Texas Longhorns Basketball: Inside the Numbers, Week 17

Texas took the ball to the hoop against Baylor. - USA TODAY Sports

Texas won two of three this week. Inside the numbers takes a look.

I didn't want karma to come back on us.

-- Sooner forward Romero Osby, on why he scolded teammate Amath M'Baye for throwing the "Horns down" sign with 7:54 remaining in the second half. (Houston Chronicle, February 27, 2013)

Romero Osby is a terrific basketball player, but his role as spiritual advisor for his teammates might be more important. His concern for Amath M'Baye's fate in the circle of reincarnation is admirable. Some nights, the circle spins terrifyingly fast. Osby knows this.

Minutes after M'Baye challenged the basketball gods, sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung reported that Lon Kruger urged his team to "finish with class," suggesting that he shared Osby's goal of asceticism. Of course, there was a basic assumption in what he said -- that the game was over.

It was not over.

What happened next is hard to describe. For the next half hour, the Longhorns played without fear -- angry, aggressive, powerful -- while total panic engulfed Oklahoma. Kruger's team came unglued, with Sam Grooms completely rattled by the Texas press. Enough Sooner tears were produced to fill many an IV bag; Peter may drink the sweet-yet-salty elixir, but I prefer to shoot it straight into my heart.

Still, a little luck was needed. A little luck is always needed in times like these, and Myck Kabongo delivered.

Yea, that might be exactly what karma looks like.

The Week In Review

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

TEXAS (92) vs OKLAHOMA (86)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

OKLAHOMA

DIFFERENCE

FGA

58

57

1

FTA

35

27

8

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

74.6

69.8

4.8

Off Rebs

11

11

0

TOs

12

16

-4

ORB - TO

-1

-5

4

TS%

0.616

0.616

0.000

ORB%

32%

32%

TO%

16%

21%

Points/100 Poss

122

115

The focus of this game is the Texas comeback, and rightly so, but a few other remarkable things happened.

As our friend Scipio Tex would write, Myck Kabongo, take a bow. The Texas sophomore had one of the most impressive games for the Longhorns in recent memory. Kabongo led Texas with 12.1 Points Above Median (PAM) -- a staggeringly high single game result, led Texas by assisting on 36 percent of his teammates made field goals while in the game, led Texas with a 29 percent defensive rebounding percentage, and only turned the ball over in 17 percent of his possessions. It is hard to imagine a single player having a larger impact in a single game.

Another remarkable thing in this game: with both teams coming up even in true shooting percentage and rebounding, this game was ultimately decided by turnovers. The Longorns protected the ball like it was an urn full of the ashes of a dead uncle, while the Sooner... did not. Those four extra OU turnovers proved decisive. The Sooner goat was Sam Grooms, who turned the ball over in 40 percent of the possessions that ended with the ball in his hands.

Both teams scored like crazy in this game. Romero Osby, who joins Quincy Acy on my list of recent Big 12 opponents who to my surprise I both fear and respect, dropped a PAM of 10.7 on the Horns. Amath M'Baye chipped in a PAM of 5.4, while Steven Pledger did his standard routine going 6-12 from long range and posting a PAM of 3.6.

TEXAS (65) vs OKLAHOMA STATE (78)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

OKLAHOMA ST

DIFFERENCE

FGA

61

47

14

FTA

11

32

-21

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

66.2

62.2

4.0

Off Rebs

11

6

5

TOs

18

18

0

ORB - TO

-7

-12

5

TS%

0.491

0.627

-0.136

ORB%

28%

22%

TO%

25%

24%

Points/100 Poss

89

105

Oklahoma State won by building a huge true shooting percentage advantage. It would be silly to detail all of the ways that the Cowboys dominated this game. So instead, I will look at just three things:

1. OSU converted on 90 percent of their shots at the rim, while Texas made only 42 percent of their attempts from in close. Texas actually got to the rim a lot, attempting 39 percent of their shots on layups and dunks. While Myck Kabongo had a game he would just as soon forget, he did get to the rim, attempting six of his seven attempts from in close, but he made only two of these shots.

2. This game was decided by an unusually high number of live ball steals. Typically, after stealing a ball, teams try to score in transition, with 72 percent of the initial shot attempts after steals coming in transition in college hoops. And these are not surprisingly some of the highest percentage shots teams can take; across college basketball the effective field goal percentage on transition attempts off of steals is 62 percent. But transition attempts off of steals are rare; only 8 percent of initial shot attempts are transition attempts off of steals.

This game broke considerably from that mold. 17 percent of the Cowboys initial shots came in transition after live ball steals, while 18 percent of Texas' initial attempts occurred under the same circumstances. OSU managed an effective field goal percentage of 83 percent in these situations, while Texas only achieved an effective field goal percentage of 44 percent.

3. PAM leaders for Texas: Javan Felix, 4.9. Connor Lammert, 3.2. PAM leaders for Oklahoma: Phil Forte, 6.4. Markel Brown, 5.3.

TEXAS (79) vs BAYLOR (70)

CATEGORY

TEXAS

BAYLOR

DIFFERENCE

FGA

54

57

-3

FTA

25

22

3

FGA + 0.475 x FTA

65.9

67.5

-1.6

Off Rebs

11

11

0

TOs

8

8

0

ORB - TO

3

3

0

TS%

0.600

0.519

0.081

ORB%

38%

31%

TO%

13%

12%

Points/100 Poss

126

109

The Longhorns played an outstanding game. Texas protected the ball, did well on the glass, and built a substantial true shooting percentage advantage by dominating the area immediately under the basket at both ends of the floor. Only some hot outside shooting and a remarkably low turnover rate by Baylor kept this game as close as it was.

Baylor only went 9-19 on their shots at the rim in a game where we suddenly saw the return of the Texas interior defense. Texas blocked one out of four of the Bear's shots from in close, with Ioannis Papapetrou blocking three attempts and Prince Ibeh swatting away two. At the other end of the floor, Texas connected on 13-17 from in close and went 9-23 from three point range. There is your ballgame.

Myck Kabongo and Sheldon McClellan both had terrific games. McClellan led all scorers with a PAM of 8.6. Kabongo had a PAM of 6.2, with his usual mix of drives to the basket and trips to the free throw line, and a couple of made threes thrown in for good measure. Kabongo did it all while only turning the ball over once. Papapetrou chipped in a PAM of 4.6. The 6-8 freshman often found himself guarded by the 6-2 Brady Heslip, a match-up that Texas exploited heavily during the game.

Gary Franklin went 3-3 from three point range, leading the Bears with a PAM of 6.1. Pierre Jackson posted 3.4 points above median, doing much of his damage with four made three pointers.

Texas was just too big and too physical inside for the undersized Bears, and Baylor couldn't contain McClellan or Kabongo.

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