After being tied 14-14 with 14:22 left in the game, KU took the lead off an Ochai Agbaji 3-pointer and never looked back. Agbaji finished the game going 4 for 5 from deep for a total of 16 points – which is the fifth time he has scored in double figures this season.
The team finished with their highest 3-point shooting percentage of the season as they shot 10 of 19, good for 52.6 percent. Three of those 3-pointers came from freshman Christian Braun in his best game as a Jayhawk. He went 3 of 4 from 3-point range and finished with 9 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds.
David McCormack also had his best game since scoring 28 points against UMKC back on December 14. McCormack contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds, while shooting 4 for 4 from the free throw line in just 18 minutes of play. He also had this highlight-reel putback.
Devon Dotson continued his All-American worthy season by finishing with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists – while fellow Wooden Award candidate Udoka Azubuike had a most night scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. All five starters finished in double figures except for Marcus Garrett, who injured his ankle in the first half and only played 20 minutes.
If the Jayhawks can get this type of production from their big playmakers, can shoot over 50 percent from beyond the arc, and get production out of bench players like Christian Braun then they are going to be difficult to beat come March. There are too many players that would need to be accounted for.
KU also outrebounded the Cyclones 37 to 30 and shot 13 of 17 (76.5 percent) from the free throw line – which has been one of their biggest weaknesses thus far this year. In their two losses this year against Duke and Villanova, they shot 61.5 percent and 40 percent respectively.
On the defensive end, if KU plays like they did against the Cyclones, holding them to 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from 3-point range, then teams won’t be able to outscore them either.
KU currently ranks No. 3 on Ken Pomeroy’s Adjusted Defensive Ratings and No. 11 on his Adjusted Offensive Ratings. A team who can finish in the top 10 in both of those categories historically have some of the greatest odds to cut down the nets in April.
If KU plays like they did last night in March, then break out the scissors.
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