The Kansas Jayhawks took on Iowa State last night inside of a sold-out Allen Fieldhouse. In their second matchup of the season, the Jayhawks took care of business once again, beating the Cyclones 92-81. After their seventh straight conference win, Kansas currently has a two-game lead on all other conference opponents and sits at first place in the Big 12.
Let’s take a look at how the Jayhawks were able to beat Iowa State for a second time this season on Wednesday night:
1. Limiting Iowa State’s three-point attempts: In the first matchup between the Jayhawks and the Cyclones this season, Iowa State shot terribly hitting only 16% of their shots from behind the arc. This time around was a little bit different as the Cyclones shot a much better 38% from three-point-land , hitting 10 of their 26 attempts. Although the Jayhawks did allow so many attempts from behind the arc, it wasn’t much of a factor because Kansas was shooting extremely well from long-range too, as they shot 45% from three, hitting 10 of their 22 attempts.
2. Turnovers: As Brandon mentioned in the Iowa State pre-game write up, Kansas turned the ball over 24 times when they faced ISU earlier this season. Wednesday night, Kansas had 10 less turnovers as they only turned the rock over 14 times, which is their average turnover count for the year. This wasn’t a bad number, but the problem with the Jayhawks’ turnovers is that a lot of them were unforced. For example, during a critical point in the second half, Perry Ellis grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass out of bounds, giving the Cyclones another opportunity to tie the game. If Kansas can find ways to limit these type of unforced turnovers and bring down their turnover average to just 10 or 11 per game, they could eliminate wasted possessions and would be more efficient from the offensive side of the floor.
3. Has Wiggins figured it out? Yes, Andrew Wiggins has figured it out, and I’m sure of it. In the past two games, this freshman phenom has 56 points, 12 rebounds, and just 7 turnovers. With these statistics, it’s obvious to see that Wiggins has started getting more comfortable in Self’s offensive system, and he’s finally starting to show his true potential. In addition to being extremely aggressive on the offensive side of the floor, Wiggins is also one of the best freshman, on-ball defenders in the country. He asks Self to guard the opposing team’s best players, and game after game he shuts them down. With Wiggins’ confidence and comfortability during conference play, along with his insane athletic ability and his jaw-dropping offensive and defensive skills, this kid has NBA scouts drooling and it’s only January 30th. If Wiggins can keep up this aggressive style of play and lead the Jayhawks to a 10th straight Big 12 title, there is no doubt that this young Kansas team will have a chance to cut down the nets and win it all in Dallas.