Here are five thoughts from Saturday: 1. We might as well start referring to Kansas as the Comeback Kids… It’s better to be lucky than good, but the fact that Kansas completed two remarkable comebacks over Top-10 opponents in a single week is no fluke. The Jayhawks don’t get rattled when they’re down and they know how to win close games, two complementary traits that should go a long way for Bill Self and company come March. Kansas’ current four-game winning streak has come by a total of ten points. And on Saturday, KU was able to prevail despite trailing by as many as 12, shooting a combined 5-of-20 from behind the arc, and getting a subpar offensive showing out of Devonte Graham, who had 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists but made just 1-of-12 field goals. 2. Baylor is one playmaker shy of being a legitimate national title contender… On the Bears’ final possession, head coach Scott Drew elected to call timeout and draw up a sideline out-of-bounds play. From a Baylor perspective, it didn’t go as planned.
KANSAS WINS!!! pic.twitter.com/xSZHPLtYu6— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) February 18, 2017
Mason, who draws nearly six fouls per 40 minutes, was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe against Baylor. He made 24 free throws this week alone. Jayhawks’ opponents made 29. Right after the game, Mason made sure to inform the masses of KU’s three-game Big-12 lead and inevitable regular season title.
Frank Mason drops one to Josh Jackson for the strong slam inside!#KUvsBaylor(via @clippittv)pic.twitter.com/DS9BVDn9Ug — Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) February 18, 2017
4. Once again, Baylor was done in by coughing up the rock… We warned you of Baylor’s poor turnover habits in the Weekend Shootaround. Well, the Bears’ Achilles’ heel reared its ugly head once again on Saturday, as Kansas converted 16 Baylor turnovers into 20 points. Motley was the main culprit, committing six turnovers all by his lonesome. As much of a death sentence as this is for Baylor—the Bears are 286th in Turnover Rate out of 351 Division-1 teams—Kansas’ defense deserves some credit. The Jayhawks forced turnovers on 24.6 percent of its defensive trips on Saturday, their best mark of the season. And here’s another KU defensive nugget for all the haters out there: Baylor made just 42.1 percent of its two-pointers, the Bears’ second-lowest mark this year. “We did a lot of really good things defensively the second half,” Self said afterward. 5. Landen Lucas is the prototypical glue guy… Mason delivered another National Player of the Year-type performance, but Saturday’s game ball should arguably be awarded to Lucas. Lucas collected 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Just as importantly, he went blow-for-blow with Motley, who dropped 19 points but on 8-of-21 shooting. Six of Lucas’ boards came on the offensive end. One of those led to the Jackson dunk shown above (see the very beginning of that clip). The last one, in which Lucas came from out of nowhere—taking advantage of Baylor switching to a zone, which left the Bears vulnerable on the defensive glass—led to his game-winning free throws.
Secure the ring alert— Frank Mason (@FrankMason0) February 18, 2017
Speaking of which, the nation’s prototypical glue guy may double as a prophet. I leave you with Lucas’ tweet from Monday, after he missed five of seven freebies against West Virginia.
Landen Lucas was here when the shot went up before grabbing the game-winning OR. How does he keep doing this? pic.twitter.com/nsQZuAeEes— Jesse Newell (@jessenewell) February 18, 2017
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Don't worry y'all i'm about to get in the gym and shoot some free throws lol 😅 Big time win though. Thanks for sticking with us!!!!— Landen A. Lucas (@LandenLucas33) February 14, 2017