By the Numbers: Oklahoma St. at Kansas

Conference season gets underway for Kansas, and the Jayhawks can forget about warming up.  First up, ninth-ranked Oklahoma State storms into Allen Fieldhouse with a 14-1 record.  In this piece, I'll break down the teams using a player ratings system derived from boxscore stats.

Oklahoma State at Kansas: Player ratings and strengths/weaknesses analysis

For more details about the methodology behind the ratings, you can visit this page.  Finally, I’ve put together a table of the potential advantages in the game based on the strengths and weaknesses for each team and how they line up.

PSAN-Related Player Ratings - Cumulative This Season

Note: ePSAN70 weighs recent games more, but cPSAN70 weighs all games equally


ePSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
ePSAN ("Total Impact")




Julian Wright



Mario Chalmers



Darrell Arthur



Brady Morningstar



Darnell Jackson



Sasha Kaun



Jeremy Case



Brandon Rush



Russell Robinson



Sherron Collins



Rodrick Stewart*



Matt Kleinmann*



Brennan Bechard*



Brad Witherspoon*



* Rating not based on enough data.

Oklahoma State

cPSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
cPSAN ("Total Impact") 





Mario Boggan



Terrel Harris



JamesOn Curry



David Monds



Marcus Dove



Tyler Hatch



Kenny Cooper



Obi Muonelo (OUT)



Byron Eaton



* Rating not based on enough data.

Player Analysis:
(largely based on ratings above)

If you want to get a feel for how things are going for the Cowboys in a game, just take a look at Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry.  The two combine to score 41 of the team's nearly 85 points per game.  They also use half of the team's possessions.  That is, their actions have resulted in the end of over half the Cowboys' possessions, for better or worse. 

In Boggan's case, it's definitely "for better."  Boggan made my stats-based Big 12 First Team last season and finished as the conference's second-most efficient player.  On top of that, he was the second-most indispensable player in the conference, meaning that he contributed one of the most disproportionately large percentages of team contributions.  So, it's safe to assume that Boggan is a "player to watch" on Wednesday night.  He shoots an incredible 63.6 eFG% for the season despite being a pitiful 5-for-32 from behind the arc.  He rebounds with the best of them, gets to the freethrow line (#233 in country) and even keeps his "turnovers as a percent of possessions used" to a minimum (#197 in country).  Whichever Jayhawk draws the 6-7 senior as his defensive assignment will have his work cut out for him.

The other barometer for OSU is JamesOn Curry.  After a stellar freshman campaign, Curry struggled last season to find his way.  His shooting touch was a bit off, but he was still firing away.  This season, he's back to his rookie season form, shooting 58.6 eFG%, good for #201 in the country.  He's even knocked his turnovers down a notch to only 21.6% of possessions used.  With a dangerous 42% shooting touch from three-point land, Curry could hold the key to an upset against the preseason conference favorites.

Although Curry has scored and shot extremely well, Terrel Harris has played a slightly more efficient all-around game.  In particular, Harris averages 2.0 steals per game and has shot 50% on 3FG's (24-of-48) and 85% on freethrows.  Harris played in OSU's last game despite an eye injury suffered last week.

Behind Boggan, Harris, and Curry, who have contributed the most, are a slew of players whose efficiency ratings and overall contribution levels are fair but not negative.  In fact, this is one of the few times I have ever seen a team with no negative-rated players.  Of note, Marcus Dove's rating may be deceptively low.  His specialty is lockdown defense.  On the other hand, he's an offensive liability, so this overall level of contribution may, in fact, be closer to the truth than some might think.  Despite being an offensive liability, Dove still makes it count when he does get involved.  He shoots a sizzling 65.2 eFG% (#35 in country).

Monds and Cooper are supposed to give the inside firepower for OSU.  Monds is actually having a better time shooting and is rebounding the ball nicely, but Cooper is no slouch on the glass.  He's rated #2 in the country in percent of available offensive rebounds grabbed.

Finally for OSU, Bryon Eaton is an interesting story.  He's shooting below average (48.6 eFG%) but dishes the ball very well and is rated #120 in the country for steals per possession.  It's not that he's playing terribly or anything, just that he's not shooting well enough to let some of the other contributions enhance his overall rating.

Kansas relies mostly on freshmen and sophomores to get the job done.  But KU has a more balanced team, with three players who have contributed a high level at a high efficiency (Wright, Chalmers, and Arthur).  Julian Wright, perhaps the most versatile Jayhawk, has had a terrific overall season by the numbers, in particular with defensive rebounding and blocks.  His problem has been consistency, although he's played very well the last two games.  Mario Chalmers has turned on his turbo pack the last several weeks, carrying the team at certain points and making his case for team MVP honors so far this season.  Chalmers is really shooting well overall and from behind the arc, all while getting steals at the 13th best rate in the country.  Darrell Arthur, meanwhile, is beginning to get out of a slump.  His confidence may be up a bit after a strong shooting performance against South Carolina.  Arthur has generally been a scoring and rebounding machine, doing everything quite efficiently.  He even ranks #24 in the country in blocking rate.

The early season slump for Brandon Rush is officially over.  Rush is now shooting over 50 eFG% and plays terrific lockdown defense.  If he can get his 3FG shooting back up over 40% like last season, it will be very difficult to stop him from really changing games.  Sasha Kaun has also shaken off some of the rust he showed after being injured much of the early season.  He's showing signs of playing mistake-free, efficient basketball.

KU’s point guard position is a story of two contrasting styles.  Russell Robinson brings the heart of a warrior to the court.  Robinson sets the tone on defense by bringing so much intensity, and he's generally one of the steadiest ballhandlers.  The problem is that his shooting is so poor that it can allow defenders to take away some ther options in his game.  In contrast, Sherron Collins is a lightening-quick combo guard with a deadly touch from three-point land.  The problem with Collins is that he's inexperienced and somewhat inconsistent.  The tide is gradually shifting toward Collins for more playing time.  As his defense improves, so should his minutes.

Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

Derived from stats at

NOTE: From top to bottom, the statistics are sorted such that, at the top are the greatest advantages to the team on the left,
and at the bottom are the greatest advantages for the team on the right. 

Clear Advantage for Kansas

No Clear Advantage

Clear Advantage for Oklahoma State

Kansas Strength - Oklahoma State % Poss STL by Opp



Kansas Strength - Kansas OREB



Kansas Strength - Oklahoma State TO rate



Kansas Strength - Kansas % Poss Blocked by Opp



Kansas Strength - Oklahoma State % Poss Blocked by Opp



Kansas Strength - Kansas 2pt FG%




Kansas eFG%



Oklahoma State Points Per Possession



Kansas Points Per Possession



Oklahoma State eFG%



Oklahoma State 2pt FG%



Oklahoma State 3pt FG%



Kansas FT Rate



Oklahoma State FT%



Kansas TO rate



Oklahoma State OREB



Oklahoma State FT Rate



Kansas FT%




Oklahoma State Strength - Kansas 3pt FG%



Oklahoma State Strength - Kansas % Poss STL by Opp Top Stories