Texas vs Texas A&M, Kansas St. GameFlows

Sorry for the delay on these. Hopefully I'll get the Connecticut spreadsheet done before the Texas Tech game. I'll start with the Texas A&M overtime victory.

Texas A&M play-by-play

Link to A&M GameFlow



Player (min) +/- +/- per min
G. Johnson (33) +19 +0.58
J. Brown (29) +14 +0.48
D. Pittman (28) +10 +0.36
J. Lucas (13) +8 +0.62
D. James (40) +2 +0.05
A. Bradley (29) -1 -0.03
A. Wangmene (10) -1 -0.10
M. Hill (2) -2 -1.00
J. Mason (8) -6 -0.75
D. Balbay (23) -7 -0.30
J. Hamilton (10) -11 -1.10


A&M notes (after the jump)

  • +/- analysis: Obviously, Gary Johnson and his eye-opening +19 in a game that went to overtime stands out more than anything else, to go with J'Covan Brown's +14 and Dexter Pittman's +10. This is Jordan Hamilton's 2nd consecutive game of having the worst +/- in the game, and it's no shock considering his play (along with Rick Barnes short leash on him, giving Jordan just 10 minutes in this game). Dogus Balbay along with the rest of the starters had an awful 1st half, but Balbay's overall +/- is worst of them because Jai Lucas was on the court with the other starters when we made our 2nd half run. He was on the court for the entire overtime, so there's no questioning his value in this game.
  • Gary Johnson: I'm going to jump on the "Johnson should start" bandwagon (more on this below). It was interesting to see Barnes immediately insert him for Justin Mason to start overtime. Our first overtime lineup was Damion James, Johnson, Avery Bradley, Pittman, and Balbay. I would not mind seeing this starting lineup for the rest of the season. By subbing Johnson for Mason, you add a capable offensive player, a tough, pressuring post defender and bigger body, and a quality rebounder, while not losing much of the hustle points you get from Mason, as Gary's game includes some intangibles also.
  • Dexter Pittman: I was shocked to see his +/- this high given his horrible box score (just 4 points, 0-5 shooting, just 2 total rebounds [both offensive -- yes, he had ZERO defensive rebounds in 28 minutes!]). After the game, my first thought regarding Pittman was, "looks like Brian Davis destroyed him again".  He was exposed as a big, but soft player that can be rendered completely ineffective by a smaller, but beefy player that can hold his ground like Davis. Defensively, his 6 blocks probably explained why we were still productive with him on the court.
  • J'Covan Brown: Looks like we'll have to bring back the "Good Connor/Bad Connor" with Brown. In this game, it was good Brown for sure. It's already been discussed that Barnes should've inserted him earlier for Lucas late in the 2nd half. His game-tying floater was silky smooth as usual with J'Covan. If you look on the spreadsheet, he was the PG when we started our 2nd half run. Good move by Barnes to put him in for Pittman in overtime. Talk about a significant FT shooting upgrade (from 55% to 93.5%).
  • Guard pairs: This is something I'd like to take a look at, since there's a large sentiment against Balbay and Mason playing simultaneously. Is this really a bad guard pair compared to other possible guard combinations? Well lets look at the spreadsheet and see which guard pairs did the best. The numbers might be a little misleading since 3 guards might be on the court at times. I'm going to list the best and worst three pairs here (candidates included are Balbay, Bradley, Brown, Lucas, and Mason):

    Best three pairs:
    Brown, Lucas: +8
    Bradley, Brown: +7
    Bradley, Lucas: +5

    Worst three pairs:
    Balbay, Mason: -8
    Bradley, Mason: -8
    Balbay, Bradley: -7 (-12 in regulation, +5 in overtime)

    Looks like Mason and Balbay is the main culprit here. They appear in our worst pairs, and in none of our best pairs. At least for this game, our offensive-oriented guards appear to have been more effective. I'll try to go back and do this for the past of the games to come up with a better sample size.
  • Pittman/guard pairs: Another interesting pair to look at is how Pittman performs with various guards on the court. A quick look at the spreadsheet and we have:

    Pittman paired up with:
    Lucas: +13
    Brown: +11
    Bradley: +5
    Balbay: -3
    Mason: -5

    Shocking. Pittman's positive +/- production was generated with having guards on the court that were a threat to shoot and/or create. Lets move on to our first loss of the season:


Kansas St. play-by-play

Link to Kansas St. GameFlow


Player (min) +/- +/- per min
D. Pittman (16) +9 +0.56
J. Mason (28) +7 +0.25
A. Wangmene (2) 0 0.00
M. Hill (1) -1 -1.00
D. James (35) -5 -0.14
J. Brown (15) -5 -0.33
J. Lucas (6) -5 -0.83
D. Balbay (23) -6 -0.26
C. Chapman (7) -7 -1.00
A. Bradley (29) -9 -0.31
J. Hamilton (17) -9 -0.53
G. Johnson (21) -14 -0.67


KSU notes...

  • +/- analysis: Nice for Hamilton to not have the worst +/- this time. Sarcasm aside, he was terrible, and Barnes' leash on him is shortening and will continue to as its suggested Rick will shorten hihs rotation (or at least increase the minutes of his primary players). Crazy turn around for Johnson to go from having the best to worst +/- in a span of two games. Looking at the spreadsheet, you'll notice he was on the court for our three worst rotations. Lets take a look at these three rotations and see if we can spot any sort of a pattern (+/- in parenthesis):

    Balbay, Bradley, Hamilton, James, Johnson (-6)
    Lucas, Bradley, Hamilton, James, Johnson (-5)
    Balbay, Brown, Hamilton, James, Johnson (-5)

    Balbay, Mason, Hamilton, James, Johnson (+5)

    Interesting rotations by Barnes. All four of these lineups are real undersized, with Hamilton, James, and Johnson being the common denominators here. I think this rotation can work against certain teams. Kansas St. is probably not one of them given their high offensive rebounding rate. Is Johnson playing center here?
  • The Balbay/Mason pair: As we can see here, simply changing the guards to Balbay and Mason gave you a positive rotation in this game. While the Balbay/Mason combo doesn't work with Pittman on the court, you can imagine why it would with Pittman not on the court. You have Hamilton, James, and Johnson all quick, athletic, and capable of scoring, to makeup for the lack of offense you'd get from Balbay and Mason. Both Balbay and Mason excel at driving to the hole, and without Pittman and his defender clogging the lane, you're more apt to getting a positive play out of it. Hamilton, James, and Johnson are all capable rebounders.

    With Pittman out, it was interesting that Barnes didn't go with the backup trio Wangmene, Hill, or Chapman here and went small with Johnson at center. The other guard pairs failed probably due to defensive woes. Mason was real solid in this game as his +/- shows.
  • Dexter Pittman: Another underwhelming box score from Pittman, and yet another surprisingly high +/-. This time he led the entire team with a +9. It's good that the team is still a big positive when he's on the floor. Now if we could only just find a way to neutralize the foul magnet stuck on him. He only played 6 more minutes than the Wangmene/Chapman/Hill combo. It gets worse in the UConn game.
  • Justin Mason: Remember the midway +/- season totals? We were surprised to see his high +/- per minute. Doesn't look so fluky after this game. An eye-popping +7 in 28 minutes is damn impressive in a loss like this. I would be happy to have this Mason get big minutes if he can drive and just make some free throws. Defense was very impressive. Still, the Varez Ward injury looks a lot bigger than I imagined. I was looking forward to more playing time for Brown and Lucas. Now, I wish we had Ward back. He's Justin Mason with balls of steel and a better offensive game. We will be damn good again next year and despite Mason graduating - very nasty at the guard position if Ward recovers and Bradley stays with a hopefully mature Brown.
  • Guard pairs: Lets take a look at the best guard pairs.

    Best three pairs:
    Balbay, Mason: +9
    Bradley, Brown: +1
    Bradley, Mason: +1

    Worst three pairs:
    Bradley, Lucas: -5
    Balbay, Bradley: -6
    Balbay, Brown: -7

    It was all about the defensive guards in this game. Not surprising considering how Pullen and Clemente were shut down by these guys. Pittman only playing 16 minutes was also another reason for this pair flourishing, which supports the argument that this pair can co-exist. However, it was the original starting 5 rotation - James, Pittman, Balbay, Mason, Bradley that fueled the 2nd half comeback that eventually gave us the lead with a sizzling +8. Unfortunately, Barnes wasn't able to go back to this rotation the rest of the 2nd half. Our next mini-run that led to us tying the game had Balbay and Mason on the court but not Pittman.
  • Pittman/guard pairs: Finally, lets see which guards played the best with Pittman.

    Pittman paired up with:
    Bradley: +10
    Balbay: +9
    Mason: +6
    Brown: +1
    Lucas: never paired up

    We didn't get to see Dexy with Lucas at all, and seldom with Brown. It's clear we had good results with Bradley and our defensive stalwarts in Balbay and Mason. I think the Balbay/Mason duo shutting down the KSU guards is what made their +/- so high more than the offensive production.

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