It was a choppy, grind-it-out win for the Kansas Jayhawks tonight as they took on the Warhawks of Louisiana Monroe. The adjustment to the new foul rules the NCAA has instituted this season continues. More on that later, but for now, some quick hitters from tonight’s 80-63 win.
Frankamp serviceable as the backup point guard: I made the point before the season that I saw Frankamp as the only real redshirt option this year. While I don’t think Tharpe’s one game suspension had much to do with the decision to let him play, I do think he is going to get some great experience this season in that third ball-handler role. Self must agree, and Frankamp was able to prove it by posting 3 assists to 1 turnover in a game where he saw extended floor time. Mason was hit with foul trouble early which thrust Conner into the action. While he didn’t shine on an off shooting night, he didn’t do anything to hurt his standing either.
Andrew White III pushing for more minutes: White was one of the best players on the floor tonight. He is the direct backup to Selden, but has really outperformed the frosh thus far. White’s line of 12 points on 67 percent shooting plus four rebounds and one steal looks pretty good in comparison. However, Selden had four assists to one turnover while White had zero and three. I think Selden is safe for now, but White continues to impress in his young sophomore campaign.
Defense must improve fastansas KU again gave up a high percentage of made baskets to their far less talented opponent. The Warhawks posted 42.9 percent from the field in Allen, and it was a lot better than that before a couple of their best players fouled out early. That is not going to make Bill happy. I said this on Twitter, but I think it is worth repeating. Given this team’s length and athleticism, there is really no excuse. They should be able to guard better than this on effort alone. That effort is there for short spurts and the Jayhawks become stifling on D, but they don’t sustain it for long and are allowing inferior competition to stick around. Against a Duke team that just dropped 111 points on 70% from the field, the effort will need to be there all night or these young ‘Hawks will get blown out.
Bend your knees: Kansas shot a miserable 63 percent from the free throw line. Given that there were over 70 free throws attempted in this contest, the team that is able to capitalize better from the line is likely to gain a 5-10 point advantage from the charity stripe alone, as long as the refs are calling games this tight. Something to watch going forward.
Beware of the Blog’s Player of the Game: This covered award goes to Andrew Wiggins who, despite a slow start and streaky energy level, posted 16 points on an efficient 5-for-9 from the field including 2-for-4 from three-point land. He also contributed three rebounds, two assists, three steals with only two turnovers on the night. This was a well-rounded effort from the touted freshman.
You Let the Whole Team Down Award: This award goes to Jamari Traylor who could not figure out how to set a proper screen. He had four turnovers including the three illegal picks he set. Those are valuable possession wasted. Clean it up, Safari.