The Big 12 has taken a few (understandable) non-conference lumps the past couple of days. Texas A&M got waxed by Florida, which is a good team but shouldn’t be 20 points better than the Aggies. Oklahoma State lost a virtual home game in Oklahoma City to New Mexico, although the Lobos are projected to be one of the better teams in the Mountain West.
Then Kansas followed suit, losing a virtual home game in Kansas City to a Steph Curry-less Davidson team. Davidson had shown flashes this season, losing a close game against Vanderbilt and holding a lead over Duke at halftime.
But they had just come off a 20+ point loss to Charlotte and were a team the Jayhawks probably should have taken care of. Especially since basketball-reference.com has them at 209th in defensive rating. Davidson has also been a poor shooting team thus far. Kansas was probably the most forgivable 2-loss team in the country, with “good” losses to Duke and Kentucky. No more.
Although obviously this isn’t the end of the world. The Jayhawks have just lost so rarely over the past few seasons that it is strange to see, especially in a building they’ve looked so invincible in lately. Kansas did lose to UMass in the Sprint Center in 2008-2009, and things didn’t work so badly as they ended up in the Sweet Sixteen that year.
It’s not surprising the Jayhawks looked sloppy last night. They were just coming off a big win against #2 Ohio State and had 9-day layover between games, which may explain how rusty they looked. They turned the ball over too much (14 TO’s). Davidson also turned it over with 12 in the first half, but took care of the ball as they didn’t commit any in the second half. The Jayhawks also didn’t shoot the ball well from three (6-23) or from the free throw line (18-31).
The three-point shot is an element the Jayhawks have been lacking a bit this year. Clearly their talent level has dropped with the loss of the Morris twins, and the only real NBA-prospect on the team being Thomas Robinson. But they are also feeling the loss of Tyrell Reed and Brady Morningstar in a few different areas.
One of them is their consistency from three. Both shot over 38 percent last season, and this year only Conner Teahan is shooting at that rate. As a team the Jayhawks are shooting 3 percent loss from deep. But then again Teahan really struggled Monday night, going 2-8 from three.
Here are some links from last night’s game:
Kansas City Star: Davidson topples KU 80-74 at the Sprint Center
Rock Chalk Talk: A (semi) Statistical Recap of Davidson