Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Week 13

Sheldon McClellan's jump shot made a brief appearance this week at the Erwin Center. - USA TODAY Sports

Will Texas make the NIT? I don't mean this question in the "is Texas going to miss the NCAA tournament and fall to the NIT?" sort of way; I am asking, is Texas good enough to make the NIT? NIT Bracketology is a bit less popular than the NCAA tournament variety, but this recent effort from John Templeton's Big Apple Buckets blog takes a crack at forecasting the field. Texas is not in the projected bracket. He will put a new projection out in a couple of weeks.

For those who don't know much about the NIT, it is a 32 team tournament involving teams that do not make the 68 team NCAA field. It is sort of like a dance for the less cool kids that takes place in a church gym. The basketball is still pretty good. Last season Stanford won the NIT championship, beating Minnesota in the final game.

If Texas misses the NIT, there is still the College Basketball Invitational tournament, known as the CBI. The CBI is a 16 team tournament for teams that didn't make the NCAA tournament or the NIT. If the NCAA tournament is the Homecoming dance, and the NIT is a CYO event that takes place the weekend before, the CBI is kind of like skipping both dances and meeting your friends at Denny's, ordering the Moons Over My Hammy, and then throwing up in the parking lot. The final four teams in last season's CBI were Pittsburgh, Butler, Washington State, and Oregon State. Pitt ultimately beat WSU in the final, which is a best of three series.

This week's Inside the Numbers looks at the three Texas games played in the last week.

The Week In Review

Background information on the statistics is posted here, here, and here.

TEXAS (57) vs KANSAS STATE (83)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

K-STATE

DIFFERENCE

FGA

46

63

-17

FTA

23

21

2

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

56.9

73.0

-16.1

Off Rebs

9

14

-5

TOs

18

6

12

ORB - TO

-9

8

-17

TS%

0.501

0.569

-0.068

ORB%

31%

40%

TO%

27%

9%

Points/100 Poss

86

128

You have to admit, what Kansas State did in this game was pretty impressive. The Wildcats protected the ball, only turning it over in 9 percent of their possessions, and rebounded 40 percent of their misses. They also turned the game into a layup line, getting 40 percent of their field goal attempts at the rim, and connecting on 72 percent from in close. Bruce Weber's team has been a jump shooting team all season, but they weren't a jump shooting team against the Horns. In addition to providing a free path to the rim for K-State, the Longhorns only blocked a single shot.

Another remarkable thing about this game was the balance of the Kansas State offense. Thomas Gipson had 6.0 Points Above Median (PAM). No other player had a PAM greater than three, while only two of the 14 players who played had a PAM less than zero. It was a balanced and relentless assault on the basket; only Angel Rodriguez shot the ball poorly, and he more than made up for it with his ridiculous seven percent turnover rate. (When a point guard turns the ball over in less than ten percent of his possessions, it is a big deal.)

Texas' true shooting percentage wasn't bad in this game. A big help was that the Longhorns went 17-23 from the free throw line. But Rick Barnes' offense was undermined by turnovers, with Ioannis Papapetrou (TO%=37%), Javan Felix (TO%=33%), and Demarcus Holland (TO%=43%) having the most difficultly hanging onto the ball.

The lone bright spot for Texas was Jaylen Bond, who pulled down 33 percent of the available offensive rebounds while on the floor and had a PAM of 4.4. Bond was 4-6 from the floor, and was 4-4 from the free throw line.

The total collapse of the Texas defense is what made this game so ugly. Texas let Kansas State shoot 18-25 on attempts at the rim. The Longhorn defense is at its best when Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh are playing significant minutes, but the two only combined to play half the game in Manhattan. Jonathan Holmes is also one of the better defenders for this team, and has been Texas' best rebounder this season, but he didn't play due to injury. Julien Lewis and Demarcus Holland are Texas' best perimeter defenders. Lewis logged serious minutes in this game, but Holland only played 12.

TEXAS (60) vs TCU (43)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

TCU

DIFFERENCE

FGA

44

52

-8

FTA

17

15

2

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

52.1

59.1

-7.0

Off Rebs

7

14

-7

TOs

11

13

-2

ORB - TO

-4

1

-5

TS%

0.576

0.364

0.212

ORB%

27%

38%

TO%

20%

22%

Points/100 Poss

107

74

Don't let the low score fool you. The Texas offense was effective in this game. The score was kept down by the slow pace of play, with Texas only getting 56 possessions. This is where tempo-free stats, like points per possession, come in handy. The Longhorns scored 85 points earlier this season when they played North Carolina. 85 is a lot more than the 60 points Texas scored against TCU, but those 85 points were scored in an 81 possession game. Against TCU, Texas scored 1.07 points per possession, while against the Tar Heels Texas scored 1.05 points per possession.

TCU managed to attempt 7 more shots than the Longhorns, creating extra chances on the offensive glass. Rick Barnes' team enjoyed a large true shooting advantage, which was more than enough to give Texas the blowout victory.

Texas' efficient scoring was mostly due to the contributions of Sheldon McClellan (PAM=5.0), Conner Lammert (PAM=4.2), Ioannis Papapetrou (PAM=3.4), and Javan Felix (PAM=2.1). The Longhorns did most of the damage from two point range, connecting on 73% of their shot attempts at the rim and hitting a robust 45% of their two point jump shots. McClellan and Papapetrou both knocked down mid-range shots, with McClellan going 2-4 on two point jumpers, while Papapetrou hit 3-6 from this distance.

The Longhorns defense successfully controlled the paint. TCU only connected on 44 percent of their shot attempts at the rim. Cameron Ridley did good work on defense, blocking approximately one out of every five TCU twos while he was in the game. Additionally, 44 percent of Trent Johnson's teams shots were two point jumpers, and they hit a typical 35 percent of these shots.

And hey, apparently Bruce Bowen plays golf with Conner Lammert's dad. I had never heard that before(*).

(* I have heard that before.)

TEXAS (58) vs WEST VIRGINIA (60)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

WVU

DIFFERENCE

FGA

60

39

21

FTA

16

29

-13

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

67.6

52.8

14.8

Off Rebs

17

6

11

TOs

15

16

-1

ORB - TO

2

-10

12

TS%

0.429

0.568

-0.139

ORB%

43%

24%

TO%

23%

26%

Points/100 Poss

88

96

Texas attempted 14.8 extra "shots" in this game, thanks to a significant effort on both the offensive and defensive glass. But West Virginia's true shooting percentage was just enough to make up for this difference (recall that a 0.01 differential in TS% is worth approximately 1.3 extra shots), and Bob Huggins' team won by two points.

A reoccurring theme of this season is that Texas has trouble generating easy shots at the rim. This game was no different, as the Longhorns only attempted 20 percent of their shots at the bucket. Not going to the basket also limited trips to the free throw line, meaning that Rick Barnes' team was going to live and die with the jump shot. They died. Texas went 5-20 from three point range and 9-28 on two point jump shots. Ioannis Papapetrou led Texas with a PAM of 1.4, while Jaylen Bond had the next highest PAM, at 0.2. When only two players can manage a PAM greater than zero, and neither player cracks two points above median, it is not good.

West Virginia's relatively high true shooting percentage is due to two things. The Mountaineer's took approximately three free throws for every four field goal attempts, which drives up true shooting percentage quite a bit. Additionally, WVU hit 9-17 on two point jump shots. Bob Huggins' team hasn't shot the ball very well this season, but just about anything can happen in such a small number of shots. Terry Henderson (PAM=4.2) and Deniz Kilicli (PAM=4.0) both gave the Longhorns trouble. Henderson was 2-2 from beyond the arc, and Kilicli went 2-3 on shots at the rim and 4-5 from mid-range.

Rick Barnes gave Connor Lammert more minutes than he gave the combination of Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh, apparently choosing Lammert's superior offense over the stronger defensive contributions of his two shot-blocking centers. Lammert did a nice job on the offensive glass, and didn't turn the ball over, but the freshman from San Antonio struggled with his shot. Lammert went 1-5 from the field, and his PAM of -2.8 was the worst total of any of the Texas players. I don't like to retroactively second-guess playing time decisions; I generally don't care for Monday morning quarterbacking, which is boosted by the benefit of hindsight. Lammert has played well this year, and has earned some playing time. The problem is that the Texas defense suffers when both Ridley and Ibeh are on the bench. I am not sure that more playing time for the two Texas centers would have mattered, but given how hard it can be on offense, it is very difficult for the Longhorns to win when they only block two shots.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Burnt Orange Nation

You must be a member of Burnt Orange Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Burnt Orange Nation. You should read them.

Join Burnt Orange Nation

You must be a member of Burnt Orange Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Burnt Orange Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker