Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Kansas@Texas Tech

[For explanation of what’s below, check out the original Project Defensive Score Sheet post.]

This one will be quick, as it wasn’t a very intriguing game, and I’ve got a busy day. Here’s the table, notes after the break.


My thoughts…

  • As usual, the better defensive team used teamwork more often when creating turnovers. Only 2 of KU’s 11 forced turnovers (18%) were solo efforts, caused by a single player, whereas 4 of Texas Tech’s 7 (57%) were solo.
  • Josh Selby had a great night, at least effort-wise. Besides the stats tracked above, he also ended up in the crowd on three other occasions, after deflecting Red Raider passes.
  • I am not surprised to see Markieff Morris at the top of the Jayhawks section, and Elijah Johnson at the bottom. I haven’t compiled the numbers yet, but I’m fairly sure that’s where they’ll end up when viewing all the games as a whole.
  • The spread between Kansas’s best and worst defensive ratings (among those with 10+ minutes) was much larger (17.5) than the spread for Texas Tech (9.9).
  • Mike Singletary and Robert Lewandowski didn’t get much help trying to handle Thomas Robinson and the Morris twins. They had a lot of field goals allowed (DFGM) where there were no other Tech defenders anywhere close to to the player with the ball. It was especially striking at the start of the game, as even the announcer mentioned it.
  • Jeff Withey racked up those miserable numbers mostly at the end of the game, with the scrubs in. I’m not sure if that mitigates it (because he had to cover for his poor defensive teammates) or makes it worse (because he allowed points to poor opponent players).
  • I didn’t keep track of good and bad looks this time, but check out how many of Texas Tech’s defensive possessions were credited to “Team.” Kansas got a lot of open looks.


  1. Having done a few of these now myself, there is one particular type of play that I keep going back and forth on how to classify.

    How do you treat plays where the offensive player drives past his initial defender to the basket? Do you assign the result to the initial defender (or split it if someone comes over to help) or since they weren't involved in the actual shot attempt itself do you assign it elsewhere?

  2. Great question. And my unsatisfying answer is: it depends.

    If a player has his man completely beat, but a help defender steps up and forces a miss, the help defender gets credit for the forced miss.

    On the other hand, if a player has his man completely beat, and ends up scoring, the initial defender gets either full or partial credit. It's kind of a judgment call, depending on the positioning and effort of the help defender.

    Finally, there are some cases where a player has his defender beat, but then a help defender gets in his way, and slows him up enough that he doesn't make it all the way to the basket on the initial drive. Then the help defender becomes the new primary defender, and if the player scores after that, full blame goes to the (former) help defender.

    It's all extremely subjective, but essentially I try to assign blame, not just record who the nearest defender was. For example, if a perimeter player doesn't box out or follow his man, and his man gets an offensive rebound and put back, with nobody else around, I blame that on the initial defender (not on "Team").