Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Week 15

I am not an unfeeling robot, although I sometimes may seem to be one. The Texas loss to Baylor was hard to take, and has put me in a foul mood. That accounts for why I may have gotten a little bit snippy in the comment section of Peter's post game recap. Baylor seemed to be self-destructing in the first half, and Texas was on a roll. I was quite happy about the lead Texas had at the half. But in the second half Baylor started to take care of the ball, switched from zone defense to man-to-man, and became far more aggressive on both ends of the court. And you know what happened the rest of the way.

With two losses this week, Texas now sits with the rest of the teams on the NCAA tournament bubble. Texas does get several more opportunities to improve their resume, with a game at Kansas, as well as a good shot at a rematch with Baylor, Missouri, or Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. But truthfully, by losing to Baylor last Monday, Texas will probably need some help from other bubble teams to get to the tournament, as these upcoming games will not be at the Erwin Center. Ryan Clark of Longhorn Road Trip has been writing an excellent series of posts that follow the status of Texas' competition this year for the final few NCAA tournament spots. I read these every week, and I urge you to do so as well if you want to get more insight into what the Longhorn's chances are to make the NCAA tournament.

In this week's Inside the Numbers, I get back to basics, and focus on the games. It's all you can do after a tough loss.

The Week In Review

Background information on the statistics is posted here and here.

TEXAS vs OKLAHOMA STATE

CATEGORY

TEXAS

OK ST

DIFFERENCE

FGA

57

41

16

FTA

18

56

-38

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

65.6

67.6

-2.0

Off Rebs

10

5

5

TOs

15

8

7

ORB - TO

-5

-3

-2

TS%

0.595

0.666

-0.071

ORB%

30%

22%

TO%

21%

11%

Points/100 poss

111

127

There honestly isn't that much to say about this game. Sure I could spend time writing about turnovers and how Oklahoma State took care of the ball while Texas was a little careless, or the low number of offensive rebounds in this game, but that would kind of miss the point. There wasn't any way that these factors were going to matter in a game where Oklahoma State took 38 more free throw attempts than Texas. In a way, this game is just the mirror image of Texas' win from a week ago against Kansas State. The biggest difference is that Texas and Oklahoma State both shot the ball very well from the floor. I am having a really hard time envisioning scenarios where one team gets 38 more free throw attempts and still loses the game.

Aside from a few extra turnovers, the Texas offense was pretty good. As a team, Texas scored 111 points/100 possessions, which is a pretty good total. A 0.595 true shooting percentage is enough to win most games. Myck Kabongo led Texas with 8.2 Points Above Median (PAM). Sheldon McClellan and J'Covan Brown chipped in with 6.4 and 4.3 points above median, respectively.

Keiton Page had a hell of a game, with a PAM of 17.4. Let's have a look at how he did this, using the play-by-play statistics. In the table below, I compare his shooting distribution vs. Texas with his season average, taken from hoop-math.com. I have emphasized a few results in the table that I feel are of particular importance. We obviously need to start with the number of free throws. Page averages about 0.4 free throw attempts for every field goal attempt, but in this game he ended up shooting 20 free throws, leading to a FTA/FGA of 1.43. That is a really high total, clearly, and it is even more unusual for a player who doesn't go to the rim very much. We can see that Page's breakdown of shot locations wasn't all that different in this game compared with his season averages. But what was different was his shooting percentages. He hit 50% of his three point attempts and 75% of his two point jump shots. On the season, Page is making 42% of his two point jump shots and 35% of his attempts from three point range. It is also interesting that all of his made two point jump shots were assisted. This is also unusual, as normally about half of Page's made two point jump shots come off of assists.


Feb. 18
Season
FGA 14 301
TS% 0.851 0.574
%Shots at Rim 14% 10%
FG% at Rim 50% 63%
%Assisted at Rim 100% 32%
%Shots 2pt Jumpers 29% 24%
FG% 2pt Jumpers 75% 42%
%Assisted 2pt Jumpers 100% 47%
%Shots 3pt 57% 66%
FG% 3pt 50% 35%
%assisted 3pt 0% 66%
FTA/FGA 1.43 0.39
FT% 100% 86%




TEXAS vs BAYLOR

CATEGORY

TEXAS

BAYLOR

DIFFERENCE

FGA

52

55

-3

FTA

20

29

-9

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

61.5

68.8

-7.3

Off Rebs

9

15

-6

TOs

10

11

-1

ORB - TO

-1

4

-5

TS%

0.585

0.560

0.026

ORB%

32%

47%

TO%

16%

17%

Points/100 poss

115

119

Let's keep this really simple. Texas did three things poorly in this game, which led to the loss.

1. Texas didn't box out Quncy Acy. Acy had a great game, grabbing 8 offensive rebounds, or 26% of the available offensive rebounds when he was on the court. No other Bear who logged significant minutes had an offensive rebounding percentage greater than 10%. If Texas would have held Acy to 4 offensive rebounds, they would have most likely won, as it would have cut far enough into Baylor's 7.3 shot advantage to allow Texas' true shooting percentage advantage to win out. As I always say, a 0.01 differential in TS% is worth approximately 1.3 extra shots.

Texas might have won even if they would have only taken away 3 of Acy's offensive rebounds. So many of those rebounds resulted in easy points for Baylor. Acy racked up 7.4 points above median, mostly on putbacks, dunks, and free throws. So Texas had boxed out better on Acy, not only would they have cut into some of Baylor's shot advantage, but they would have neutralized one of Baylor's most efficient scorers.

2. Texas lost track of Brady Heslip. Heslip was 4 for 5 on three point shots, with a PAM of 7.2. Many of these open looks came on really bad defensive breakdowns by Texas.

3. Texas couldn't stay in front of Pierre Jackson, and sent him to the line 12 times. Jackson managed a PAM of 6.1. Jackson hit all 12 of his free throws. If he had not taken any shots from the floor, Jackson would have ended up with a PAM of 6.5, so his shots from the floor on the whole weren't much of a problem for Texas. It was the free throws. Jackson struggled with turnovers in the first half, but he played much better in the second half. He is a really tough player to contain.

Texas actually played pretty well offensively. They took care of the ball, with turnovers in only 16% of their possessions. Texas' true shooting percentage of 0.585 was spread pretty evenly over all of the players, as everyone who played significant minutes made positive contributions on the PAM statistic that I track.

Texas also defended well against Perry Jones, who ended up with a PAM of -6.2.

Yet another game where Texas failed to do the job on the defensive glass.

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