Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Two Hours in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: J'Covan Brown #14 of the Texas Longhorns hides his head in his shirt on the court after losing to the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

About two hours is all it takes to get knocked out of the NCAA tournament. We all know this, but it is much more jarring when it happens to your team. I was at the game in Boston back in 1999 when Texas was knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Brian Cardinal and the Purdue Boilermakers. Two hours in the Fleet Center, with snow on the ground outside. It happened again in 2010, in 2005, and in 2001.

I will never get used to it.

A year ago, Peter asked me to become a contributor for Burnt Orange Nation. I have had a lot of fun with all of you this season, although to be honest I would have had more fun if the team had been better. But that is just how it goes. Next year, the team should be better. And we will have more fun.

After the jump, I will review the game against Cincinnati.

Game Review

Background information on the statistics is posted here and here.

TEXAS vs CINCINNATI

CATEGORY

TEXAS

UC

DIFFERENCE

FGA

57

59

-2

FTA

14

16

-2

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

63.6

66.6

-3

Off Rebs

10

12

-2

TOs

11

9

2

ORB - TO

-1

3

-4

TS%

0.463

0.488

-0.025

ORB%

26%

33%

TO%

17%

14%

Points/100 poss

91

102

Cincinnati took more shots than Texas, and was more efficient with their shots. That gets them the win. Not that they were very efficient with their shots, as a 0.488 true shooting percentage is not particularly good. Texas was even worse, with a 0.463 true shooting percentage. And the Longhorns weren't able to make it up on the offensive glass, grabbing only 26% of the available rebounds. Cincinnati didn't do much on the offensive boards either, getting only 33% of the available offensive rebounds.

The offensive rebounding numbers in this game capture just how hard it is to predict how a basketball game will go. Prior to the game, about the only thing I was certain of was that both teams would get a lot of offensive rebounds. That is because over the season, both Texas and Cincinnati have been good offensive rebounding teams, and bad defensive rebounding teams. It turns out that I shouldn't have been very certain about this. For Texas, Clint Chapman deserves a lot of credit for keeping Cincinnati off of the offensive glass. Chapman rebounded 39% of the available defensive rebounds while on the floor. For Cincinnati, Yancy Gates had a defensive rebounding percentage of 27%, and point guard Cashmere Wright went to the defensive glass to collect 24% of the available rebounds while on the floor.

If you want to understand why Texas lost this game, you really have to look at the true shooting percentage of 0.463. That is not a good number. There were two things that made this number so low. Texas shot a really low percentage on shot attempts at the rim. Texas only made 35% of their attempts at the rim, which is a staggeringly low total. On the season, Texas has made over 60% of shot attempts at the rim. Additionally, Cincinnati was able to avoid fouling Texas, and Texas didn't get to the free throw line at anything close to their normal rate.

Defensively, Texas played really well. Cincinnati only took 27% of their shot attempts from three point range, and didn't really hurt Texas on the offensive glass. If you would have told me those two things would happen before the game, and that additionally Texas would only turn the ball over in 17% of their possessions, I would have assumed Texas would have ended up winning. I just wouldn't have expected Texas to miss so many shots from in close.

But that is what happened. Texas didn't convert on shots from in close, and they lost the game. It was a new and original way to lose.

As for Points Above Median (PAM), no one on either team had a very strong game. Well, that isn't entirely true. Julien Lewis had a PAM of 4.4, and J'Covan Brown had a PAM of 2.8. Unfortunately, Myck Kabongo and Jaylen Bond had PAM totals of -4.7 and -3.8, respectively. Neither one of these guys made a single shot from the floor. It happens, but it is too bad it had to happen in a game that Texas could have won. For Cincinnati, Cashmere Wright had a PAM of 2.4 and Yancy Gates had a PAM of 1.7.

Hook 'em. We will be back.

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