Tuesday, February 5, 2013
KU's perimeter defense a concern?
By Matt Giles
In a recent ESPN post, John Gasaway posed an interesting analysis of Kansas and why the Jayhawks, at the moment, are not a title contender this season. His rationale? A slightly underwhelming offense paired with a far from typically dominant defense.
CJ Moore, who has written for Basketball Prospectus, outlines how KU's defense has slipped as of late, paying particular attention to their recent loss to Oklahoma State. Markel Brown lit up the Jayhawks for 28 points, notching an absolutely ridiculous true shooting percentage of 99 percent. Simply put, Brown was on fire, and even with Kansas' best perimeter defender, Travis Releford, shadowing the wing, Brown was heat-checking all game. Moore notes that KU's ball-screen defense has been struggling all season, and Releford, along with his teammates, were a tad slow recognizing and then reacting, allowing Brown ample space on the perimeter.
Upcoming games against TCU and Oklahoma should help assuage the Jayhawks' defensive ego, but throughout the season, the squad has benefitted from teams failing to convert wide-open looks on the perimeter. Against a foe like the Pokes, a team that relies heavily on three-point shooting mixed with penetration to create open looks, KU appeared flat-footed.