“Quality over quantity” might be the best way to describe Tuesday night in college basketball. A majority of schools are in finals week, and as a result, players need their study time. So that means rest. Or easy opponents. Or both. But that wasn’t the case with No. 13 Kansas and No. 19 Florida yesterday. It’s safe to assume that these two schools aren’t in finals prep this week, so they took the opportunity to play each other in Gainesville. Jayhawks coach Bill Self went with four freshmen in the starting lineup. It perhaps wasn’t the greatest of ideas against the Gators’ dual point guard system, but it was the Gators’ zone that stifled Joel Embiid, Perry Ellis and most of the rest of the Jayhawks, leading to a 67-61 win. This prompted a short debate about KU’s offense versus the zone.
If Indiana played Kansas and each zoned the other, would anyone score?
— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) December 11, 2013
Part of the situation with Self seemed weird. Why start four freshmen? It almost seemed like a move that Chuck Daly would make, a la the 1992 Dream Team’s scrimmage against that college all-star team (although I’d be willing to bet Self wouldn’t throw the game.) Maybe it was a move to prepare the Jayhawks’ youth for the conference season, when trips to Manhattan, Stillwater, Ames and Norman await.
Kansas' Bill Self gives Joel Embiid his first career start. Jayhawks will start four freshmen against Gators tonight.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 11, 2013
That youth showed early for Kansas, who allowed the Gators to go on an blistering 21-0 run. Andrew Wiggins keyed a near comeback, bringing his team back to within range before Florida held them off. For the most part, Kansas was sloppy with the ball, couldn’t shoot and was horrible defensively.
Pretty amazing 21-0 run by Florida. And that's with four missed fts during the run.
— Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) December 11, 2013
Another Andrew Wiggins three gets Kansas within six of Florida. Only 1:20 to go. ESPN.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 11, 2013
That was the 24th turnover for Kansas. Yes, 24. Seriously.
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) December 11, 2013
It all added up to a 67-61 loss. Read the rest of this entry »