By the Numbers: Kansas at Texas Tech

Kansas stands atop the Big 12 standings at 3-0, but standing directly in the way of continuing their unblemished conference record are the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Webprince breaks down the numbers heading into Saturday's road test for KU.

Highlighted Efficiency Statistics
Note: There are 336 Div-I teams
(Source: KenPom.com)

KANSAS

  • Offense #43 - Defense #2 - Tempo #103
  • Strong in offensive rebounds on both sides (#49 own, #43 holding down opp's)
  • Ranks #11 in eFG% allowed, and #4 in 2FG% allowed
  • Ranks #44 in 2FG%
  • Ranked #41 in forcing TO's by opponents, including #20 in STL
  • Dominates the blocking game, #2 in BLK and #21 in avoiding BLK
  • Ranks #312 in % of FGA's that are 3FG

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Jan 14, 2007)

 

TEXAS TECH

  • Offense #42 - Defense #72 - Tempo #141
  • Ranks #10 in avoiding TO's
  • Very weak in O-Reb% (#262)
  • Though they rarely take 3FG's (#330 as a % of FGA's), they are deadly accurate (#3 in 3FG% -- 44.3%)
  • Excellent at avoiding BLK (#4) but terrible at blocking (#295)
  • STL's usually in their favor, #15 in avoiding STL, #40 in swiping
  • Ranks #29 in % of opp FG's that are assisted

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Jan 14, 2007)

Other Efficiency Notes:

  • On offense, KU relies very heavily on 2FG's, while its opponents rely very heavily on 3FG's.
  • On offense, TTU relies much less than the average amount on 3FG's, while its opponents rely heavily on 2FG's.

Game Outlook

Here are some things we can reasonably expect:

  • TTU won't block KU's inside shots much.
  • If there's a turnover advantage, it will likely be in TTU's favor.
  • KU should shoot much better from inside the arc, while TTU might do better from outside the arc.  Only problem for TTU is that neither team will likely be doing much shooting from outside the arc.
  • The numbers indicate a huge advantage on the glass for KU, but the Jayhawks don't usually rebound well on the road this season.

If this game were being played in Allen Fieldhouse, it would be a no-brainer to pick Kansas in a comfortable win.  Strengths and weaknesses match up very favorably for KU.  In particular, since this game will most likely hinge on inside shots, KU should be favored with its slew of big men ready to swat shots, finish alley-oops and put back offensive rebounds.  The only problem is that KU has had a propensity to underperform on the boards when playing on the road.  And three of the six worst defensive eFG% efforts for KU have been in road games.  The Jayhawks' offensive efficiency is most closely tied to their eFG% and TO rate.  In this game, TTU will likely get a fair number of steals.  So, the formula for a TTU upset likely contains lots of KU turnovers, an efficient shooting night from Jackson and Zeno, and not being forced by KU to take outside shots.

With the atmosphere of the biggest opponent of the season coming into town, Coach Knight's intensity and preparation, and KU's struggles on the road, this game will likely be much closer than the numbers might otherwise indicate.

Pre-Game Keys to Watch For

Keys to Watch For

Metric

If TTU is forced to start taking outside shots, it won't be playing its game anymore

TTU to take no more than 25% of its FG's from behind the arc

KU could struggle with TO's on the road against a TTU defense that forces steals

KU turnovers on 22% of possessions

Jackson and Zeno dictate how the TTU performs offensively

Jackson and Zeno to combine for at least 50 eFG%


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