Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Week 2

Demarcus Holland is good off the bounce. - Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Longhorns finish the early portion of the schedule, and prepare for a difficult stretch.

The Texas basketball season is just starting to heat up. After starting off the year 4-0, beating three solid low-major teams and one lousy one, the competition is about to get much stiffer.

The Longhorns next face high-scoring BYU as a part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Cougars are currently averaging 100 points per game, which is the third highest scoring average in the country. By Ken Pomeroy's numbers, BYU has the fastest adjusted tempo in the country and BYU offensive possessions last an average of 12.9 seconds (only Iowa shoots faster on average).

My numbers at Hoop-Math paint a similar picture. BYU currently has attempted 37 percent of its shots in transition (Hoop-Math leader board), which places the Cougars in the top ten in D-I. Fans of offense are advised to watch BYU's match-up with Iowa State tonight. Some points will probably be scored.

BYU plays at this crazy pace, and yet almost never turns the ball over. The Cougar's 12 percent turnover rate is among the lowest in the country. Of course, they shoot so quickly that there is seldom time to turn it over.

Should Texas manage to beat the Cougars (and this would undoubtedly be an upset), it would most likely set up a game with Wichita State, a tough and physical team you might remember from last season's Final Four. The other possible opponent would be the somewhat less scary DePaul.

And then of course Vanderbilt (on paper a pretty even match for the Horns), Temple (a well-coached team on the road), North Carolina, and Michigan State all remain on the non-conference schedule.

So with such difficult opposition, we will soon know just how much this young Texas team has improved.

The Week In Review

All of the background information on the statistics is presented here, here, and here.

TEXAS vs STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

CATEGORY

TEXAS

SFA

DIFFERENCE

FGA

51

57

-6

FTA

24

14

10

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

62.4

63.7

-1.3

Off Rebs

12

10

2

TOs

16

13

3

ORB - TO

-4

-3

1

TS%

0.577

0.487

0.090

ORB%

43%

26%

TO%

24%

20%

Points/100

108

93

Texas played a tight game with Stephen F. Austin, before pulling away in the final two minutes. The Longhorns won this game by building a substantial true shooting percentage advantage, which was more than enough to offset SFA's advantage in the number of shots attempted (here "shots" refers to the composite number of FGA + 0.475xFTA).

The Longhorns' efficient shooting was driven primarily by four players. Demarcus Holland led Texas with 6.7 Points Above Median (PAM). Holland did his damage attacking the basket, going 6-7 on shots at the rim. Only one of these buckets at the rim was assisted, and five of the Texas sophomore's layups came in half-court situations against a more or less set defense. While people often talk about Holland's limits on offense, he has shown the ability to get to the rim during his time at Texas, and on the season roughly half of his shot attempts come as either layups or dunks. No one will mistake him for an effective perimeter shooter at this point in his career, but when he puts the ball on the deck good things happen. When it comes to offense he is the anti Julien Lewis.

Texas also got major contributions from Jonathan Holmes (PAM of 5.3), Javan Felix (PAM of 5.0), and Connor Lammert (PAM of 4.4). Holmes and Lammert are both off to a great start this season, and Felix is off to a solid start as well.

Deshaunt Walker gave Texas the most trouble, with a PAM of 8.6, largely due to going 6-9 from beyond the arc. No one else on SFA hurt the Horns.

TEXAS vs HOUSTON BAPTIST

CATEGORY

TEXAS

HBU

DIFFERENCE

FGA

67

51

16

FTA

40

29

11

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

86

64.8

21.2

Off Rebs

20

8

12

TOs

9

16

-7

ORB - TO

11

-8

19

TS%

0.517

0.471

0.047

ORB%

45%

21%

TO%

12%

22%

Points/100

119

84

This game, on the other hand, was a rather straightforward beat down. Texas beat up on the Huskies in every way you can. On the boards (the Longhorns tracked down 45 percent of their own misses, compared with 21 percent for the Huskies), with turnovers (Texas only coughed up the ball in 12 percent of its possessions, while Houston Baptist lost possession 22 percent of the time), and with shooting.

The Longhorns were 11-25 from three point range, 11-18 on shots at the rim, and attempted 40 free throws. HBU was 9-19 on shots at the rim, while Jonathan Holmes blocked two layups and Conner Lammert and Prince Ibeh each blocked one. HBU shot a good percentage from three, going 5-9 from beyond the arc, but the damage was limited. HBU couldn't do anything in transition or in the half-court, while Texas scored with ease.

The only black mark for Texas was poor free throw shooting, mostly due to the fact that Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh combined to go 5-18 from the stripe. Ridley's free throw shot is still a little bit flat. He just needs to get the ball up a little bit higher and he will start making them. Ibeh, on the other hand, seems to shoot free throws almost randomly. Figuring out where one of his shots will end up requires working out solutions to the Schrödinger Equation.

Lammert tore up the Huskies with a PAM of 6.4, while Felix chipped in three points above median. On the season, Lammert leads Texas with a PAM of 18.2, while Holmes is second with a PAM of 15.6. If these two guys keep this up, it will make me rethink my position that they shouldn't be on the floor together; when you are scoring like that you can afford to sacrifice a little rim protection.

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