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Oklahoma State Cowboys at Kansas Jayhawks Recap: Sharpshooting Jayhawks Blitz Cowboys

When Elijah Johnson is playing well, Kansas is as good as any team in the country.
When Elijah Johnson is playing well, Kansas is as good as any team in the country.

Well that escalated quickly...  Only an Anchorman quote can really do reference to the sharpshooting Morrii of Kansas.  The twins legend started soon after they arrived on campus when Markieff was taken to court for shooting a woman with an airsoft gun from his dorm room (while he was allegedly intoxicated).  Anyone who's fired an airsoft gun knows at that distance, hitting anything requires either incredible aim or dumb luck (not even factoring the potential  effects of alcohol).  After accepting a "diversion agreement", Markieff took his eagle eye to the basketball court (Author's Note: Markieff has always maintained he did not shoot the woman, accepting the agreement in order facilitating his return to a normal schedule). 

Markieff has developed into one of the best shooting bigs in college basketball (probably lagging behind Derrick Williams, JuJuan Johnson and his brother).  Both him and his brother shoot over 64% from two and Markieff shots an impressive 40% from beyond the arc (albeit on limited attempts).  Against Oklahoma State, things were no different: Marcus and Markieff Morris shot a combined 9-13 from the field in the first half, good for 24 of Kansas' 52 first half points (and 42 points by the end of the game).

More after the Jump.

Kansas spent no time asserting its dominance despite losing its starting point guard Tyshawn Taylor.  The Jayhawks looked tremendous offensively and did a very solid job on the defensive end as well.  Elijah Johnson was the hero of the game, sealing up the starting job (at least for the "indefinite" future), and making Oklahoma State pay for helping off him by going four for four from long range.  The main reason I think Kansas made such a fluid transition between Taylor and Johnson running the show is that Kansas' offense is predicated on spreading the floor and moving the ball.

Everyone on Kansas can make the extra pass.  No other team in college basketball moves the ball more effectively than the Jayhawks.  There's a reason they lead the nation in field goal percentage.  It's because they rarely force bad shots.  The Jayhawks also have the playmakers to make shots when given the opportunity, which makes a world of difference.  Still, I challenge you to find any team that moves the basketball as fluidly as Kansas in college or even the NBA. 

Now, blowing out a middling Oklahoma State team at home isn't answering Kansas' lingering questions: can Johnson play at that level consistently; what happens when the shots won't fall; and most importantly who is the leader the team can turn to during tough stretches?  These are the questions that make the difference between a Final Four and a Sweet Sixteen.