Postgame Report Card: Kansas 88, TCU 84
Quick grades for five aspects of KU’s 88-84 victory over No. 16 TCU on Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
Red hot early and clutch from 3-point range all night, the Jayhawks shot 50.9 percent from the floor for the game, 55 percent from 3-point range (11-of-20) and put up 88 points on a team that was giving up just 74 per game, at their place. The offense had purpose and poise and also included a season-high 33 trips to the free throw line.
KU was killed on the boards (42-28) and gave up another eye-popping number (19) on the offensive glass. So right there, the best you’re going to do is the B range. But the fact that the Jayhawks got crucial stops late and recorded seven blocked shots — six from sophomore Mitch Lightfoot — pulled this grade to the brink of a B. Fifty points by TCU in the second half and still too many layups at the rim kept it from getting there.
Udoka Azubuike was effective early but troubled by foul trouble for most of the night. What looked like might be a monster game turned into a rather average 14 points and very disappointing one-rebound night. Luckily for the Jayhawks, Mitch Lightfoot was ready to step up and did so in a big way, delivering by far his best game as a Jayhawk at a crucial time. While Lightfoot's numbers were sensational, individually, they still didn't bring enough to the table to offset Azubuike's up-and-down night in the grading system. When your two big men combine for eight rebounds in 39 minutes, that's not quite good enough, even if it didn't cost Kansas in this one.
Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk were terrific, Malik Newman and Lagerald Vick weren’t. It was as simple as that in this one, with Marcus Garrett leaning closer to the Team Graham/Mykhailiuk than the other way. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, though, Graham and Mykhailiuk both played 38 minutes, which not only kept them on the floor but also kept the others on the bench, allowing KU to grind out the victory.
Lightfoot was spectacular and basically was the Kansas bench. Sam Cunliffe had a couple of decent moments, as well, and continues to look more and more playable — at least in spurts — with each passing game. It’s tough to know exactly what it will take to get Newman out of the funk he’s in but it definitely appears to be getting worse each game instead of better.
More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU
- Leapfrogging TCU: Jayhawks hold off Horned Frogs, display toughness in 88-84 win
- Tom Keegan: Backup Mitch Lightfoot saves Jayhawks at TCU
- Notebook: TCU fanbase enjoys chance to watch KU; Jayhawks avoid back-to-back losses
- The Keegan Ratings: Devonte' Graham tops ratings again in big road victory vs. TCU
- Matt Tait's Postgame Report Card
- KU rebounds from home loss, survives test at TCU