Breaking Down the Kansas Basketball Defense: The Bigs

LAWRENCE KS - FEBRUARY 12: Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks talks with his brother Markieff Morris #21 during the game against the Iowa State Cyclones on February 12 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

A few weeks ago we took a look at how opposing guards performed compared to their average against the Jayhawks, today it's time to look at the other players on the court.  Forgetting how they played (or didn't play) against Kansas State, how have they treated opposing bigs throughout the year? 

Offensively, the bigs are the engines of the offense.  When Marcus and Markieff Morris are getting good looks and scoring things go well.  When they're not on, we get results like Monday night.

Looking through the numbers for conference play, they seem to be carrying a large part of the load on the defensive end as well.  As mentioned in the previous post, David Hess at Audacity of Hoops has been tracking the defense for most of this season.  Then last week, Jesse Newell ran his numbers to find each player's average for conference games.  Using these numbers, the best defenders on the team are Josh Selby, Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson, and Markieff Morris.

My numbers for the opponents comparing the two positions agree.  (Sorry for the ugly table but getting the blue header off was being a pain)

Avg ORt Game Difference eFG Avg Game Diff FTRate Game Diff OR Avg Game Diff
Bigs 105.65 90.53 -15.12 51.75 41.83 -9.91 46.33 33.32 -13.01 9.17 8.20 -0.96
                         
  Avg ORt Game Difference eFG Avg Game Diff TO% Game Diff OR Avg Game Diff
Guards 107.48 107.39 -0.08 52.46 49.80 -2.25 19.67 18.99 -0.58 3.94 3.74 -0.16

 

Some thoughts and method below the jump.

My method isn't as specific to the individual players but the numbers end up implying the same thing.  Comparing the average offensive rating, effective field goal percentage, free throw rate, and offensive rebound percentage of opposing post players to their performance against the Jayhawks, should give us an idea to the effectiveness of the defense.

I'm amazed at the differences between the two positions.  Maybe the Big 12 is that guard oriented and it could be with Burks, Higgins, Hamilton, Pullen, Denmon, and many others.  But the difference from the average to the game performance would reflect that as well, right?  The bigs go from above average efficiency to a 7th man against Kansas.  They shoot much worse and they don't get to the line as often.  The only area where the big don't seem to have a huge influence is on the rebounding numbers. 

As if we needed any more proof that Kansas needs the Morri on the court and not in foul trouble and a healthy Thomas Robinson to be elite, I think this does the trick.  Also, hope to avoid Jimmer and Pullen-like guards in the NCAA's.  Consider this my warning.

And the numbers for each post for reference:

Average Game Difference eFG Avg Game Diff FTR Game Diff OR Avg Game Diff
Jamie Vanderbeken 114.90 128.70 13.80 59.30 66.60 7.30 16.70 25.00 8.30 4.60 0.00 -4.60
Melvin Ejim 112.00 112.80 0.80 53.70 50.00 -3.70 48.20 16.60 -31.60 10.80 10.00 -0.80
Jorge Brian-Diaz 100.50 65.80 -34.70 54.50 28.50 -26.00 23.20 0.00 -23.20 6.20 15.20 9.00
Andre Almeida 95.60 122.10 26.50 59.30 71.40 12.10 34.10 0.00 -34.10 10.40 18.10 7.70
Brandon Ubel 109.00 42.00 -67.00 54.10 25.00 -29.10 62.80 0.00 -62.80 6.00 5.00 -1.00
Perry Jones 112.80 137.20 24.40 56.90 54.50 -2.40 42.90 72.70 29.80 9.80 4.20 -5.60
Quincy Acy 109.00 56.40 -52.60 52.70 33.30 -19.40 58.90 0.00 -58.90 10.90 6.40 -4.50
Anthony Jones 115.20 161.20 46.00 59.10 93.70 34.60 43.20 37.50 -5.70 6.00 8.60 2.60
Tristan Thompson 103.90 83.20 -20.70 53.20 42.80 -10.40 86.10 114.20 28.10 13.80 10.80 -3.00
Gary Johnson 105.60 60.50 -45.10 47.30 25.00 -22.30 53.60 25.00 -28.60 5.50 0.00 -5.50
Andre Roberson 113.90 57.20 -56.70 59.50 33.30 -26.20 41.40 0.00 -41.40 15.40 7.20 -8.20
Austin Dufault 121.40 0.00 -121.40 56.30 0.00 -56.30 36.40 0.00 -36.40 9.40 0.00 -9.40
Curtis Kelly 93.70 0.00 -93.70 53.00 0.00 -53.00 49.20 0.00 -49.20 10.50 16.60 6.10
Jamar Samuels 104.10 99.30 -4.80 43.10 25.00 -18.10 56.90 87.50 30.60 10.80 7.80 -3.00
Jordan Henriquez-Roberts 98.30 20.40 -77.90 42.60 0.00 -42.60 72.10 0.00 -72.10 14.90 23.80 8.90
Mike Singletary 97.50 82.00 -15.50 44.90 25.00 -19.90 62.00 66.60 4.60 6.20 3.60 -2.60
Robert Lewandowski 112.30 126.40 14.10 58.00 57.10 -0.90 25.30 0.00 -25.30 6.10 0.00 -6.10
D'Walyn Roberts 107.00 109.60 2.60 55.10 60.00 4.90 23.60 80.00 56.40 10.60 13.70 3.10
Jorge Brian-Diaz 100.50 82.70 -17.80 54.50 57.10 2.60 23.20 0.00 -23.20 6.20 14.60 8.40
Brandon Ubel 109.00 139.30 30.30 54.10 62.50 8.40 62.80 75.00 12.20 6.00 0.00 -6.00
Kim English 98.60 68.90 -29.70 36.90 16.60 -20.30 29.50 66.70 37.20 2.00 0.00 -2.00
Laurence Bowers 110.80 123.90 13.10 52.90 72.70 19.80 39.70 36.30 -3.40 10.20 4.90 -5.30
Justin Safford 98.80 104.80 6.00 43.80 20.00 -23.80 32.70 80.00 47.30 8.20 0.00 -8.20
Melvin Ejim 112.00 95.30 -16.70 53.70 46.40 -7.30 48.20 0.00 -48.20 10.80 16.80 6.00
Curtis Kelly 93.70 94.60 0.90 53.00 66.60 13.60 49.20 66.60 17.40 10.50 16.50 6.00
Jamar Samuels 104.10 80.40 -23.70 43.10 25.00 -18.10 56.90 50.00 -6.90 10.80 9.50 -1.30
Jordan Henriquez-Roberts 98.30 189.50 91.20 42.60 71.40 28.80 72.10 0.00 -72.10 14.90 8.20 -6.70
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