Basketball

Post Game Thoughts: Kansas 75, Texas Tech 72

0-2 in the Big 12.

Game Links:

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Kevin Obanor was stellar and I wish this version would have showed up against TCU. 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 4 turnovers.

The Motion:

  • The last possession was bad. There should have been fouls called on players defending either on Batcho or Isaacs, most likely Batcho but you could have taken your pick. You hate that this wasn’t called and it changed the eventual outcome of the game. Heck, I would guess that Batcho has a sprained and/or broken finger and that doesn’t happen if he’s not chasing down that fast break for a dunk.
  • This is going to be slightly controversial, but oh well. De’Vion Harmon is a liability on defense. Full stop. Harmon will just leave his man, causing significant rotation issues and eventual easy buckets. I have sort of felt this way for a while, but thought that he must be implementing some sort of game plan or something. However, when he didn’t play for a good chunk of the second half I felt pretty confident that it wasn’t because he was playing bad offense or wasn’t contributing in other ways. One of the thing that I couldn’t wait to see when I started writing this morning is that there is a site I can check that gives the defensive rating of a player and with defensive ratings, the lower the number, the better the player defensively. Harmon had the highest defensive rating on the team (of the players that played significant minutes). He had 0’s across the board on every metric, almost as if he didn’t even play. I fully admit that I’m not 100% sure that he’s leaving his defensive assignment on a whim, but my thought is that he thinks he’s helping and then it becomes a scramble drill as everyone is working to cover the player who was left open. You can’t leave any of Kansas’ players open because they can all score, which is what they did. I’ve included screenshots¬† below the videos.
  • Not to pile on Harmon, but there are some more advanced stats and he had a -3 in EFF, which is an efficiency statistic that takes into account PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO. In “Game Score” he was the only player with a negative number, -2.1 and it is supposed to be on a scale of 0-40. And to be clear, I don’t care that he was 1-5 from the floor or had some turnovers and assists, that doesn’t bother me, it is the defensive lapses that are an issue. And they are a big issue. If his minutes are limited until he solves his issues, then I think Texas Tech will be fine, but I think that his defensive lapses are so significant that if he plays big minutes, it’s almost a given that the opponent will win, he’s giving opposing teams too many easy looks. Good coaches will know this and take advantage of it. Kansas can because they all pass well and can all score.
  • Obanor, Isaacs, Tyson, and Batcho all played their asses off. They did as much as they could.
  • Without Harmon playing down the stretch, Washington got those minutes and he was good and he’s a scorer not a shooter, much like Harmon, but Washington doesn’t turn the ball over as much, no turnovers in 21 minutes along with 4 points and 2 assists.
  • One of my least favorite things to do is to criticize a player like I’ve done with Harmon. I’m always a bit nervous about it because I could be wrong, this may not be a defensive issue or maybe he didn’t play was because he was hurt or something else. And I’m not trying to be mean about it, I don’t think that’s appropriate. But I do think I’m correct.
  • Most numbers were pretty even. Both teams had 30 points in the paint. Both teams shot relatively well from the field, 49% for KU and 47% for TTU with Texas Tech shooting slightly better from deep, 48% for TTU and 46% for KU. Neither team had many bench points, 9 and 8 respectively. KU had 11 offensive boards to just 7 for Texas Tech, but KU had only 9 2nd chance points to 7 for TTU. The biggest disparity was assists, 22 for Kansas and 10 for Texas Tech. Again, this is my theory, but the 22 assists were largely because I believe there were defensive lapses with Harmon and with Harmon playing 17 of 20 possible minutes in the 1st half, Kansas had 15 of those 22 assists and just 7 in the second half. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
  • Up next? Hosting Oklahoma on Saturday, January 7th with tip-off at 6:00 p.m.

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