Sunday, February 13, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Iowa State@Kansas

[If you’re unfamiliar with the series, please check out my first Project Defensive Score Sheet post, or else you’re probably going to be very confused.]

Kansas had little trouble with Iowa State, but if you look at the final numbers, you’ll see that the Cyclones managed 0.95 points per possession, which is fine, but not Texas-esque. However, the numbers if the first half were Texas-esque, and with the game basically in hand before halftime, it’s easy to hypothesize that, had the Jayhawks played poorly on offense and thus needed to keep playing good defense, they might have been able to do so. In that light, besides the usual full-game totals, I’m adding a few summary columns for each half, so you can see which players were worse (slacking off?) in the latter period.

Here’s the table. [Apologies to mobile users if this is unreadable, but this was just too large to fit into my usual template.] My comments are after the jump.



  • I hate to keep picking on Tyshawn Taylor, but the drop off from half one to half two seemed the most pronounced, subjectively, when watching him. On a couple plays, he floated randomly away from his man, without actually playing any help defense. He also allowed at least one offense rebound and putback when he failed completely to box his man out on the perimeter. Marcus Morris did the same thing.
  • Judging Taylor based solely on the difference between his first and second half numbers is unfair, however. Notice how much higher his second half defensive usage rate (%DPoss) is. That’s because all Iowa State did in half two (probably because the loss of Vanderbeken thinned out their big man herd) was work to get open three point shots. And they shot very well, so with average luck, Taylor’s (and Elijah Johnson’s) defensive rating would have been a tad better.
  • Speaking of Johnson, he was yet again Kansas’s worst defender, according to the numbers. And Markieff Morris was yet again at the top of the chart.
  • Markieff Morris, Jeff Withey, and Diante Garrett were the only players to play consistently excellent defense in both halves.
  • The whole idea of a nearly-all-garbage-time second half makes me wish all team stats could be adjusted so that anything after a certain blowout cutoff (the Bill James one?) could be ignored. I realize there are all kinds of problems with that, but a man can dream.
  • Fraction of a team’s forced turnovers which were due to the efforts of just a single player: 8 of 13 (62%) for Kansas, 4 of 8 (50%) from Iowa State. I think this may be the first game that really contradicts my theory that the better defensive effort usually shows up in a higher percentage of teamwork-forced turnovers.
  • Looking at the defensive ratings (DRtg) for the Kansas players in both halves, you can see how much the play of the rest of the team influences the individual ratings. I’ve begun to almost ignore DRtg in favor of Stop% as a measure of quality, with %DPoss giving me an idea of how much a player was involved.

This is the second KU-ISU game I’ve charted. Here’s a short list of players who have been consistently above or below average in both games.

  • Kansas, Stop% over 50%: Markieff Morris, Mario Little, Tyrel Reed.
  • Iowa State, Stop% over 50%: Diante Garrett
  • Kansas, Stop% under 50%": Brady Morningstar, Elijah Johnson
  • Iowa State, Stop% under 50%": Jamie Vanderbeken, Scott Christopherson, Jordan Railey, Bubu Palo

1 comment:

  1. I am assuming (hoping) that this was because they were either resting up for Monday or were just kind of in an I don't give a crap mode in the second half.