Kansas rolled through Lafayette on Saturday afternoon, 96-69, to move to 9-1 on the season. The Jayhawks were led by freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. who started for the second time in his young Kansas career after sophomore Brannen Greene was late to a weightlifting session on Friday. “Of course he wasn’t going to start today. That was a gift from Brannen Greene,” said Bill Self after the game. The switch paid dividends for Kansas as Oubre finished with a double-double. He scored a career high 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Five of Oubre’s rebounds came on the offensive end where as a team Kansas grabbed exactly half of their own misses. The 50.0 offensive rebounding percentage is the second highest for the Jayhawks this season (62.7% against Tennessee). While the teams shot the ball at a nearly identical percentage, Kansas was able to take 21 more shots than the Leopards with major credit going to their offensive rebounding effort. The 20 offensive rebounds led to 23 second chance points for the Jayhawks.
In addition to Oubre’s offensive rebounding, Jamari Traylor posted another solid line with seven rebounds–six offensive–and 11 points while Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson added another four offensive rebounds to go with his three defensive boards and eight points.
Kansas also limited Lafayette’s possessions by posting their lowest turnover percentage of the season. The Jayhawks only turned the ball over five times on Saturday, which compares favorably to their 22 assists. In particular, sophomore point guard Frank Mason III doled out nine assists while committing only one turnover in the win.
Mason has been a revelation for Kansas this season. The Jayhawks have struggled to find consistent point guard play since the departure of Sherron Collins, but Mason may be well on the way to providing that this season. Since the Kentucky game, Mason is averaging 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.1 turnovers per game. His shooting percentages are remarkable. Mason has an effective field goal percentage of 62.2, a free throw percentage of 87.5, and a 3-point percentage of 55.6 in that span. Although the sample size is limited, Kansas has played eight games in that span including five against top 50 teams according to KenPom.
Highlight of the game:
Midway through the first half, Kelly Oubre Jr.’s active hands created a breakaway opportunity leading to this flashy dunk:
Kansas heads to the Wells Fargo Center on Monday for a matchup against Temple.