Basketball Stat Watch: Losing Trends

Earlier in the season AW listed 4 stats that would most accurately chart The Horns' success througout the season.  They were Free Throw Attempts, Rebounding Margin, Assist/Turnover Ratio, and Field Goal Percentage Defense.  I want to follow up on this statistical thread in a string of posts about statistical trends for this squad.  Today statistical trends in losses.

Texas has lost 5 games (Michigan State, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, and Villanova) and won 15.  8 of those 15 wins were played against legitimate opponents, and I've decided to stick with those, because I don't think this squad could have had a bad enough shooting percentage to lose to Texas State.  Here are some statistics that seem to be particularly worse in our losses than in our wins (stats from all overtime games have been normalized to reflect the extra minutes played):

In every loss, the Horns have shot below 41%.  In fact the Horns have only beaten Centenary when shooting below that mark.  Two of UT's worst wins have come close to 41%; we shot 42.37% against Baylor and 42.31% against Nebraska.

The correlation is fairly obvious here.  The better you shoot, the better you play.  This is compounded by our weakness down low, which denies us second chances at the basket, and our less than stellar defense, which forces us to shoot well to keep up with our opponents.

Rebounding in general is important, but offensive rebounds in particular show a stronger correlation to success for this squad.  Probably the three worst losses for the 'Horns (Gonzaga, Tennessee, and Villanova) were also the only three games where they had less than ten offensive rebounds.

Common failures to hold teams on the defensive end make each Texas possession that more important, so offensive rebounds are twice as important.

In every loss the Horns have failed to reach 12 assists, though they also didn't make 12 against Arkansas (11) and LSU (8).

I think assists are a sign of the offense clicking.  DJ Augustin is always a great distributor, but assists tend to go up when one player has particular offensive success, because the defensive will tend to shift toward him leaving open teammates for him to feed.

PB and AW have pointed out before that this team often lives and dies by the three, and it's reflected in the stats.  In 4 out of our 5 losses (OSU excepted) we've attempted 26 or more three pointers, whereas only against Nebraska and Baylor in our wins over legitimate opponents have we even reached 26 three point attempts.  On the other hand all of our losses have come when we've shot less than 37% from three, while LSU alone of the legitmate opponents we've defeated have held us below that mark.

When our opponents have more than 37 rebounds and shoot better than 36% from three they tend to beat us as well.

In every loss, the Horns have attempted at least 61 field goals, while they've only attempted 61 or more in two wins over legitimate opponents (Colorado and St. Johns).

I'm at a loss for why that is.  Anyone have any idea?

These are just some raw statistical trends.  I'll keep you updated as they play out in our future contests.  I hope this has been more exhaustive than exhausting

--AR--

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