Something was missing from Kansas’ 81-68 win against No. 13 Memphis. Actually, make that many things.
Memphis’ interior defense was AWOL. Sam with its shot selection and decision making. No. 4 Kansas couldn’t find its handle in the first half and finished with 22 turnovers. Perhaps it longed for Josh Selby.
Left a lot to be desired for a Top 15 matchup.
Think that’s too harsh? Ask Bill Self what he thought of his fourth-ranked team.
“I don’t think we did a great job against pressure, anybody,” he said. “Late in the first we had nothing going and didn’t play very smart. The whole team was ridiculously careless tonight. It was the first time they faced pressure.”
And that was the winning team!
It’s a reminder that both teams are missing something. Kansas doesn’t have Selby and is still adjusting to life without Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich. And Memphis? Whoa. This is how Josh Pastner gets gray hair.
Few teams are gonna go through more growing pains this season than Memphis, which is rolling out four freshmen and a juco transfer every game. That makes for a steep learning curve – and occasionally ugly results.
“We missed a lot of short shots and had it deep in the paint, we just have to score it, just put it in the basket,” Pastner said, “That affected our defense and that was the difference for Kansas. Their (Kansas) turnovers and missed shots did not affect their defense.”
Check back in March. This was a game that could repeat itself, only with a trip to the Final Four on the line. Maybe then it’ll be easier to watch.
Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.