The Kansas Jayhawks continued their streak of wins on senior night last night as they routed the Texas Tech Red Raiders 82-57. Let’s take a look at how the Jayhawks were able to get the win:
1. How can KU’s front-court bench contribute? Thankfully, the bench didn’t have to contribute much as Tarik Black played the best game of his career in the crimson and blue. Tarik put up 19 points on nine of nine shooting along with six rebounds, a steal, an assist, and two blocks in just 27 minutes of play. With this type of production, Kansas didn’t need big numbers from their other four and five guys, but Perry Ellis also had a big game, putting up 13 points and 5 boards and Jamari Traylor came off the bench and recorded 6 points and a rebound as well. With JoJo out, it was nice to see these three guys produce and put up big numbers because chances are that Joel isn’t going to be 100% in at least one game during the tournament and if these guys can give the Jayhawks some big minutes like they did last night, JoJo’s absence won’t be as detrimental.
2. Can KU handle Tech’s defensive schemes? Tubby Smith didn’t switch up his defenses like he did in the first game. While he did change from man to zone a couple of times, it didn’t affect Kansas much. The Jayhawks were up 15 at half, and came out roaring in the second half where they got the lead up to 31 at one point. With it being senior night, the Jayhawks were pumped up to play and they were playing with so much pride and emotion that regardless of what defensive scheme Tech was in, they weren’t going to be stopped.
3. Late shot clock defense: Kansas’ played stifling defense last night as they held Tech to just 35% shooting from the floor and 21% from three point range. They also held all of Tech’s starters to ten points or less. With all of the emotion surrounding this game, the Jayhawks were turned up on defense and were able to force a lot of stops. If Kansas can defend like they did last night, they’re going to be a hard team to stop in the NCAA tournament.