends against a drive by Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page during the first half on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks were above their season average in offensive rebounding percentage (39.1 percent, compared to 36.4 percent), thanks to an outstanding effort from Marcus Morris, who posted a season-high nine offensive rebounds.

KU also took care of the basketball, turning it over on just 12.9 percent of its possessions — its third-lowest percentage this season.

Though shooting is the biggest determining factor in which team wins or loses games, it isn't the only factor.

On Thursday, the Jayhawks' rebounding, sure-handedness and second-half defense saved them on a day when the shots simply would not fall.

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