1. KU Comes Back to Beat Stanford, 90-84
What a game from Lagerald Vick. This man can’t be stopped right now. Vick dropped 27 points, with most of his damage coming from his seven three-pointers. I cannot believe how hot this guy is right now. He’s shooting almost 60% from behind the arc which is absolutely psychotic. Vick has carried this team in three games so far this season, and I don’t see him stopping anytime soon. He also hit a game-tying three with around six seconds left in regulation before scoring the first eight points of OT. Vick has been legitimately special to this point.
Dedric Lawson put together his third double-double in as many games, going for 24 points and 15 rebounds. Lawson started the season on a relatively shaky note but has been fantastic in his last three games. He has flashed the ability to take over a game and he is fantastic at getting to the free throw line. He and Vick have easily been the best players in the Big 12 so far.
Udoka Azubuike finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds. Fouls continue to be an issue for him, though. Hopefully, he’ll be able to work on making as little contact as possible, but that is easier said than done when you’re as big as he is.
Devon Dotson continues to impress, scoring 10 points to go with four assists. Dotson is the energizer bunny for this team. He does a lot of things very well, making him the team’s floor general. To this point, he’s been the best freshman on this team, though that isn’t saying much considering how Quentin Grimes has been playing.
2. What is Up with Kansas Right Now?
Kansas has been in an obvious funk to start this season. They are 6-0, but they’ve yet to win a single game by more than 16, and all but one of their games featured a final score margin of 13 or smaller. The first game this season, particularly in the first half, against Michigan State, Kansas looked like a complete, coherent team. The defense wasn’t fantastic, but it was solid. KU’s offense was able to score efficiently as well. After that game, KU has not been able to start a game well. They’ve played close games with teams like Louisiana and Vermont, and Marquette torched them for a half.
The defense for the Jayhawks has obviously been bad. They can’t guard the three-point line to save their lives, and they are generally bad at defending pick-and-rolls. The fix for these problems will probably be to just give them more time to play together and work on the issues in practice, though taking Dedric Lawson out of as many pick-and-roll situations as you can might be a good idea.
From an offensive perspective, Kansas has been out of rhythm for the most part. Individual players have played well on offense, but there has been very little cohesive play. Lawson or Azubuike might be dominant down low for a few possessions, but then they go cold and everything stalls. Vick and Dotson might put a nice run together, but then they may not score again for a few minutes. And if two or less of those four guys aren’t in the game, the offense can look downright stagnant. I think the fix here is the same fix for the defense. Just let these players play together more, and I think the issues might work themselves out.