- Josh Campos, KC SportsNation
It’s easy to say that No. 13Kansas wouldn’t have defeated No. 2 Ohio State without its star forward All-American, sophomore center Jared Sullinger.
Maybe, maybe not. We will never know.
Prior to tipoff, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta announced that Sullinger, arguably the nation’s best player, would not play due to back spasms and KU went on to a 78-67 upset of the Buckeyes.
And from tipoff, Kansas would never trail. But the Buckeyes (8-1) hung around. Despite the Jayhawks (7-2) shooting 68% from the field, Ohio State trailed by just six points, 35-29, at the half.
Kansas would lead as much as 12 points in the second half but could never pull away as Ohio State would always counter cutting Kansas’ lead to within a couple of possession. Thanks in large part to 18 Kansas turnovers (a re-occurring theme this season) and 12 offensive rebounds, Ohio State was able to stay close despite Kansas shooting 58% from the field.
Junior forward Thomas Robinson was able to put in his typical offensive performance pouring in 21 points to go with 7 rebounds.
Ohio State had the score cut to four points, 62-58, in the second half, but with the timely perimeter shooting of Elijah Johnson, Kansas was able to counter each of the Ohio State runs. Johnson finished with 15 points on 5 of 7 3’s.
However, the man of the night was junior forward Kevin Young. He was able to provide a couple of clutch 3-point shots and layups to break some Ohio State runs. He finished with 14 points, and four rebounds off of the bench. If Kansas is going to compete for the Big XII title this season, Kevin Young will need to contribute these types of performances when it counts the most.
Guard Tyshawm Taylor continues to turn the ball over at a ridiculous rate, but dished out 13 assists, easily a career-high.
After the game, Kansas coach Bill Self announced that Taylor would undergo an operation Sunday to repair a torn meniscus suffered during the Long Beach State game. He is expected to miss up to three weeks, but I imagine he maybe back in less than two. Both teams had injured players; one team chose to play him. Kudos to Taylor for playing through the pain.
When Matta was asked about deciding not play Sullinger, he said, “We don’t jeopardize the future of our players.”
When asked if he would have played if it were the NCAA tournament, Matta said, “absolutely.”
Defensively, Kansas was great holding Ohio State to 42.2% from two, 29.4% from three.
Despite the win, KU moved up just one spot to No. 12 in the polls, and Ohio State remained at No. 2.
Lawrence Journal-World: No asterisk needed: Gutsy Tyshawn Taylor, KU not apologetic for beating Sullinger-less Ohio State, 78-67
Lawrence Journal-World: Fun in the Fieldhouse: Allen was rockin’ for big showdown with Ohio State
Lawrence Journal-World: Tyshawn Taylor has successful surgery on right knee
RockChalkTalk: A semi-statistical recap of Ohio State