By the Numbers: Kansas at Baylor

They say, "Don't mess with Texas."  The Jayhawks complied with that in Lubbock on Saturday.  Now we'll see if they can be a bit more rebellious in Waco against the Baylor Bears.  In this piece, I'll break down the teams using a player ratings system derived from boxscore stats.

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

Kansas

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

PLAYER

ePSAN70

ePSAN

Julian Wright

5.01

64.32

Sasha Kaun

4.59

36.08

Darnell Jackson

4.57

30.39

Mario Chalmers

4.53

61.73

Brady Morningstar*

4.00

4.76

Jeremy Case*

3.79

5.98

Darrell Arthur

3.75

36.89

Sherron Collins

3.46

33.13

Russell Robinson

2.56

34.18

Brandon Rush

2.16

33.50

Rodrick Stewart*

1.90

4.27

Matt Kleinmann*

1.32

1.24

Brennan Bechard*

-0.36

-0.06

Brad Witherspoon*

-16.55

-2.47

* Rating not based on enough data.

Baylor

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

PLAYER

cPSAN70

cPSAN

Mark Shepherd*

9.67

6.09

Mamadou Diene

2.69

18.73

Kevin Rogers

2.56

31.52

Henry Dugat

2.33

27.79

Tim Bush

1.90

18.69

Tweety Carter

1.36

13.78

Curtis Jerrells

1.11

15.03

Carl Sims*

0.76

0.06

Aaron Bruce

0.29

3.79

Josh Lomers

-0.01

-0.05

Patrick Fields

-2.37

-6.02

Jari Vanttaja*

-6.27

-5.47

Richard Hurd*

-7.79

-3.58

* Rating not based on enough data.


Player Analysis:
(largely based on ratings above)

As you might expect, Baylor comes into the game with a lot less firepower than does Kansas.  The player who's made the most impact has been leading-scorer Kevin Rogers, a 6-9 sophomore.  He averages 12.4 PTS, 6.8 REB and 1.1 BLK while shooting a solid 56 eFG% and 78% FT.  He does all this playing 28 minutes per game, so the main reason he isn't rated a more efficient player is that Baylor hasn't been all that good.  Of course, it also hurts that he makes about 2.3 TO's per game, but then so do three other players on BU's squad.

Diene (7-0 sophomore) has been the team's most efficient player, chipping in 5.5 PTS, 5.5 REB, and almost 2 BLK per game while averaging only 19 minutes.  He shoots the same percentage from the field as Rogers but only 50% at the freethrow line.  Still, he has very impressive numbers in somewhat limited play.

Behind Rogers and Diene in terms of efficiency, but second on the team in total impact, is the little 6-0 sophomore guard, Henry Dugat.  He averages 11 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL in 27 min/game.  More importantly, he's a solid outside shooting threat, making 29-74 on 3FG's (39%), although he hasn't made more than one 3FG in any of his last seven games.

Several other players for BU haven't played efficiently but have contributed positively.  Bush can stroke a few 3FG's (36%) as can Carter (team-leading 37 made 3FG's - 36%).  Jerrells is one of the two leading AST guys, with 3.8 AST per game, 12 PTS, 4 REB and shoots 50 eFG%.

The other player in the regular rotation, Aaron Bruce, has done somewhat less with his minutes than the rest.  He does average 11 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, shooting 52 eFG%.  But he doesn't block or steal very much, and considering how much he shoots, he isn't getting to the freethrow line much (though he's accurate there).

On KU's side, things are getting a little more crowded at the top.  Arthur started out as the team's most efficient player for a stretch, followed by Wright, then Chalmers, until the Texas Tech game.  Wright sits atop the efficiency and total impact ratings now, mostly because he does a little bit of everything.  Although he has a team-high 2.5 TO's per game, he counters with 11 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 1.5 STL, 1.6 BLK and an impressive 55.2 eFG% in just under 28 minutes per game.  He needs to be a more consistent threat, and more importantly, he needs to understand where his strengths and limitations are.  Wright should not be taking any 3FG's in a close game, should not be dribbling excessively in traffic and should not make fancy passes when he's in good position to make a shot.

Sasha Kaun has been doing exactly what Wright hasn't.  Kaun recognizes that he needs to shoot when he has position down low and focus the rest of his efforts on blocking out and getting a hand on opponents' shots inside.  His efficiency has been surging of late, and he is now 2nd on the team.  In 18 minutes, Kaun averages 7 PTS, 4 REB, 1.6 BLK while shooting a sizzling 59% from the field.  Unfortunately, he doesn't convert well at the freethrow line (55%).

Jackson didn't play much against Texas Tech due to back problems.  When he's playing well, he can rebound with most anyone and score efficiently facing the basket inside of 12 feet.

When Self was asked who he'd want taking the last shot of the game, he said he'd want Mario Chalmers.  Lately, Chalmers hasn't been playing at the same level he was a couple of weeks ago.  He's scored in double figures only once in his last four games, and during that stretch he's 1-of-8 from 3FG.  It's not the percentage that's worrisome as much as the fact that he's only taken eight shots from behind the arc in four games.  A shooter and player the caliber of Chalmers should find ways to take shots.  It's understandable if KU were blowing people out that Chalmers might take a break from shooting, but the Jayhawks have struggled in their last three games.  For the season, Chalmers shoots 56 eFG%, averaging 11.6 PTS, 3 REB, 3.4 AST, 2 TO and nearly 3 STL (#9 rate in the country per possession).  He also leads the team in FT% at 79.5%.  He's most certainly due for a big game.

It's quite sobering to see Darrell Arthur's numbers now after the unbelievable start he had, including an awe-inspiring game against Florida.  Clearly, he is a gifted athlete with an impressive array of post moves and uncanny ability to time his jump for blocked shots.  Unfortunately, his shot release is about as consistent as Julian Wright's play this season.  He's starting to come back around, with season averages of 11.6 PTS, 5 REB, 1 STL, and 2 BLK in just 21 minutes per game.  He shoots almost 53 eFG% but only 67% at the FT line.  Arthur's scoring and rebounding have trended upward over the last four games.

Sherron Collins has now established himself as one of the most exciting players on the team.  Collins has been the best player the last two games and continues to shoot lights out (astounding 61 eFG%) this season.  He's the team's most potent 3FG shooter (44%) and has the ability to create with his dribble or pass.  If not for some freshman mistakes and his average defensive ability, Self would be forced to play Collins much more than Robinson.  But the way things stand, each of the three guards (Chalmers, Robinson, Collins) brings something unique and important to the game.  Self has the luxury of seeing how things develop in the game and playing the appropriate one down the stretch.  Collins averages 8.6 PTS, 2.6 REB and 2.5 AST with a 1.6 AST:TO ratio.  Meanwhile, Robinson averages 6 PTS, 3 REB, 4.5 AST, 1.7 STL, 2.3 AST:TO ratio and shoots 44 eFG%.

Some nights Brandon Rush looks like he carries the team with key shots and lockdown defense, while other nights he could build a house made from the bricks he's shooting.  Overall, Rush shoots 48.6 eFG%, averaging 13.5 PTS, 5.7 REB, 2 AST, 2 TO and 1 BLK in nearly 33 minutes per game.  He's also shooting just under 39% from 3FG.  His value to the team is clearly more than these ratings show, otherwise he wouldn't be averaging more playing time than anyone else.  Rush is an extremely solid defender and the consummate team player.  Unfortunately, he has too many games where his shot fails him.

Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

Derived from stats at KenPom.com

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 Baylor

Kansas OREB

 

 

Kansas TO rate

 

 

Baylor % own 2FGA's blocked**

 

 

Kansas PTS/Poss**

 

 

Baylor FT%**

 

 

 

Baylor FT Rate

 

 

Kansas % Poss STL by Opp

 

Baylor TO rate**

 

 

 

Baylor 3pt FG%

 

 

Baylor PTS/Poss

 

Kansas 2pt FG%**

 

 

 

Baylor % Poss STL by Opp

 

 

Kansas eFG%

 

 

Baylor eFG%

 

 

Kansas % own 2FGA's blocked

 

 

Kansas 3pt FG%

 

 

Baylor OREB

 

 

Baylor 2pt FG%

 

 

Kansas FT Rate

 

 

Kansas FT%

 

** Denotes that team with advantage also ranks in Top 50 in that category

Kansas will take below avg % of its FG's from 3-pt

Baylor will take above avg % of its FG's from 3-pt

Baylor will have below avg % of FG's assisted

Expect average-paced game


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