Thursday, January 27, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Kansas@Colorado

For those of you new to this series, check out the original Project Defensive Score Sheet post. The rest of you know what I’m about to say…

“Here’s the chart (click to enlarge). Notes are after the break.”


The first thing that jumps out at me here is the girls-and-boys-on-opposite-sides-of-the-gym … –ness of Kansas’s numbers. Tyrel Reed was the only small better than the “Team” line, and Markieff Morris was the only big worse, with tweener Mario Little sitting right in the middle of them. That prompted me to run a Bigs/Smalls split (I gave half credit for Little to each group):


I’m willing to bet that has a lot to do with the smalls getting stuck guarding Cory Higgins and Alec Burks, while the bigs got Marcus Relphorde and Austin Dufault. That illustrates one of the biggest weaknesses in this project – lack of matchup info. Even among the smalls, as Tyrel Reed the best defender because of actual play, or because he got to guard the fifth wheel more often? Sorry, I don’t have the answer.

Here’s another split that raises questions:


According to my notes, all of Colorado’s three point shots were good looks. That can’t be right, can it? I’m searching my memory, but I can’t seem to refute the statement. And I already erased the DVR recording. Anybody who watched want to chime in and set me straight? If true, it explains why they shot so well from deep. And check out Colorado’s 2PFG% on good looks. Killer. I’m not 100% sure I trust these numbers, though.

And, finally…

  • As usual, let’s look at the fraction of turnovers that were caused by solo efforts. For Kansas, 0 of 6. For Colorado, 12 of 13 (92%). This is the starkest difference I’ve seen so far. And again, I think the team that played better defense ended up with more teamwork-caused FTO’s.
  • Cory Higgins’s feast or famine defensive night was partly caused by his tendency to provide a lot of help defense, so much that he sometimes left his man with open looks from three.
  • There a couple of terrible calls that went against Markieff Morris, turning a forced turnover into foul shots, and stealing a defensive rebound from him. Reverse those, and his defensive rating is 111.4, back in the top half where he usually sits.
  • Also back to their usual spots: Tyrel Reed at the top, and Elijah Johnson in the bottom.
  • And, while Josh Selby had a good game offensively, he didn’t do well defensively. He’s been very erratic, as I guess you should expect from a freshman.

1 comment:

  1. The open/guarded 3 stat is interesting. I'd believe it; Levi Knutson doesn't get his #1 ORtg by forcing bad shots, and Burks/Higgins are going to create open looks.

    As good as Burks/Higgins are, KU really seems to have chronic defense problems in the backcourt.