Sunday, February 6, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Kansas@Nebraska

[For a recap of what the numbers below mean, and what this series is all about, see my first Project Defensive Score Sheet post.]

Here’s the score sheet (note that Nebraska’s team line has 10 free throws, because those were clearly strategic end-of-game intentional fouls). My thoughts are after the break.


Kansas handled Nebraska in easier-than-expected fashion, and that can mostly be chalked up to good shooting, and a patient offense that worked to find the best shot. I didn’t try to quantify this, but it seemed to me that Kansas took fewer forced shots this game than in just about any other game of theirs that I’ve watched. Maybe some of that had to do with the absence of Josh Selby, but I think a big factor was that the Morris twins were just too good for Nebraska’s bigs, and the Kansas guards did a good job of realizing this, and running the offense through the post.

It’s interesting to compare these numbers to those from Nebraska at Kansas:

  • The correlation between Nebraska’s individual Stop percentages in the two games is 0.764 (for Kansas, 0.405). Ray Gallegos, Brandon Richardson, Andre Almeida, and Caleb Walker did well in both game, while Jorge Brian Diaz, Toney McCray, and Brandon Udel were below average in both.
  • I don’t know what it is about Nebraska, but two of Elijah Johnson’s 3 best defensive games (of those I’ve charted) have come against the Cornhuskers.
  • Brady Morningstar was great in the first game, but poor this game. (Sorry, I’ve got no explanation.)
  • The biggest change in Nebraska’s numbers from last game to this one was in the “Team” defense line. Basically, Kansas missed open shots last game, and made them yesterday.

Finally, the fraction of forced turnovers for each team that were solo efforts (my hypothesis being that good defensive teams depend on teamwork, and so will have fewer solo forced turnovers)…

  • Kansas: 3 of 11 (27%)
  • Nebraska: 5 of 11 (45%)

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