In an interesting article from KUSports.com, the weakness of the Kansas bench scoring power is brought front and center. Inept and futile are words that come to mind after reading the article. Take it with a grain of salt that the opinion of the article rests on statistics, and while reliable, they are not always the best indicator of a team or wins and losses.
The highlights of the article states that successful teams in March do not necessarily need a strong bench presence in playing time. In reality, only five Final Four teams in the last six seasons have had benches that have played 30 percent or more of their team's minutes. What’s more to the point is that fact that when the bench is playing, they are not scoring or even coming close to carrying the offense for Kansas.
When looking at bench players taking at least 100 shots, Naadir Tharpe this season is first and his teammate, Perry Ellis, is second in worst effective field goal percentage when looking at the past 10 years under Bill Self.
That means when they hit the floor, they can’t score.
The article even looks at players taking at least 50 shot attempts and KU's four top bench players (Tharpe, Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Andrew White III) all rank as four of the worst five shooters that Self has had at KU.
When the starters are gassed or sitting with fouls, these are the players taking to the court with the hopes of the Jayhawk Nation resting on their shoulders. This can be easily masked or covered when player lesser talented teams. But, Kansas has also shown the ability to lose big leads and let teams back in the game when the starters are looking for rest or dealing with foul troubles. Bill Self will need to play his starters smart in order to avoid a lapse in scoring, get his starters rest during games and get his starters rest in tournament situations when playing high intensity games days apart.
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