Recap: Kansas 87 Oklahoma State 57

I knew that Oklahoma State weren't good enough to continue to win 15 of every 16 games they'd play, that Mario Boggan would continue his struggles against Kansas's interior defenders, and that Byron Eaton would encourage further speculation about how he ever got picked for the McDonald's All-American Game. I did not, however, foresee everything that occurred Wednesday night in Lawrence. For one thing, I seriously underestimated Oklahoma State's ability to give up. I found South Carolina's unwillingness to attempt a desperate comeback in the final minutes Sunday in Columbia curious but the Gamecocks' efforts were positively gladitorial compared to the embarrassing display of willing subjugation the Oklahoma State Cowboys delivered last night.

To wit:

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
OSU 37.7 26.8 27.6 32.1 70.8 0.79
KU 61.9 25.0 17.5 35.6 66.7 1.17

I hesitate to get too excited about Kansas's offensive performance last night. 1.17 points per possession is quite good, but it's not that much better than the 1.11 points per possession Baylor managed in Stillwater over the weekend. Perhaps the national broadcast last night will finally start to disabuse folks of the notion that Oklahoma State is still a good defensive basketball team.

I certainly don't mean to imply that just because it didn't take much effort to break down Oklahoma State's defense the Jayhawks should still be considered the bumbling, wasteful offensive unit they were early in the year (the Florida game excepted). I am excited and cautiously optimistic that the offensive improvement Kansas has shown against Boston College (1.12 PPP), @South Carolina (1.16 PPP), and against Oklahoma State is real and sustainable.

Though I don't (and didn't) think Oklahoma State will win more than 9 or 10 games in conference, beating them by a greater margin than the Jayhawks beat Towson or Detroit in Lawrence is certainly a good sign. For example, I can't remember the last time a Kansas team exhibited consistent effort and execution at a high enough level to make the other team quit. I'm assuming the Jayhawks liked that feeling and will endeavor to experience it again...and soon.