The Jayhawks completely dismantled Georgetown in their most complete performance of the year. Here are your quick hitters from the game:
1. I’m dreaming of a Black Christmas. Tarik Black was phenomenal. This was exactly the kind of game I though we could see from him all year long. In his new role coming of the bench, he seems to have found a way to avoid the stupid fouls. He immediately injects size, strength, tenacity and experience into the lineup when he checks in. Given the Ellis injury, he was forced to play 20 minutes this afternoon and was extremely efficient. He ended with 17 points on 5-for-5 shooting and added six rebounds, an assist and two blocks. Oh, and get this: he fouled one time. What a day for the senior transfer.
2. Andrew Wiggins is the perfect stocking stuffer. No question this was a tough offensive outing for Andrew Wiggins. It didn’t help that the smack-happy Hoyas were fouling him every time he even thought about driving the basketball. The refs didn’t call most of those, so he couldn’t even get into a shooting rhythm from the charity stripe. What I love about this guy is that he isn’t above playing for the team when the going gets tough. He proved that again today. The stat sheet will not be able to demonstrate how tenacious his defense really was. He has the highest +/- on the team (30), even ahead of Black (29) on a night where Black went for 17. Despite shooting only 30 percent from the field, Wiggins hit 100 percent of his free-throws and stuffed the box score with four assists, three steals and a block. That is what great players do. They find a way to make a difference when they struggle. Wiggins has the ability to make a difference in every facet of the game.
3. The defense isn’t getting coal this Christmas. I said before the game that we would find out how good Georgetown really is in this game. Let me be clear, Georgetown is not a bad basketball team. I think they may not be as good as they thought they were, but they aren’t as bad as they looked today. This is the first time all season that I can remember KU making a good offensive team look bad because of their defense. The Jayhawks held the Hoyas to 11.3 points below their season average on 40.7 percent from the field (remember that Georgetown was on fire for the first 8 minutes or so). Georgetown was only 26.7 percent from 3-point land. KU out-rebounded them on the defensive glass by 10. They also rejected seven shots and fouled 10 times less. This was a sight for sore eyes for KU fans, like me, who get more juiced from how a team plays team defense than they do from a team’s offensive efficiency.
What to Watch for Recap:
1. How good is Georgetown, really? Probably not as good as they thought they were a week ago. As the sign reads, everybody loses in Allen Fieldhouse. But if you are a Georgetown fan, that’s probably not much consolation right now.
2. Can KU find the range? The Jayhawks buried 5-of-14 attempts for 35.7 percent. That is quite an improvement from their 27.1 percent season average. Not stellar, but a step in the right direction. Average is bette than terrible.
3. Rebounding leads to run-outs. KU ripped down a ton of defensive rebounds today. They still didn’t push it in transition off of those as much as I think they could. Some of that has to do with how Georgetown was getting back to prevent run-outs. When KU did get an advantage, they made it count. Tarik Black had a great block that led to a fast break for Tharpe, though.
Beware of the Blog’s Player of the Game
Clearly this one comes down to Embiid vs Black, and it is not an easy decision. Both guys had 17 points. Both were 100% from the field. Embiid hastwo more rebounds, but Black added an extra steal. Both played so well. But, in the end Tarik Black gets the nod for a few reasons. Number one, he needed it more. He has labored all year long and this was a fantastic performance for his confidence. Second, the team was better with him on the floor. His +/- was 29 to Embiid’s 5. Lastly, he did all of his damage in only 20 minutes off the bench when the team had to have it. He had fewer turnovers and fewer fouls. He wins by a narrow margin. Don’t worry, though. Embiid will win his fair share before it’s all over.
- 1. Andrew Wiggins (4)
- T-2. Perry Ellis (2)
- T-2. Joel Embiid (2)
- T-3. Frank Mason (1)
- T-3. Tarik Black (1)
You Let The Whole Team Down Brannen Greene. The king of “You Let the Whole Team Down,” Tarik Black, has moved on up in the world. In a game that was an all around great team performance, its hard to pin anyone here but Greene continues to disappoint. He is a liability on defense and has been more than just inconsistent with the jumper missing his one attempt in two minutes. His quick turnover gets him the cone of shame. I still believe that Self should have redshirted one of the two (Greene or Frankamp) so that one of them could share the 6-8 minutes they are getting combined. I think those would have been Greene’s minutes this season and he may have found his way a little better if he had some more time.