By Kansas standards, the team is having a rough go of it. While I wasn't able to watch the loss to Colorado, by all accounts it sounds like a continuation of the lackluster performances we gave in the Bahamas. Sometimes the numbers can tell us something our eyes miss, so let's take a look at what they say about Kansas through eight games.
One number I'm monitoring this year, more out of curiosity than what it actually says about our play, is possessions per game. With this group of players being almost entirely different from last year, I'm curious as to whether there will be any dramatic change in our pace. So far, the change has been slight (70.3 per game versus 68.9 last year), but the difference in how it compares to the rest of the conference is more pronounced. Last year we were tied for second in the conference in pace. This year, perhaps due to the rule changes, possessions seem to be up. Right now, we're only 5th in the conference in possessions per game, and a whole 6.6 behind Iowa State at the top, and just 4.9 from Baylor at the bottom. Given the athleticism we have, and the lack of ability to capitalize on finding open shots away from the basket in the half court offense, I don't really want to see this team playing a slower-than-average game. It just doesn't play to our strengths. I'll continue to monitor that number as the season goes on.
Next, we'll look at scoring. How are we doing it, and perhaps more importantly, how efficiently are we doing it? Let's look at some key offensive categories and where we rank nationally.
Honestly, this paints a bit of a strange picture. We've managed to shoot very poorly from 3 point range (295th nationally), but we shoot so well from two (58.4%) that we're still just outside the top 50 in eFG%. With that high eFG and very strong free throw rate, you might expect a bit stronger number in that points per possessions (PPP) column. If you're looking for reasons for our early-season struggles here, we can probably point to free throws and three pointers as the main culprits. Going into the season, we were talking about redshirting Frankamp or Greene because we had enough shooters already. Through eight games, that assumption now looks questionable at best.
To turn our attention to defense, I'll look at some of the same numbers, but how our opponents have done, as well as a few other key categories.
|Orating||Rank||3P%||Rank||eFG%||Rank||PPP||Rank||Steal %||Rank||Block %||Rank||FPG||Rank||TO%||Rank|
I think it's probably safe to say we're fouling too much. We get to the line more than our opponents, hold their eFG 7% lower, and score an extra .15 points per possession. It's frustrating to look at these numbers, then see that we're only 6-2 with a few close-call wins thrown in. Last, let's check out how we do on the boards
|Def Reb%||Rank||Off RPG||Rank||Off Reb%||Rank|
To summarize, there's nothing this team is great at so far. But they're pretty good to very good at most things. The problem seems to lie in the fact that they're bad at a few important things. With their TO% isn't dreadful, they do turn it over more than their opponents, which can be a key to getting upset. They're one of the more foul-happy teams in D1 as well, which doesn't help. And as previously mentioned, converting more from the three point and free throw lines would help out a lot.
Obvoiusly, these numbers will change as the season goes on. At this early point, what we're looking for are early trends. Overall, the numbers don't look bad, but there are some troublesome things going on. Take a look at the stats, what are your observations?