By the Numbers: Kansas at Kansas St.

"The Streak" is now 23 years old, which means it has graduated college and is back from a one-year trip to "find itself" before interviewing for grad school.  Anyone think KSU is interested in putting an end to KU's domination in Manhattan?   Let's take a look at some of the numbers that shape this matchup.

Analysis: Last 5 Venue-Appropriate Games

The charts below illustrate the performance for each team over their last 5 venue-appropriate games.  That is, KU road games and Kansas State home games.  The red bar represents each team’s current Sagarin Predictor rating, which best represents team strength for the entire season.  The “Performance” is calculated by taking the opponent’s Sagarin rating for the game and adding (subtracting) the margin of victory (loss) for each game.  Home advantage is also factored into the equation.

Both teams appear to be playing quite well in their respective venues.  In this analysis, it would appear that KSU has outperformed its own season average by about 6.6 points.  Kansas has actually outperformed its season rating by about 5.5 points.  Thus, over the last five venue-appropriate games for each team, Kansas has been 9.5 points better than Kansas State.  Nearly half of this advantage is mitigated by the expected homecourt advantage (approximately 4 points) for KSU on Monday, meaning this analysis predicts a likely KU victory but no guarantee.

PSAN Player Ratings – Conference Only

Note: These ratings do not adjust for strength of opponent, since conference-only Sagarin ratings are not available.  For more information behind the methodology of PSAN ratings, visit this page.  Ratings are shown only for players who average at least 8 minutes per game.

Kansas State

PSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
PSAN ("Total Impact")




Cartier Martin



David Hoskins



Jermaine Maybank



Lance Harris



Jason Bennett



Akeem Wright



Blake Young



Clent Stewart



Luis Colon





PSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
PSAN ("Total Impact")




Darnell Jackson



Julian Wright



Russell Robinson



Sherron Collins



Brandon Rush



Sasha Kaun



Mario Chalmers



Darrell Arthur



Player Analysis:
(largely based on ratings above)

Although both David Hoskins and Cartier Martin have led the way for the Wildcats this season, in conference play it’s been Martin who’s carried Kansas State.  Coming off the bench, Martin is shooting a sizzling 56 eFG% (43% from 3FG) and 89% from the freethrow line in about 26 minutes per game.  He averages 16 PTS and 5.3 REB but only 1.6 TO.  He doesn’t do a lot of the other things on the stat sheet, but he’s excellent at shooting and scoring efficiently.

Hoskins hasn’t quite kept pace in the conference season with Martin.  Sure, his scoring is up to nearly 16 PTS, and most of his other stats are also about 10% higher, but he’s also averaging 10% more minutes in conference play versus overall.  However, he’s shooting only 44 eFG% (vs 47% overall).  Hoskins hasn’t been a shooter like Martin, but he’s created some more with other aspects of his game (6.5 REB, 2.7 AST, 0.9 STL) with the expected associated increase in TO (2.8 per game).

After Martin and Hoskins, there really aren’t any KSU players who have a good player rating in conference play.  Jermaine Maybank had a career game against KU in the first game, so was it just a fluke?  In conference play, Maybank is scoring more (5.3 vs 3.9) but shooting a bit worse from both inside and outside the arc.  He also averages 1 STL per game in 15 minutes.

Lance Harris averages the most playing time in conference play (30.7 min) and does average barely in double figures.  He shoots a healthy 51 eFG% (36% from 3FG), 76% at the line, 3 REB and sports a nice 2.0 AST:TO ratio.  His numbers indicate he’s a solid contributor who shoots better than average but doesn’t light up the boxscore too much.

Jason Bennett eagerly awaits a chance at redemption against the Jayhawks after a foul-plagued, inconsequential debut earlier this month.  In 10 conference games, he’s averaging only about 11 minutes per game but does grab 1.8 rebounds/gm in limited action, only 4 total TO, a whopping 14 BLK while scoring just a shade over 1 point per game.  He is shooting only 50% from the line, but overall Bennett has the ability to be a defensive force inside and on the glass.

Akeem Wright and Blake Young both have had largely neutral to slightly negative ratings in conference play.  The starter, Wright, leads the team in rebounds per game in conference play (6.8) but is shooting terribly from the field (33 eFG%) and scoring 5.5 PTS in 27 minutes per game.  Young is more of a role player, scoring 3.8 PTS and shooting just under 50 eFG% in conference play.

Clent Stewart has the most negative “total impact” rating in conference play, averaging about 30 minutes, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 2.6 AST and 2.6 TO.  Stewart shoots just under 50 eFG%, but his numbers just aren’t enough given his playing time and high turnover rate.  Luis Colon has KSU’s lowest efficiency numbers due to lack of production, although he does shoot 57 eFG%.

On KU’s side, there is clearly much more balance.  As you would expect from the conference co-leader, the ratings are generally higher, reflecting better team performance.  Many would be surprised to see Darnell Jackson atop the efficiency list, but a closer look at his numbers answers most skeptics.  Jackson plays only 14 minutes per game but grabs 5.3 REB per game and scores the same amount, averages nearly a block per game and does it all while shooting 58 eFG%.

Julian Wright has been atop KU’s overall season efficiency ratings for some time now.  In conference play, Wright shoots right at 50 eFG% and a surprising 73% from the line.  Wright does a little of everything, averaging 12 PTS, 8 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.4 BLK, 1.8 STL and a team-worst 2.5 TO in 25 minutes per game.  When he’s on, it is tough to imagine how anyone can stop him and his freakish athleticism.

The player with the greatest total impact rating in conference play for KU is Russell Robinson.  That is a bit of a shock to some who have followed KU this season, as he was really struggling with shooting the ball before conference play.  But in conference, it’s a completely different story as Robinson sizzles at 61 eFG%, 71% FT, scoring 7.5 PTS, 3.5 REB, 4.8 AST (2.52 AST:TO ratio) and 2.3 STL in 28 minutes per game.  Pretty solid numbers for a point guard who isn’t being asked to do a ton of scoring.

As good as Robinson has played in conference, the freshman Sherron Collins has been nipping at his heels all season.  Many feel Collins is already the better player, and the numbers certainly make a plausible case.  Collins shoots an unbelievable 65 eFG% (48% from 3FG), 12 PTS, 3.5 AST (2.3 AST:TO ratio) and 78% from the line while playing 24 minutes per game in conference play.  Collins doesn’t do as much rebounding or setting up others as Robinson does, but there is no question that Collins makes things happen on offense.

Brandon Rush was supposed to be one of the absolute best in the nation, so he probably hasn’t lived up to those expectations.  Nevertheless, Rush has developed into a dependable defender, solid team player and is shooting an impressive 55 eFG% in conference play (46% from 3FG) while leading the team with 15 PTS.  What’s more, Rush is the second-leading rebounder at 6.4 per game.  All in all, Rush is a major reason the team is on a roll.

For a brief stretch, it looked as though Sasha Kaun had overcome his early-season injury and was going to be one of the most efficient players on the team.  Lately, however, Kaun has looked lost and even slow.  Nevertheless, in conference play he has a fair efficiency rating.  He’s shooting well from the field but has Johnny Pittman-like freethrow numbers (35%).  He averages 7 PTS, 4 REB and 1.5 BLK in about 19 minutes per game.

In conference play, Mario Chalmers’ numbers have slipped considerably.  In the same playing time (29 min), Chalmers’ shooting has dropped from 55 eFG% to just under 50 eFG%, and thus his scoring is down about 2 points per game to 9.3.  Still, we’re talking about a starter who is shooting 50 eFG% (35% from 3FG) and averages 2.4 STL, which can change any game quickly.  Chalmers is capable of a dominating performance every night but simply doesn’t have to do that on a regular basis for Kansas.

Finally, it’s been a struggle for Darrell Arthur.  Everyone (myself included) had him pegged for an early exit to the NBA as he was embarrassing players like Al Horford and Joakim Noah on the national stage.  As the season unfolded, however, Arthur has shown that he needs more work.  In 18 minutes per game, he does average 8.5 PTS and 4.2 REB but his blocking prowess has halved since pre-conference season to only 0.8 BLK per game.  If Arthur can also improve his 48% average at the FT line, he can provide a much-needed inside scoring boost. Top Stories