Vick leads Jayhawks past Long Beach State

The record for most field goals made in a game without missing in Kansas basketball history is 10, held by Danny Manning and Norm Cook.

Jayhawk guard Lagerald Vick finished Tuesday night’s 91-61 win over Long Beach State with 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 shooting from three.

After going down 5-2 early, it was Vick who got the Jayhawks going, scoring seven of their first nine points on the way to a 9-5 lead.

Long Beach State kept it close at 14-13, but Kansas finished the half on a 34-11 run to earn a 48-25 halftime lead, eventually winning the game 91-61.

It was the three-point shot that keyed the Jayhawks offense. In the first half, they shot 9-14 from distance, and started the second half off by making their first four shots from long range. They finished the game 14-26 from the three point line, and along with Vick’s 4-4 performance, Svi Mykahiliuk shot 4-8 off the bench, Devonte’ Graham shot 2-4, and Josh Jackson went 2-5.

After Vick, the Jayhawks were led in scoring by Myhailiuk, who finished with 14 points, followed by Jackson’s 13, and Graham’s 12.

Frank Mason, who was leading the Jayhawks in scoring coming into the game with 21 per game, finished with just eight points, but also added eight assists and six rebounds.

What to watch going forward: Josh Jackson’s passing

We’ve seen some very good passes from Jackson in previous games this season, such as this from last Friday’s win:

But on Tuesday night, Jackson took it to a whole new level:

Jackson finished the game with four assists to bring his average on the year up to 3.3 per game. His assist rate (the percent of his teammates field goals he assists when on the floor) coming into Tuesday’s game was at 20.6 percent. For reference, last year Kansas had only one guy with an assist rate higher than 20, and that was Frank Mason, who sat at 23.4 percent.

Jackson’s assist rate this year is third on the team behind Mason and Graham. So, this is telling of not only how good Mason and Graham are, but also of how great this team is at sharing the ball.

Mason, Graham, and Jackson are all so great at getting to the basket, and there’s always going to be shooters like Myhailiuk and Vick out on the perimeter. If Jackson is actually this good of a passer, it’s a fantastic thing for the Kansas offense. So let’s hope for more nifty passes from Jackson in the future.

Bill Self going ultra-big

The story of this season for Kansas has been head coach Bill Self playing small lineups, usually with Josh Jackson at the four. As a matter of fact, the past two games, he has started with a small lineup of Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham, Lagerald Vick, Josh Jackson, and Udoka Azubuike.

However, for a five minute period on Tuesday night, Self went to a lineup that I thought was odd: Vick, Mykhailiuk, Carlton Bragg, Mitch Lightfoot, and Dwight Coleby, and eventually Bragg was replaced by Jackson. This means the shortest player on the floor for Kansas was Vick, at 6’5″. Next was Myhailiuk at 6’8″. This group was outscored 9-4, and looked pretty bad together.

I doubt this is a lineup that Self would consider playing in a game that was actually close, though I will say I think it’s interesting that he played it at all. To me, that means it’s something he thinks is interesting that he wanted to try out.

Lagerald Vick ran the point, so maybe that’s what Self was really experimenting with. At the same time, I never thought I would ever see Carlton Bragg at the three, which relegated him to floating around the perimeter looking for jump shots.

Self has made it obvious he’s going to play small ball for a lot of this season. Still, keep an eye out for this massive lineup to appear again, or some similar form of it.

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