With perhaps more eyes than ever on the basketball program this year, I'm going to be tracking the team's statistical profile as the year goes on, comparing it to the rest of the Big 12 and Division I. Like most early-season analyses, this week's won't be very telling. We've only played two games to date, and most teams have played between two and four. With two games this week, our sample size stands to double between now and my next post, and more meaningful numbers will continue to roll in throughout the season.
Today we'll start by looking at the Big 12. The following table will let you know what we've seen in terms of pace for all the teams in the conference by measuring possessions per game. I start with this because it gives us a better idea of how to adjust for the "per game" numbers that the media is so fond of (and admittedly, I'll use some here too), as well us telling us what kind of pace to look for from our conference opponents.
|Nat'l Rank||Conf Rank||PossPG||Team||Games|
Kansas is currently third in the conference, at 72.5 possessions per game. This isn't surprising, as we were third last year as well, at 68.9 possessions per game. It will be interesting to see if the new rule changes increase this number across college basketball, as the increased likelihood of a foul on a given possession, particularly those occurring on the perimeter when the team is still setting their offense, is likely to decrease the average time of a possession. Right now, the range from bottom to top in the conference is 65-75.7, whereas last year it was 61.7-71, so the early results say we'll likely see more possessions this year. Last year Iowa State was the highest-paced team in the league, and I would attribute their current number just having played Michigan, who through three games averages just 68 possessions.
Let's move on from the dry talk and get on to the fun stuff: scoring! Here's how some of our scoring numbers stack up right now.
|Team||PPP||Natn'l rank||PPG||Natn'l rank||eFG%||Natn'l rank||3P%||Natn'l rank|
Suddenly K-State's loss to Northern Colorado makes a lot of sense. They aren't good at anything offensively right now. As far as KU is concerned, the biggest thing that stood out to me was eFG vs 3 point shooting. Our 3 point shooting is respectable and well above average, but our eFG is top 20. That means through our first two games we've been very efficient in converting our 2 point attempts. Again, it's two games, so we have to refrain from trying to extrapolate too much from this, but I think having guys like Ellis, Wiggins and Selden (and perhaps Mason as the season goes on) who can score reliably close to the rim is going to be huge for us offensively.
Due to my inability to embed charts and lack of time this morning, that will be all for this week. We'll add the results of our upcoming games against Iona and Towson for next week's analysis. I plan on looking at this from different angles as we go, so if there's a particular area you'd like to see a focus on, let me know!