By the Numbers: Texas A&M at Kansas

The Jayhawks host the Aggies, looking for a win to grab a share of the lead in the Big XII conference race. Kansas is a different team inside the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse, so let's look at the numbers for a preview of the action.

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.


In this analysis, Kansas has outperformed its season average by about 4.5 points.  With the exception of the Siena game, the Jayhawks have  performed at least as well as their season average in the last five home games, with the most recent game against Kansas State being one of their best.


Similarly, the Aggies tend to do about as well as their season average away from home.  Their major hiccup came against Tulsa on a neutral court, where they lost by eleven.  Despite that, over their last five non-home games, TAMU has barely outperformed its season average by about 0.7 points.


Not once in the last five non-home games have the Aggies performed at a level near KU's expected performance based on their season averages (including homecourt edge).  In summary, over the last five games for each team, Kansas has been 12.7 points better than Texas A&M, meaning this specific analysis projects the Jayhawks to win by a healthy margin of about 16.6 points.


Highlighted Efficiency Rankings
Note: There are 344 Div-I teams


Offense #20 - Defense #36 - Tempo #136
Usually win the all-important eFG% category (#24 own, #31 defense)
Strong offensive rebounding (#35)
Excellent utilization of FT line (#61 in FTA/FGA)
Rank #29 in 2FG%
Limit opp 2FG% extremely well (#10)
Great FT% (#88)
BLK lots of opp shots (#32)
Very high % of FG's assisted (#23)

Size (Tall = Position is Top 50 in minutes-weighted height, Short = #250 or worse)
Tall: C
Short: None
Team Ranked #35 in Effective Height 

Other Factors:
Team is #333 in experience
Unusually high/low % of points scored by positions:  Hi - PG ... Lo - SG, SF

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Jan 11)

Sherron Collins - #116 AST rate
Brady Morningstar - #116 eFG%
Cole Aldrich - #61 eFG%, #94 OREB%, #28 DREB%, #25 BLK%, #184 PF's drawn/40 min
Marcus Morris - #39 OREB%

Texas A&M

Offense #83 - Defense #76 - Tempo #268
Excellent at limiting turnovers (#40)
Control the use of the FT line on both sides (#25 own FTA/FGA, #39 lowest opp)
Very good 2FG% defense (#50)
Very few steals in TAMU games (#5 limit own, #278 in STL from opp)
Very low % of FG's attempted are 3FG (#282)

Size (Tall = Position is Top 50 in minutes-weighted height, Short = #250 or worse)
Tall: PF
Short: None
Team Ranked #38 in Effective Height 

Other Factors:
Unusually high/low % of points scored by positions:  Hi - None ... Lo - None

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Jan 11)

Donald Sloan - #188 TO rate (lo), #7 PF's/40 min (lo)
Bryan Davis - #166 DREB%, #179 BLK%, #147 FT Rate
Josh Carter - #61 TO Rate (lo), #66 PF's/40 min (lo)
B.J. Holmes - #11 TO Rate (lo)
Chinemelu Elonu - #72 OREB%, #99 DREB%, #92 BLK%

Scoring Distribution:

On offense, KU is fairly balanced, while its opponents get a lot from FT's and prefer 3FG's to 2FG's.
On offense, TAMU relies very heavily on FT's and little on 3FG's, while its opponents rely very little on FT's.


Game Outlook

There is little for Texas A&M fans to hang their hat on when predicting the outcome of this game.  The only area of the game they should be favored is the free throw stripe.  That is usually a difficult advantage to exploit on the road against a team like Kansas.  Still, it should be good enough to net the Aggies about 4 more points than the Jayhawks, enough to offset a typical homecourt edge.  The problem is that Kansas has a greater than average homecourt edge, more in the neighborhood of 12 points this season.

Most likely, we will see a significant advantage in effective field-goal shooting percentage (eFG%) for Kansas, driven in part from an expected high percentage from behind the arc.  Coupled with an expected rebounding edge, the Jayhawks are rightfully the clear favorite in this game.

Sagarin ratings source: Top Stories