By the Numbers: Kansas at Iowa State

Kansas goes back on the road, where most of the time they have looked quite vulnerable. Will Iowa State be able to pull off the upset? The numbers always have something to say.

 

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.  The black line represents the linear trend over the last five games for the team.

 

In this analysis, Kansas has outdone its season average by 1.5 points.  But the sole reason for this apparently good performance is the blowout victory at Temple.  Against NU, the Jayhawks played right at their average, and in the other three non-home games, they performed well under the season rating.  So while the overall trend is slightly upward, it is hard to argue that KU has performed as expected away from home.  Still, KU has performed at or above its season rating in two of its last three non-home games.  Slice it however you want, but realize that the Temple game is really an outlier at this point.  Regardless of all that, it's the opponent that matters on this day, and Kansas has performed better than ISU's expected performance in all of their non-home games.  In fact, KU has done better in every game than ISU has done in any game except one (Bradley).

 

While the Cyclones have underperformed their season average rating in the last five home games, they have not done so by much (1 point).  They have a situation very much like KU in that one outlier game is skewing things, but it's in the wrong direction.  Except for the North Dakota State two-point squeaker of an atrocity, the Cyclones have actually performed at or above their season average in the other four most recent home games.  But their trend is noticeably downward and doesn't bode particularly well for ISU's chances this time around.  Not once in the last five home games has Iowa State performed at a level at or above KU's expected performance.

 

In summary, over the last five games for each team, Kansas has been 16.4 points better than Iowa State.  Based on season average ratings, the Jayhawks get an edge of just under 10 points, but this specific analysis gives KU slightly more than a 12-point advantage, a number they have hit on two of their last five non-home games incidentally.

 

 

Four Factors Analysis

Based on the cumulative season boxscore for each team, we can look at the Four Factors to see where each team has derived the bulk of its (dis)advantage in terms of scoring margin versus its opponents to date.  For each team, Team 1 is the team itself and Team 2 is its opponents.  Here is the breakdown:

KANSAS

Team 1

Team 2

Advantage

 

eFG%

56.74%

41.40%

327.1

 

TO Rate

17.59%

21.00%

45.0

 

OREB%

37.39%

27.57%

60.8

 

FTA/FGA

29.78%

21.24%

12.4

FT Pct

 

 

 

79.6

FT Attempts

 

 

Team 1

Team 2

Advantage

 

eFG%

53.53%

45.63%

170.5

 

TO Rate

19.40%

19.56%

2.1

 

OREB%

33.07%

31.53%

10.6

 

FTA/FGA

23.21%

17.49%

-26.3

FT Pct

 

 

 

75.3

FT Attempts

 

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

This is the largest single advantage for each team, with KU's number being significantly higher than ISU's.  With the exception of Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson, every player in the regular rotation for Kansas shoots at least 54.4 eFG%, and the lowest is Cole Aldrich who is really struggling compared to last season.  Of course, it's Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry who shoot the most, and thus their eFG% will probably play the biggest role in whether KU will have the edge in this factor.  In contrast, ISU has four players in the rotation who shoot 48 eFG% or lower.  Two of their four players who shoot at least 20% of shots while on the four (that is the theoretical average if all players shot equally) have 48 eFG% or lower, including the go-to-guy, Craig Brackins.  While Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap are the most prolific shot takers on the team, the three-pointer won't be quite as crucial to their eFG% as it is for Collins and Henry of Kansas.  Both Collins and Henry have each attempted more 3FG's than Brackins and Gilstrap combined.  EDGE: Kansas

Turnover Rate

Iowa State has merely broken even in this aspect of the game, while Kansas has a healthy edge.  For KU, the guys with the worst individual turnover rates (not the same as turnovers per game) are Tyshawn Taylor, Markieff Morris, Brady Morningstar and Thomas Robinson.  But Morningstar has a nice 3.2-to-1 AST/TO ratio, and Taylor checks in at about 2-to-1.  While the highest turnovers per game stats belong to Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins, don't blame Collins.  His AST rate is significantly higher than his TO rate (24 vs 15%).  Look for the TO numbers for Markieff Morris, Robinson and Xavier Henry to get a sense for how KU's doing in this factor.  ISU has four guys with at least two turnovers per game (Brackins, Milstrap, Diante Garrett and Chris Colvin).  But Garrett and Brackins have higher AST rates than TO rates, with nice AST/TO ratios.  Look for Milstrap's numbers here as well as freshman Colvin's. EDGE: Kansas

Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OREB%)

Once again, we see the Jayhawks with a much bigger edge on the season cumulative stats here.  While ISU does a decent job of hitting the offensive glass, they are yielding about the average offensive rebounding percentage.  In general for the Jayhawks, it's Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins who are looked to for rebounding on both sides of the ball.  ISU just doesn't have the same firepower on the glass.  Brackins is good but mostly on the defensive boards.  Gilstrap is the best overall rebounder for the Cylcones.  EDGE: Kansas

FTA/FGA

Teams want to have a high FTA/FGA because the free throw line is generally the most efficient place to be on the court, so the more possessions that end with free throws, the more efficient a team is likely to be on offense.  Both teams have fared similarly here for the season, but ISU has a terrible FT%, which has kept their overall margin of advantage slightly down for the free throw category as a whole.  For KU, it is Aldrich and Marcus Morris who have the highest FTA/FGA.  ISU is basically LaRon Dendy and Chris Colvin.  EDGE: Tie

Sagarin ratings source: USAToday.com


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