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Recap: 10 statistical oddities from KU's win over Missouri

Note: Here is a listing of definitions for some terms used in this blog. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below if something doesn't make sense.

Going to go a little different direction with the start of this blog, as lots of quirky things happened during Kansas' 70-66 victory over Missouri on Saturday.

Kansas head coach Bill Self protests a call against the Jayhawks during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas head coach Bill Self protests a call against the Jayhawks during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

Here are 10 interesting facts about the KU-MU game on Saturday:

• Missouri's effective field goal percentage of 31.9 was its worst in the last 11 seasons. The last time the Tigers shot that poorly in a game was Jan. 4, 2000, against Winthrop.

• Missouri's 0.868 points per possession against KU were its second-fewest this season. Texas allowed 0.866 PPP to MU on Jan. 29.

KU scored just 0.92 points per possession against MU — its third-lowest total of the year. KU scored fewer PPP at Michigan (0.91) and at home against Texas (0.88). KU has had four games when it has failed to score one point per possession and is 2-2 in those games.

MU, which averaged 20 free throws per game in Big 12 play, shot 35 free throws Saturday. It was the most the Tigers had shot all season, topping the 31 free throws it attempted against Georgetown in an overtime game.

Missouri also posted its highest free-throw rate (FTs attempted*100/FGs attempted) of the year at 60.3. MU's previous high this year was 50.8 against Nebraska on Jan. 12. During Big 12 play, the Tigers' free-throw rate ranked 11th in the conference (34.2).

The Tigers scored 43.9 percent of their points from the free-throw line Saturday. MU averages scoring 19 percent of its points from the line.

• Missouri scored at least one point on just 38.6 percent of its possessions — its lowest mark in the last three seasons.

It was only the second time all season that KU's defense did not record a blocked shot. The other game was Michigan on Jan. 9. KU has only had eight games where it hasn't recorded a block in the last 15 seasons.

• KU's game against Missouri had 76 possessions, the second-most for the Jayhawks in Big 12 play. Only the game at Iowa State (81 possessions) had more.

Hat tip to Rock M Nation for this one: KU forwards Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson combined for 46 points on 17-for-29 shooting (58.6 percent). The rest of the Jayhawks combined for 24 points on 7-for-26 shooting (26.9 percent).

We'll talk more about what the win means for KU in the "Bottom Line" below.

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Thomas Robinson earns this honor even if we only took into account his rebounding.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson finishes a put-back dunk over Missouri forward Laurence Bowers during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson finishes a put-back dunk over Missouri forward Laurence Bowers during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

The 6-foot-9 sophomore posted 13 rebounds in just 17 minutes, which made for some crazy statistics.

He brought down 47 percent of the available offensive rebounds when he was in there. To put that in perspective, the best offensive rebounding team in the nation (Old Dominion) has a team offensive rebounding percentage of 45.2 percent. On Saturday, Robinson's number was better than that, and he's only one guy.

Robinson's second-best offensive rebounding percentage day this year was the Oklahoma game, where he grabbed 34.7 percent of KU's misses. So Robinson, an already good offensive rebounder, topped his best day this year by 12.3 percent on Saturday.

Robinson also grabbed a team-high 32.8 percent of the available defensive rebounds while adding 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go with three turnovers. He had 13 points and eight rebounds in the second half alone.

Room for Improvement

Pretty obvious, isn't it?

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pushes the ball to forward Mario Little as he is pressured by Missouri defenders Laurence Bowers and Michael Dixon (11) during the first half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pushes the ball to forward Mario Little as he is pressured by Missouri defenders Laurence Bowers and Michael Dixon (11) during the first half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks couldn't keep from turning the ball over, giving it away on 31.6 percent of their possessions.

It was KU's 10th-highest turnover percentage in the last 15 years and the highest of the season.

The most surprising thing to me about KU's turnovers is where they came from. I would have expected a handful of turnovers from new starting point guard Elijah Johnson and the sometimes-careless Tyshawn Taylor, but both of KU's point guards weren't part of the problem.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson and Missouri guard Phil Pressey chase down a loose ball during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson and Missouri guard Phil Pressey chase down a loose ball during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

Johnson had no turnovers in 25 minutes, while Taylor had just one in 17 minutes.

Instead it was KU's big men (Marcus Morris 5, Markieff Morris 5, Robinson 3) and typically sure-handed guards (Brady Morningstar 4, Tyrel Reed 3) who contributed the most to the turnover count (though Josh Selby's three in seven minutes didn't help either).

I think we expected KU to turn the ball over on Saturday, but not quite at that pace. Though MU's defense deserves some credit and the atmosphere makes things more difficult, the Jayhawks did not handle the circumstances well and made too many unforced mistakes.

Tough-Luck Line

Josh Selby takes the Tough-Luck Line, and one has to wonder where he'll go from here.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris (21) and a game official watch as Josh Selby loses the ball out of bounds for a turnover against Missouri during the first half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris (21) and a game official watch as Josh Selby loses the ball out of bounds for a turnover against Missouri during the first half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

The freshman looked completely frazzled against Missouri, posting three turnovers in seven first-half minutes before getting pulled. Selby did not play in the second half.

Before Saturday's game, I had heard some sentiment from KU fans that Selby should play point guard. That argument won't be made any more, as Selby couldn't seem to complete even simple passes when he was the team's main ball-handler against Missouri.

The Baltimore native posted just 0.11 points per possession used while ending a whopping 30 percent of KU's possessions while he was in there. As Tom Keegan pointed out, Selby has made just 9 of his last 34 field goals (26.5 percent) and 2 of his last 15 threes (13.3 percent).

KU is running out of time to have Selby find himself this season. Right now, the reality is that he's KU's ninth- or 10th-best player, despite all the hype coming in.

It'll be interesting to track him in the Big 12 Tournament, as he has more to gain than any other Jayhawk.

Bottom Line

Is it too early to say KU's strength, right now, might actually be its defense?

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor jumps as he defends drive by Missouri guard Marcus Denmon during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor jumps as he defends drive by Missouri guard Marcus Denmon during the second half on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena. by Nick Krug

Though KU had its third-worst offensive effort of the year, it still beat Missouri because of a tremendous defensive performance.

The Jayhawks have held four of their last five opponents under 0.88 PPP. In KU's previous 11 Big 12 games, it held none of its opponents to under 0.88 PPP.

Right now, KU is fourth nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency. Only one other team (Duke) is in the top 10 in both categories.

Forget the earlier criticisms of KU's defense. KU has rounded itself into a more balanced team over the last two weeks, and that has to be encouraging for its NCAA Tournament hopes.

Comments

jayhawktalk 3 years, 7 months ago

Coincidence KU's defensive improvement as a team coincides with EJ's recent breakthrough on D? I doubt it. Doesn't hurt to have TRob back to full strength, either.

TommieSmithElbow 3 years, 7 months ago

Imagine if Releford can really get back on track (and obviously earn some playing time). His defense was excellent before he got hurt!

Regardless, you could see in yesterday's game that the defense has improved via the eye test.

Sparko 3 years, 7 months ago

There are two large reasons for the anomalies: officiating was easily the worst I have seen in a major college basketball game for some time. Horrendous. Subtract at least three late turn-overs that appeared to stop certain dunks and scores. Take away about 20 Missouri FT attempts. What you see then is a team that was thoroughly dominated but bailed out time after time after time.

The second problem was the rims. I have never in my life seen rims so tight as those. They did not move. It is apparent that Missouri has decided to take away as many jump shots as possible from it opponents by making the rims rigid. In a game dominated by steals and break-away lay-ups, advantage to the home team, as MU plays that style of ball. To illustrate the point, look at the three late consecutive missed FTs. A normal rim gives KU 2 of 3 at least; the Paige's rigid rims, not so much. Extreme Kudos for Self for understanding the quirks. Kansas simply pounded it inside rather than jack many outside shots. And when you force extra passes rather than take open jumpers? lots more turn-over potential. And we saw that. Yesterday was the best in-game coaching I have ever seen I think.

TommieSmithElbow 3 years, 7 months ago

Regarding "best in-game coaching": Bill did some great work yesterday, especially trying to find ANYONE who wouldn't turn the ball over, but I still like the 1st Nebraska game where Bill decided in the second half that we were going to FORCE it inside against their strength (and NU was dominating us up to that point). From then on, our front line manhandled them and we completely turned the game around (what had been our weakness became our strength.)

jayhawktalk 3 years, 7 months ago

Most interesting/ridiculous was watching every tigger flop on the floor after every jump shot with someone within 5 feet of them. Pathetically obvious attempts at getting bad calls to go their way. I was glad the ref's didn't oblige. Defensively, Mizzou also steps underneath shooters, undercutting them, on virtually every play under the basket. Great way to get people hurt, and borderline cheap in my book.

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

Tyrel Reed liked that tight rim with 1:05 left. He had a nice glare at the Antlers. When he hit that shot, I yelled, "Daggers---game over!"

Michael Luby 3 years, 7 months ago

Had to catch the last couple minutes of the game on youtube cuz of CBS's screw up. Still, that 3 Tyrel made was as you said, a HUGE Dagger!! I wanna know what he yelled back at the Antlers... it looked like he yelled something at them. What ever it was, Im sure it was awesome!

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Tyrel said, "Daggers!" Or maybe he said, "Game over!" If he did, that would make me proud. Having said that, I watch the last minute of the game probably four times and, even though, that was a big dagger, Missouri still had a chance to come back. I am glad both Tyrel and Brady hit big shots. Senior leadership! Rock Chalk!

Sparko 3 years, 7 months ago

He smartly avoided the rim by hitting dead center!

panalytic 3 years, 7 months ago

Very interesting change of us playing good defense for the majority of the time for the last several games. I have been thinking of us as mainly a good offensive team and not that great on defense. Thanks for the info to help adjust my perspective. Makes me wonder if this will keep up in the Big 12 tourney or if defense will be considered our weakness when the NCAA tourney starts.

jayhawktalk 3 years, 7 months ago

We still give up points way too easily on the inside, but seem lately to be doing a better job of cutting off penetration.

ancient_hawk 3 years, 7 months ago

One thing that jumped out at me via the "eye test" was that Mizzou picked up a lot of cheap baskets because we made the primary ball-handler cough up the rock, and in the ensuing scramble a tigger would pick it up and get a bunny. Those things can't be helped.

Kevin Crook 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree it was the worst officiated game I have seen maybe since the Dallas Final Four in '86. Big 12 officials have a tough task, but so much of it is their fault. They let the game get wildly physical, then they call odd ball fouls. They anticipate calls, and they wrongly interpret how a play is really developing. They have also got to get out of the habit of letting guys camp under the basket to draw charges. That being said, we were our own worst enemy yesterday. For all of the the things we were great at, we sure threw the ball away a lot. I don't know if we were just sped up, or careless. Mizz is a really quick team, I'm sure that had a lot to do with it too. As for Selby, he could get right in a hurry if he could just get some shots to fall and have a nice offensive output. He looks like he has no confidence. I would compare his play to Tiger's, when they both get their mojo going again it will be showtime!

jayhawktalk 3 years, 7 months ago

Posting a lot here... Stuck on the computer burning pics of the kids for my mom who is visiting...

Josh could get right in a hurry if he just took better care of the ball and stopped taking contested 3's. Basically, he's pressing way too hard and windmilling recklessly looking for the knock out blow. I'm sure there's a lot of pressure on him, most self-imposed, and he's trying too hard to immediately be the great player we all know he can be. He needs to relax.

Kent Wells 3 years, 7 months ago

Jesse,

I think sun spots are to blame for the oddities of the game, and the fact your computer battery operated for an extended period of time. And thanks to CBS, we really needed your battery - so double thanks for the live game blog!

KRW

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

Really, Jesse, I need to thank you, too. Just curious---how much battery life did you have when you signed off? It was pretty crazy there, the last few minutes of the game. I would hate to be an employee at CBS who has to answer the phones or answer e-mails.

Finally, your spot in Mizzou Arena suuuuucked to to high heaven! I am sure you will not put down that Columbia is your favorite place to conduct business----LOL.

Jesse Newell 3 years, 7 months ago

Ha. Our site started crawling when CBS switched the game, as KU fans flooded the game blog at the same time to get updates. Couldn't update as often, as I was having trouble even getting pages to load.

When the game was over, my battery was at 6 percent. Somehow, it had outlasted the 2-hour, 20-minute game.

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow! Kinda like my lucky day when I wanted Gus Johnson to do the KU/Mizzou game. BTW, Gus is doing the Wisconsin/Ohio State game today. I don't know if Ohio State is looking like a Final 4 team or if Wisconsin just isn't putting much of a fight.

fansincewilt 3 years, 7 months ago

Not only did CBS shut down the broadcast of Kansas, they shut down their website scoring reporting as well. I was going crazy trying to get information on the game. I knew the Jayhawks were in trouble but not knowing made it worse. I finally got on the phone with my son who had some kind of access to the score. I tried to post at kusports.com and it just locked up and I couldn't get any information from there. Crazy!

Danny Hernandez 3 years, 7 months ago

Jesse, I'm still curious about the intentional foul called on Marcus....have you heard anything from the other writers and/or staff about the call? Unbelievable would be the right word?

Kent Wells 3 years, 7 months ago

And Jesse, why is Coach Brown shadowing the team??? Also at the MU game. What's up there?

Michael Luby 3 years, 7 months ago

Great final game for KU, defensively anyways, and cool article too Jesse. Ive also noticed Coach Brown the past couple games sitting behind the bench. This is pure speculation here but IF Danny Manning leaves to run his own team somewhere, maybe Coach Brown will move into his spot? Or maybe he is just enjoying some time off watching games of his favorite college team?

rockchalk_dpu 3 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if this is current or not, but I'm fairly certain that Coach Manning is more than happy with his current job. He isn't an outwardly vocal person and doesn't really want to be the face of the program in the way that a head coach would, as evidenced by some of his guest-hosting gigs on Hawk Talk. I think right now he is really content and wants to be the bigs coach at Kansas rather than go to some lower tier school to be a head coach. All this is based of what he has said in the media or Self has alluded to during interviews so don't hold me to it.

I will say this about Coach Brown though, it certainly doesn't hurt to have the only coach to win an NCAA and NBA title following you around and providing insights to our staff. He's done this a few times this season with the other branches of his coaching tree (ie Calimari) but I think genuinely is bored and wants to stay around the game. Wouldn't be bad though to get him on as a director of operations or some figurehead title that allows him more direct access to our players and recruits though.

RCJ

slowplay 3 years, 7 months ago

I would imagine Releford and Withey are totally out of the rotation for the tournaments. Self usually keeps his rotation at 8 unless foul trouble or matchups force him to use 9 or 10. The Twins and T-Rob will rotate the post with occasional spot duty by Little. That's four. EJ, Reed, Brady, TT (That's 8) and spot duty by Selby rounds it out. Little can play the 3 or the 4 spot.

justinryman 3 years, 7 months ago

What I liked about this game and the A&M game is that KU won both of those games without the game being a smooth one. That's how the first couple of games go in the big dance, or if you run into a BigEast school. lots of stoppages, for either fouls or turnovers.

So as sloppy as the game was and the number of fouls we committed, it showed this team could overcome a lot to keep the lead and win the game!

It gave me some hope for this years run, may it be as long as the '08 run.

HawkBBall 3 years, 7 months ago

Jesse

Thank you for your analysis. I have a couple of comments. It appears to me the 24 turnovers adversely affected the PPP. Missouri's poor shooting percentage may be attributed to our defense. The high number of fouls and free throws could also be related to the strong defense. So, goal for this week: stop the turnovers!

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