By the Numbers: Kansas at Texas A&M

The Jayhawks get a chance to show the country how they play on the road with the conference title on the line. The Aggies of Texas A&M are fully capable of an upset. Let's see how the teams match up statistically.

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 non-home games and TAM non-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.


Kansas has underperformed its season average rating in every one of its last five games away from Allen Fieldhouse. The best performances were against the weakest two teams, Colorado and Iowa State. In only two of those games has KU’s performance been at least as high as TAM’s season average after adjusting for homecourt edge (i.e., what KU will be facing this game). There is no question that KU has struggled on the road.


Meanwhile, Texas A&M has had very inconsistent results in its last five games, which is consistent (ironically) with its season results. According to, Texas A&M is ranked #334 (out of 341) in consistency of scoring margin. In its last five home games, Texas A&M has had a performance rating as low as 70.9 (lower than any Big 12 team’s season rating) and two games with ratings above 100 (higher than any Big 12 team’s season average). Which Texas A&M will show up this time is anybody’s guess. But the point is that they can win or lose against any team.


In this analysis, Kansas has performed about 8.2 points worse than its season average. TAM has outperformed its season rating by 3.6 points. Thus, over the last five venue-appropriate games for each team, Texas A&M has been 2.7 points better than Kansas. An average homecourt boost of 4 points means that this specific analysis projects a nearly 7-point upset for the Aggies. The important caveat is that this five-game analysis ignores many results throughout the season. It is meant as an indicator of recent play, which of course could be very different from what we see in any upcoming game. When taking the overall season results into account, most prediction models would suggest a single-digit KU victory.

PSAN-Related Player Ratings - Cumulative This Season

For information on these ratings, click here.

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


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





Darnell Jackson



Mario Chalmers



Cole Aldrich



Brennan Bechard*



Tyrel Reed*



Sasha Kaun



Darrell Arthur



Conner Teahan*



Brandon Rush



Russell Robinson



Rodrick Stewart



Jeremy Case*



Sherron Collins



Matt Kleinmann*



Chase Buford*



Brad Witherspoon*



 * Rating not based on enough data.

Texas A&M

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





Marshall Carrell*



DeAndre Jordan



Nathan Walkup*



Josh Carter



Denzel Bowles*



Chinemelu Elonu



Joseph Jones



B.J. Holmes*



Bryan Davis



Chris Chapman*



Dominique Kirk



Beau Muhlbach*



Derrek Lewis*



Donald Sloan



Derrick Roland



Andrew Darko*



Bryson Graham*



Shawn Schepel*



 * Rating not based on enough data.


Player Analysis:

(largely in context of ratings above)

Texas A&M's season can be described using two very contradicting terms -- balance and inconsistency.  On the one hand, the contributions from players have been very balanced.  Efficiency ratings are +3.50 or higher for five players, and total impact ratings are spread out amongst the top five players.  Meanwhile, the team results have been erratic to say the least.  The Aggies have crushed #1-seed hopeful Texas at home by 17 points but also lost there to Oklahoma State.  On both offense and defense, they have been extremely erratic.  It is difficult to understand the reason behind this, since having their balance is like having a diversified portfolio of stocks, which shouldn't fluctuate as much as holding just one stock.

The most efficient player and second-most impactful has been 7-0 freshman DeAndre Jordan.   The young man is shooting a sizzling 63 eFG%, dominating the boards on both sides, getting to the line extremely often (where he unfortunately is less reliable than a coin flip), and blocking shots proficiently.  If his FT% were decent, he'd be having a monster season.  Keep in mind that he only plays about half the available minutes.  He has blocked at least two shots in his last six games, including 6 BLK in the most recent game.  Just behind him in efficiency and leading the team in total impact is 6-7 junior Josh Carter.  He shoots a healthy 55 eFG% and almost never turns the ball over.  His 3FG% is down from past years (39%) but obviously very respectable.

The senior big man, Joseph Jones, always has the capability of taking the game over.  His efficiency has suffered this year mostly because his shooting is down to around 51 eFG%.  Still, he's a very effective offensive rebounder and gets plenty of points from the FT line without turning it over much at all.

Bryan Davis and Dominique Kirk both have similar impact ratings, but Davis has been much more efficient.  Davis shoots a decent 51 eFG%, rebounds well on both ends, gets to the line and contributes on defense with both blocks and steals.  The 6-3 senior Kirk leads the team in minutes and shoots around 52 eFG%, but he doesn't shoot very often.  His forte is feeding the ball to his teammates, plus he can get to the FT line somewhat regularly.

Although Elonu's efficiency looks great, he doesn't play all that much.  Still, the sophomore big man gets lots of rebounds, FT and BLK but turns it over way too often.

The Kansas Jayhawks counter with an equally balanced attack (8 players with efficiencies over +4.00) but somewhat more consistent team effort.  Although KU has struggled on the road lately, TAM actually has played better in road/neutral venues than they have at home.  At the top of the list for KU, Darnell Jackson and Mario Chalmers are the top two contributors in efficiency and total impact.  Both shoot over 63 eFG% and use the FT line very well.  Chalmers dishes the ball proficiently while stealing from opponents better than most anyone in the country.  Jackson is a fierce rebounder on both ends and keeps his turnovers at a minimum.

Although his efficiency is significantly lower than the leaders, Brandon Rush has had the next biggest impact on the team.  The main source of his contributions are his 42% 3FG shooting and ability to avoid turning it over.  In addition, he's added the BLK to his arsenal on defense this season.  The other highest-profile player on the team is sophomore Darrell Arthur, who many expect to leave for the NBA after this season.  Arthur's variety of post moves and athletic prowess have yielded 53 eFG% shooting, solid rebounding numbers on both ends but particularly on the offensive end, low TO rate and an impressive BLK ability.  If Arthur can stay out of foul trouble, he can usually impact the game positively.

Russell Robinson has had a major positive impact this season.  He has shot the ball essentially just as well as Rush, but he gets to the line much more often and gets nearly as many STL as Chalmers.  The big problem for Robinson this season has been TO, often created when he penetrates into the lane unwisely.  When he avoids that, he has been very effective, particularly on defense.

The key factor for a deep postseason run for KU is the re-emergence of Sherron Collins, who has been battling injuries most of the season.  In the last several games, Collins has finally begun to show what he is capable of, and it should scare opponents.  He is now shooting a nice 55 eFG% for the season and stealing the ball with regularity.  He struggles with turnovers though, much like Robinson.  The difference is that Collins is a better finisher, so his drives to the basket are much more desirable for the team. Top Stories