Tempo and T2

Front Paged because Warden is quickly becoming our resident stat guru and this is some good stuff...Denver

Saturday's game against Colorado reminded everyone why Kansas is the clear #1 team in the nation.  Cole Aldrich owned the paint all day.  Xavier Henry looked like the guy we all saw in the first half of the season, not just being a solid contributor but the dynamic scorer this team needs at times.  Oh, and Tyshawn Taylor was entered back into the starting lineup and proceeded to have one of his best games of the year.  A game with that kind of production from those three guys and Kansas will not lose.  In reading about the game and Taylor, I came across this at Upon Further Review:

Obviously, if he continues to play this way, KU will probably be unbeatable. But, before you get all googly-eyed about it, keep in mind Taylor plays much better in an up-tempo game – and certainly this was one of those.

Nothing wrong with the quote, according to Statsheet, Kansas had 77 possessions against Colorado.  That is the second most possessions they've had in a game this year, so it was definitely a fast game and about 9 possessions more than the national average.  What I want to look at today is if the other part of that is true.  Do numbers show that Taylor plays better in up-tempo games this year?  Now this is where things get a little difficult, how do we determine if Taylor has a good game or a bad game?  Because I'm posting this and it is easy to figure, I'm going to use my plus/minus paired with total possessions.

5 games with the most possessions:



Poss Plus/Minus
82 8
77 16
76 13
76 10
75 12


Taylor's had 5 games with a double digit plus/minus and four of those have came in the fastest games of the year.  Definitely looks like there is some truth that he plays better as the game speeds up.  However, I also have to point out those games are against Alcorn State, Colorado, Tennessee Tech, Hofstra, and California.  Not exactly the stiffest competition.  Moving on, lets see how he does in the slowest games.


Possessions Plus/Minus
65 2
65 -2
65 -3
62 4
61 4


The numbers definitely aren't as pretty.  But, these numbers are going to be a little lower because they rely on counting stats.  Fewer possessions is normally going to equal lower numbers across the board.  In an attempt to even that out, I used a multiplier based on KU's average possessions per game (70.6) so I could get a tempo free plus/minus and that is what you see in the graph and table below.



KenPom Opponent Poss Tempo Free
347 Alcorn St 82 6.89
89 Colorado 77 14.67
250 Tenn Tech 76 12.08
126 Hofstra 76 9.29
23 California 75 11.30
138 Belmont 75 4.71
79 Texas Tech 75 1.88
13 Missouri 73 -2.90
81 @Iowa St 72 4.90
161 La Salle 71 12.93
89 @Colorado 71 2.98
209 Radford 70 4.03
11 @Kansas St 70 3.03
27 @Tennessee 70 0.00
9 @Texas 70 -1.01
114 @UCLA 69 -1.02
74 Michigan 68 6.23
68 Cornell 68 -3.11
15 Baylor 67 1.05
81 Iowa St 67 1.05
32 @Temple 66 9.63
53 Memphis 66 0.00
90 Nebraska 65 2.17
302 C Arkansas 65 -2.17
155 Oakland 65 -3.26
90 @Nebraska 62 4.55
34 @Texas A&M 61 4.63

One last graph with my plus/minus taken out and offensive rating put in its place.  Graphs are very similar.

*note- I did not include the Baylor game in this graph, Taylor played 15 minutes and finished with an offensive rating of 269 while going 0-3 from the field with no rebounds.

Definitely appears as though Taylor does play better as the game speeds up.  Though a +4 in the two slowest games or.f the year isn't bad eithe