Quick Hitters: San Diego State

Not exactly the way the young Jayhawks envisioned their non-conference season coming to an end. This was a rare home loss in which the offense looked ragged. In fact, it was a worse statistical first half than that played in the embarrassment that was the TCU road game last season. It was “Topeka YMCA” bad.

That being said, the Jayhawks had two great opportunities to force overtime, despite the poor effort offensively, and fell short. Give SDSU credit. They were the better teams and deserved to win what will probably go down as one of the most significant wins in their program’s history. The Jayhawks are left wondering if they have what it takes to begin the second season and Big 12 play. I’m not so sure they are. Things only get tougher from here with a ridiculous nine game stretch looming. If you are looking for a silver lining it is that in the Jayhawk’s four non-con losses, they were never out of the game. They had their chances to change the outcome, but werent able to close. Given the competition, there is something to that. Your quick hitters:

1. Ignore that FG %. The Jayhawks shot a paltry 29.8% from the field in this one. This is a team that was averaging over 50% on the year. Give some of the credit to a stout SDSU defense, but not all of it. Sometime a team just can’t buy a bucket. Give more credit to a solid game plan by the long-time Aztecs coach. The physical double team they brought on every post entry was too much for the, at times, fragile starting frontcourt. All of that said, I wouldn’t read much into this performance going forward.

2. KU allowed San Diego State to grab 51 rebounds in the Fieldhouse. Many of them of the crucial offensive variety. That is simply unacceptable and illustrates clearly how out-toughed KU was in this one.

3. Kansas State will be the rebound victory. Sorry Wildcat fans. I know you publicly root against KU every time they take the court. But we all know you secretly pull for our ‘Hawks when it’s the game before the matchup with your beloved purple. Especially when it is the last game in Allen before your wildcats come to town. We understand. In the last 20 years KSU has only won in Lawrence twice. Their last victory was way back in 2006. What’s worse, since 2006, the year many wildcat fans contend the basketball rivalry was “re-ignited,” Kansas State has lost by an average margin of 20 points. Ouch.

What to Watch for Recap:

1. Turnover differential. Despite a couble of bad plays early, the Jayhawks took care of the ball pretty well only turning it over 10 times to 15 from SDSU.

2. SDSU Offensive Rebounding. KU could not keep SDSU off the offensive glass and gave up 19 offensive rebounds on the night.

3. 3-point shooting. Neither team shot that well overall but SDSU great interior defense forced KU into jacking 16 threes of which they made only 25%. San Diego State, on the other hand, attempted only 8, hitting three.

Beware of the Blog’s Player of the Game is Frank Mason. He tied the team high with 14 points, but got them in only 25 minutes. He also seemed like the only guy willing to step up and make a big play when we needed it. He even had a shot to change the game in the last second had he been able to hold onto the ball in the open court.

Current Standings:

  • 1. Andrew Wiggins (4)
  • 2. Perry Ellis (3)
  • T-3. Joel Embiid (2)
  • T-3. Frank Mason (2)
  • 4. Tarik Black (1)

You let the whole team down Perry Ellis. This game was a nightmare for Perry. He missed a crucial free throw that could have tied the game and on the rebound, Joel Embiid flung the ball right into his gut, sending the ball out of bounds. If he was able to catch that, things could have been much different.