By the Numbers: Kansas at Texas

Kansas travels to Austin to take on Texas in what has generally been the marquee conference matchup. This will be the favored Jayhawks' most highly-regarded opponent of the season, while UT has already played numerous highly-ranked teams. At only 1.5 games back in the conference standings, the Longhorns will be hungry to show they have what it takes to win the crown.

Analysis: Last 5 Venue-Appropriate Games

The charts below illustrate the performance for each team over their last 5 venue-appropriate games. The red bar represents each team’s current Sagarin Predictor rating, which represents overall team strength. 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. Homecourt advantage is also factored into the equation.

 

Over the last few games in the relevant venues, Texas has performed slightly better than Kansas relative to each team’s own season average. In this analysis, Kansas has performed about 0.5 points worse than its season average. The trend has been somewhat negative, as KU has performed below its average in the last three road games. However, only one of those games (KSU) has seen the Jayhawks’ level below UT’s season average, even with adjustments for homecourt. Meanwhile, Texas has outperformed its season rating by 2.0 points. It has not been a consistent effort though. Two of the last five home games have been significantly higher than average (St. Mary’s, TTU) and two have been way below average (TCU, Colorado). Remember that KU has a significantly higher rating than Texas for the season. Thus, over the last five venue-appropriate games for each team, Kansas has been 7.6 points better than Texas. After an adjustment for homecourt advantage, this particular analysis indicates that KU should be about a four-point favorite.

 

Highlighted Efficiency Rankings
Note: There are 341 Div-I teams
(Source: KenPom.com)

Kansas

Offense #1 - Defense #2 - Tempo #66
Excellent shooting (#5 eFG%, #4 on 2FG%) and strong shooting eFG% defense (#21)
Rank #10 in STL pct, but also rank #31 in avoiding own TO
Limit opp OREB% (#34)
Limit opp use of FT line (#41)
Limit opp 2FG% extremely well (#10)
Dominate the BLK category (#3 limit own, #3 block opp)
Take very few 3FG as % of total FGA (#290), while opponents take a lot (rank #250 - low means more 3FGA)
Very high % of FG's assisted (#38)

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Feb 3)

Mario Chalmers - #21 eFG%, #165 AST rate, #18 STL%
Russell Robinson - #135 FT Rate, #33 STL%
Darrell Arthur - #185 OREB%, #59 BLK%
Darnell Jackson - #7 eFG%, #173 OREB%, #158 DREB%
Sasha Kaun - #50 BLK%

Texas

Offense #5 - Defense #66 - Tempo #272
Turnovers just don't happen much in UT games (#1 in avoiding TO, #274 in forcing TO)
Strong offensive rebounding team (#40)
FT not usually a big factor in UT games (#250 FT Rate, #42 in limiting opp FT Rate)
Strong in BLK category (#16 avoiding own, #42 block opp)
Rank #1 in avoiding STL
Opp take lots of 3FG as % of FGA (#298 - low means more 3FGA)
Very low % of FG's assisted (#316)

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Feb 3)

D.J. Augustin - #89 AST Rate
A.J. Abrams - #14 TO Rate
Damion James - #145 OREB%, #22 DREB%, #70 TO Rate
Connor Atchley - #1 eFG%, #119 TO Rate, #107 BLK%

Scoring Distribution:

On offense, KU relies heavily on 2FG's, while its opponents rely extremely heavily on 3FG's.
On offense, UT relies less than most on FT's, while its opponents rely extremely heavily on 3FG's.

 

Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

 

Pre-Game Keys to Watch For

Keys to Watch For

Metric

Result

Edge (Comments)

 Texas has one of the lowest % of FG's assisted in the country. This suggests more one-on-one play than average.  Thus, KU's ability to defend will depend even more than usual on who is matching up with the hot UT player.

 No quantifiable metric here.  Look to see how well KU defender is playing one-on-one defense against the hottest UT players.

 

 

 One of the more peculiar correlations for UT is that its offensive efficiency is significantly affected by its opponents' TO Rate.  Although this makes intuitive sense, there are very few teams whose numbers actually pan out this way.  Thus, one of KU's best defenses in this game could be its ability to hang on to the ball.

 KU to limit its TO Rate to 18% or lower

 

 

 The projected difference in the game is KU's advantage in eFG%.  For that to materialize, the most prolific shooters on both teams must perform to KU's advantage.

 UT's Abrams and Augustin to combine for below 50 eFG%.  KU's Arthur and Rush to combine for at least 54 eFG%.

 

 

 


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