Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Week 7

Texas was pounded last week by North Carolina. While it might not be fun, I think it is worth deconstructing this game a bit to better understand just what happened. In this short holiday edition of Inside the Numbers, I take a detailed look at the Texas vs. North Carolina game.

The Week In Review

Background information on the statistics is posted here and here.

TEXAS vs NORTH CAROLINA

CATEGORY

TEXAS

NORTH CAROLINA

DIFFERENCE

FGA

69

63

6

FTA

9

31

-22

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

73.3

77.7

-4.5

Off Rebs

17

22

-5

TOs

13

13

0

ORB - TO

4

9

-5

TS%

0.430

0.652

-0.222

ORB%

39%

56%

TO%

19%

19%

Points/100

91

119

Despite rebounding over half of the available offensive rebounds, North Carolina didn't really enjoy as large of an advantage in total shots (FGA + 0.475 x FTA) as you might expect. This is in part because one of the few bright spots for Texas in the game was that Texas struck back and earned extra shots on the offensive glass. Additionally, there just were not a lot of rebounds to fight over when North Carolina was on offense. So while it certainly isn't good that Texas only had a 44% defensive rebounding percentage, it didn't turn out to matter very much in this game.

This game came down to true shooting percentage. Texas' true shooting percentage was low (0.430), and North Carolina's was high (0.651). Texas struggled to create good offensive opportunities against North Carolina. This isn't all that surprising -- North Carolina is the #8 rated defense in the country according to the kenpom ratings. North Carolina blocked an estimated 13.6% of Texas' two point attempts. Compare this with Texas' season average of having approximately 8% of their two point attempts blocked. Additionally, North Carolina's perimeter defense generally was able to disrupt the flow of the Texas offense. Ball pressure prevented Texas from getting much out of their offensive sets; the quick hitting screens just weren't there. North Carolina has some really gifted players, and they play sound defense. Texas' total inability to break down this defense resulted in only 9 free throw attempts. Texas managed a respectable percentage from three, hitting 9-25 (36%) from beyond the arc. On two point shots Texas hit only 34%. They managed just 39% on their unblocked two point attempts. Texas couldn't get to the rim, was good but not great from three, and had to try to make their points on two point jump shots. No offense can survive on two point jump shots.

As for North Carolina's offensive performance, there are two things to note. First, they shot 31 free throw attempts. They didn't actually hurt Texas that much from the floor, managing a 0.468 effective field goal percentage. But they got many trips to the line, and hit 74% of their free throw attempts. Leading the charge was Harrison Barnes, who made 7 of 8 free throws. Texas as a team was only 6 for 9 from the line.

The second thing to note about North Carolina's offense is that Harrison Barnes played the best game of his college career. Barnes had an extremely high 5.9 points above median, with only one of his made field goals being assisted. While there is nothing wrong with scoring off of assists, Barnes was able to create his own offense all game against Texas. The table below shows his distribution of shots in the Texas game. In the game preview, I noted that Barnes has done most of his damage as a catch-and-shoot three point man this season. In the game against Texas, we didn't see this at all. None of Barnes' points came on catch and shoot three point shots. 60% of his field goal attempts were two point jump shots, and he hit 55.6% of them. This is a very high field goal percentage for two point jump shots. Going into the Texas game, Barnes' shooting percentage on two point jump shots was 34%.

Harrison Barnes

Type

FG%

% total shots

% assisted

Dunk

100.0%

6.7%

100.0%

Layup

50.0%

13.3%

0.0%

Tip

100.0%

6.7%

0.0%

2pt Jumper

55.6%

60.0%

0.0%

3pt Jumper

50.0%

13.3%

0.0%

There were a few individual bright spots for Texas in this game. As awiggo pointed out his his post game writeup, Jonathan Holmes, Sheldon McClellan, and Jaylen Bond each had decent games. Holmes and McClellan had points above median (PAM) totals of 4.5 and 3.1, respectively. The only other Longhorn with a PAM greater than 0 was Sterling Gibbs, with 1.2. Bond continued to be a monster on the glass. He pulled down an estimated 31% of the defensive rebounds and 23% of the offensive rebounds when he was in the game.

Next week I will recap the Rice game, and look ahead to the Big 12 season.

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