clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kenpom'n the Cats

New, 16 comments
KANSAS CITY MO - DECEMBER 21:  Head coach Frank Martin of the Kansas State Wildcats watches from the bench during the game against the UNLV Rebels on December 21 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY MO - DECEMBER 21: Head coach Frank Martin of the Kansas State Wildcats watches from the bench during the game against the UNLV Rebels on December 21 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Whether we want to call this game a big "rivalry" game or just a big game doesn't really matter to me, it's all the same in the end.  Make no mistake, this is a huge game for the Jayhawks for a few reasons.  First and foremost, they're already a game behind the Longhorns in the Big 12 standings and falling two back would make catching up a whole lot more difficult.  Combine the Big 12 race with a team that was picked above the Jayhawks coming to town and the ESPN Gameday treatment and it doesn't get a whole lot bigger in regular season terms.  As fans, we also get to see how Kansas reacts to the week that was. 

Kansas State has been a little disappointing this year as you can see in Owen's preview.  They do some things well as a team and they struggle on some things as a team.  Matching them up, lets look for some things that need to happen tonight in order for the Jayhawks to start a new home-court winning streak.  Kenpom's pretty down on the team from Manhattan, ranking them 46th and has their win probability at 7% tonight.  The Wildcats are coming off a victory over Baylor in a game that wasn't especially pretty but did show they haven't written off the season yet. 

When KSU has the ball...

KSU Off KU Def KSU B12 O KU B12 D

Adj. Efficiency:

106.3

85.3

100.5

102.6

Effective FG%:

49.2

43.1

48.1

49.3

Turnover %:

23

22.7

26.2

19

Off. Reb. %:

43.4

28.6

42.4

27.1

FTA/FGA:

43.2

31.3

44.3

36.1

 

Discussion and K-State's defense below

Kansas must force turnovers.  Against Colorado, the Jayhawks only forced turnovers on 9% of Buffalo possessions.  Part of that was Alec Burks and Cory Higgins just not passing the ball and handling the on ball pressure with ease, luckily K-State doesn't have an Alec Burks.  Jacob Pullen, Will Spradling, Curtis Kelly, and Shane Southwell all average 2 or more turnovers a game, Spradling's been very vulnerable when handling the ball turning it over 6 times against Missouri and 4 times against A&M

Kansas also has to keep the Wildcats off the glass tonight.  Kansas has been a very good defensive rebounding team on the season and in Big 12 play.  Only Nebraska has grabbed more than 35% of their own misses since Christmas.  Keeping the Cats from getting these boards will not only keep them from getting easy putbacks but also help to keep the Morri out of foul trouble.  Putbacks on misses tend to draw a lot of fouls because the defender is outside of the player with the ball, so it's either go over/through him or let him have the basket.  Keeping that decision from even having to be made will make life easier for all of us.

When Kansas has the ball...

KU Off KSU Def KU B12 O KSU B12 D

Adj. Efficiency:

117.3

90.9

108.6

101.5

Effective FG%:

57.5

45.5

54.1

48.3

Turnover %:

19.5

23.2

19.9

22.5

Off. Reb. %:

36.3

31

32.2

35.7

FTA/FGA:

38.6

46.6

32.6

58

 

For a team that is pretty good on defense (33rd Kenpom), the Wildcats have a couple of glaring weak points.  They still foul way too often.  When your coach loves yanking guys left and right, mixing in some occasional foul trouble makes finding any sort of stable rotation especially difficult.  The Cats also don't rebound on the defensive end very well.  That number can't please Frank Martin, their bigs can be fairly sound on the defensive end but when you give up rebounds like that it makes it all kind of  pointless.  A big opening here for the Morri to do some damage.

If Kansas can take care of the ball and not get into a foul fest with the Wildcats, everything in the numbers says that it should be a win tonight.  This team has been through a very challenging week and a half, the level of mental and physical fatigue is unknown.  Sometimes in situations like this a game and doing what you know is the only way to keep things normal and sometimes teams just can't get focused.  After going through these numbers, the conference numbers don't look as bad as I was expecting.  Kansas gets the win behind a huge night for Markieff and we start getting ready for Texas Tech and Nebraska.