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Bryce Thompson and the importance of an injury free roster this year

  • HawkErrant
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6 days 19 hours ago - 6 days 17 hours ago #26394 by HawkErrant
Yes, of course it is important to keep injury free and healthy every season, but seldom do we get a chance to see what a difference a player makes in a team’s success.

BLUF
12-1 (6-0 Big 12) Jayhawks record to date with a healthy Bryce Thompson
5-6 (5-5 Big 12) without him

KU was 8-1 in its first 9 games with him in the lineup and is 4-0 in the 4 games he’s been back. I’ve annotated the pinned Schedule and Results origin post to show the games he has missed.

The one loss with him was the neutral site season opener to everyone’s #1 Gonzaga.
The six losses WITHOUT him (5 road, 1 home) were to Texas (AFH), WVU, Baylor, OU, OKSt and Tennessee.

Although Thompson returned from his back injury to play in the Stillwater game, I include that game n the 4-6 record because he broke his finger late in the game. The Cowboys led from 12:34 in the first half until, with Thompson in while KU was clawing back, the Jayhawks took the lead 68-67 with 3:10 to go. But Thompson missed the last minutes of the game, and the Cowboys eked out a 75-70 victory.

KANSAS winning its last two games would be even more support for how important a cog Bryce is in the Jayhawks machine... and also, of course, a testament to the job Bill Self has done in tweeking the defense and getting the guys playing all around better together in February than they did in January.

NB that I am *not* saying that Bryce is *the* key.

I am saying that he just might be the last piece of the puzzle for this season’s team... AND that *all* of our starting 8 (Bryce over 15 mpg, Dajuan over 11 mpg and Mitch over 14 mpg off the bench the last 4 games) need to stay healthy the rest of the way if our Jayhawks are to make any noise in the postseason this year.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein
Last Edit: 6 days 17 hours ago by HawkErrant.
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6 days 18 hours ago #26395 by hoshi
Good point HE. I might add that his help is maybe more being able to give Marcus a rest. Dajuan was helping a little there and has gotten much better. We lost some of those games during the bad steak when Marcus was running on fumes at the end. Look at end of the game yesterday and I think Marcus was critical on both the defensive and offensive end. Dajuan helps in the ball handling and is not a bad defender but the extra 3" and speed that Bryce brings really helps. So yes, Bryce has helped but maybe indirectly as well by providing a quality break for Marcus. Someone look up the minutes Marcus has played since Bryce has come back.
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6 days 17 hours ago - 6 days 12 hours ago #26397 by HawkErrant
I agree, hoshi, pressure off of Marcus is a factor.

In 3 of the 4 games before Thompson returned Garrett averaged over 35 minutes a game, the “below 30” exception being KSU1 (in AFH) game, where he only played 24 minutes while Harris played for 21.

In the 4 games since Thompson’s return, Garrett has averaged just under 30 mpg.

GAME MPGbyMG/BT/DH
ISU@AFH 28/19/9
ISU2 33/15/2
KSU2 30/20/10
TTU2 27/16/14.
Avg 29.5/17.5/8.75

I think it all comes down to the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein
Last Edit: 6 days 12 hours ago by HawkErrant.
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