Know Your Big 12 Tournament First Round

There's really no need to write another lengthy preview of Nebraska again, when we've seen them twice already (and the second time wasn't that long ago.  So instead, we're going to write an even LENGTHIER preview of ALL of the Big 12 first round games.  Why do less work when you can do MORE work?

Oh yeah, and ... pick your trifecta!  We MUST have a winner at some point!

8 Colorado vs 9 Texas Tech (11:30am)

Comparisons

CU Opp
Tech Opp
Points Per Minute
1.86 1.83 1.88 1.88
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.10 1.08 1.05 1.05
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.42 1.35 1.28 1.27
2-PT FG% 51.6% 51.4% 46.0% 47.9%
3-PT FG% 38.9% 34.5% 37.6% 33.1%
FT% 76.8% 69.3% 71.6% 70.3%
True Shooting % 59.3% 56.1% 53.9% 53.4%
CU Opp Tech Opp
Assists/Gm 14.3 13.3 14.1 12.4
Steals/Gm 8.2 6.5 6.9 6.8
Turnovers/Gm 13.0 15.1 13.7 15.1
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.73 1.31 1.53 1.27
CU Opp Tech Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 10.7 11.8 13.2 13.4
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 7.3 12.3 11.6 13.4
Difference -3.4 +0.5 -1.6 +0.0

Ken Pomeroy Stats

CU Offense vs Tech Defense Ranks
CU Tech
Pace 127 17
CU Offense Tech Defense Advantage
Efficiency 27 103 CU
Effective FG% 23 151 CU Big
Turnover % 98 185 CU
Off. Reb. % 342 259 Tech
FTA/FGA 42 263 CU Big
Tech Offense vs CU Defense Ranks
Tech Offense CU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 87 189 Tech big
Effective FG% 182 293 Tech big
Turnover % 73 91 Push
Off. Reb. % 220 335 Tech big
FTA/FGA 59 307 Tech big

CU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Cory Higgins (6'5, 190, Jr.) 19.4 0.58 33.2 MPG, 19.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.9 SPG, 2.3 TOPG
Alec Burks (6'6, 185, Fr.) 17.8 0.59 30.0 MPG, 16.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.9 TOPG
Marcus Relphorde (6'7, 220, Jr.) 9.0 0.33 27.0 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.1 TOPG
Dwight Thorne II (6'3, 185, Sr.) 7.4 0.35 21.3 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.3 TOPG
Nate Tomlinson (6'3, 185, So.) 7.1 0.26 27.2 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 4.2 APG, 2.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 2.0 TOPG
Austin Dufault (6'9, 230, So.) 5.7 0.26 21.7 MPG, 5.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG
Casey Crawford (6'9, 245, Jr.) 4.1 0.30 13.8 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG
Levi Knutson (6'4, 200, Jr.) 3.8 0.30 12.6 MPG, 3.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG
Keegan Hornbuckle (6'7, 205, Fr.) 2.7 0.24 11.5 MPG, 2.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG
Shane Harris-Tunks (6'11, 225, Fr.) 0.8 0.07 11.7 MPG, 1.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.2 TOPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

Tech Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
John Roberson (5'11, 165, Jr.) 15.3 0.43 35.7 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 5.4 APG, 2.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 2.6 TOPG
Mike Singletary (6'6, 217, Jr.) 14.9 0.44 33.7 MPG, 14.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.8 TOPG
Nick Okorie (6'1, 195, Sr.) 9.4 0.37 25.6 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.0 TOPG
D'walyn Roberts (6'7, 200, Jr.) 9.1 0.42 21.6 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG
David Tairu (6'3, 180, Jr.) 8.6 0.42 20.5 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.1 TOPG
Darko Cohadarevic (6'9, 242, Sr.) 5.8 0.27 21.9 MPG, 6.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.6 TOPG
Brad Reese (6'6, 189, Jr.) 5.2 0.27 19.7 MPG, 6.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.1 TOPG
Theron Jenkins (6'6, 211, Jr.) 2.9 0.29 9.9 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG
Robert Lewandoski (6'10, 240, So.) 2.0 0.19 10.5 MPG, 2.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG
Mike Davis (6'2, 185, Fr.) 1.4 0.19 7.6 MPG, 1.9 PPG

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Who Gets Hot? - When these teams played last weekend, the answer was "everybody."  Nick Okorie: 11-for-16, 34 points.  Cory Higgins: 9-for-10, 30 points.  Alec Burks: 8-for-12, 24 points.  Marcus Relphorde: 7-for-13, 18 points.  Mike Singletary: 9-for-19, 21 points.  It was crazy.  And with the weakness of these two defenses, it could very well happen again ... only, it probably won't.  Even when unguarded, it's hard to shoot as well as some of these guys did the other day.  Whose jumper stays hot with the change of venue will go a long way toward deciding this one.

  2. R-E-B-O-U-N-D.  While neither team has much offensive presence inside, at least Tech can rebound.  They hold a significant advantage on the glass, especially when they are on offense.  They held a 14-4 offensive rebounding advantage over CU last weekend, but it didn't really matter because CU rarely missed.  Assuming the Buffs aren't quite as hot this time around, the advantage could move to Tech because of the glass.

  3. The Whistles.  Both teams draw and commit a ton of fouls.  This was evidenced on Saturday by the 61 combined fouls (gag) and 76 combined free throws (barf).  However, CU held an extreme advantage in these categories on Saturday -- they committed 27 fouls to Tech's 34 and attempted a ridiculous 20 more free throws (48-28).  Obviously that means that Tech was committing more shooting fouls, but knowing what we know about home-court advantage and the impact it has on the whistles, we can still expect the FTs to even out a bit.  If just five of CU's free throws end up going toward Tech, that's about a 7- or 8-point swing right there.  Whoever draws (and makes) more probably wins this game.

    (And yeah ... the Mizzou game probably isn't going to start at 2:00 as scheduled.  Not with as many whistles as we are likely to see here.)

Summary & Prediction

This is a pretty fun matchup.  Neither team plays defense, and neither team really slows the pace by dumping it inside to anybody in particular.  Expect lots of action here -- it might not be good basketball, but it should be pretty fun.  Playing back in his home town of KC for the first time since high school, expect Alec Burks to either shoot 75% or 25% ... and which way he goes will probably be the difference.

Ken Pomeroy's Prediction: Colorado 81, Texas Tech 80 (CU 53%).
My Prediction: Colorado 78, Texas Tech 73.

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Image via The Trib

5 Missouri vs 12 Nebraska (2:00pm)

Comparisons

MU Opp
NU Opp
Points Per Minute
1.94 1.62 1.64 1.63
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.10 0.92 1.03 1.02
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.26 1.17 1.24 1.29
2-PT FG% 48.0% 45.1% 45.4% 47.1%
3-PT FG% 37.2% 30.1% 39.3% 37.2%
FT% 72.5% 69.4% 66.5% 68.8%
True Shooting % 54.7% 50.0% 53.3% 54.6%
MU Opp NU Opp
Assists/Gm 15.3 10.9 14.0 11.9
Steals/Gm 11.0 6.3 6.9 5.5
Turnovers/Gm 13.3 19.8 12.5 14.6
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.98 0.87 1.67 1.19
MU Opp NU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 13.2 12.9 11.8 11.2
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 13.1 13.7 9.9 9.6
Difference -0.1 +0.8 -1.9 -1.6

Ken Pomeroy Stats

MU Offense vs NU Defense Ranks
MU NU
Pace 32 286
MU Offense NU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 53 93 MU
Effective FG% 92 237 MU big
Turnover % 58 67 Push
Off. Reb. % 123 57 NU
FTA/FGA 276 253 Push
NU Offense vs MU Defense Ranks
NU Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 130 6 MU big
Effective FG% 138 35 MU big
Turnover % 106 3 MU big
Off. Reb. % 283 322 NU
FTA/FGA 181 196 Push

MU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Laurence Bowers (6'8, 205, So.) 12.0 0.55 21.5 MPG, 10.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 1.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.2 TOPG
Kim English (6'6, 200, So.) 10.4 0.44 23.9 MPG, 14.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 1.2 APG, 2.1 TOPG
Marcus Denmon (6'3, 185, So.) 10.1 0.47 21.3 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.4 APG
Zaire Taylor (6'4, 189, Sr.) 9.2 0.34 26.7 MPG, 8.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.9 SPG, 1.2 TOPG
Keith Ramsey (6'9, 210, Sr.) 8.9 0.33 26.6 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.8 TOPG
J.T. Tiller (6'3, 200, Sr.) 7.6 0.33 23.3 MPG, 8.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.4 TOPG
Mike Dixon (6'1, 175, Fr.) 6.4 0.38 16.8 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG
Miguel Paul (6'1, 172, So.) 3.4 0.28 12.3 MPG, 3.4 PPG, 1.7 APG
Steve Moore (6'9, 264, So.) 1.2 0.12 10.0 MPG, 1.2 PPG, 1.5 RPG

NU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Ryan Anderson (6'4, 205, Sr.) 12.6 0.45 27.7 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.8 TOPG
Brandon Richardson (6'0, 190, So.) 9.4 0.40 23.6 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.2 TOPG
Jorge Brian Diaz (6'11, 235, RSFr.) 8.4 0.36 23.4 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.5 TOPG
Christian Standhardinger (6'8, 210, Fr.) 7.9 0.49 16.0 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.3 TOPG
Sek Henry (6'4, 200, Sr.) 7.8 0.29 27.2 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.6 TOPG
Lance Jeter (6'3, 225, Jr.) 7.7 0.25 30.6 MPG, 7.5 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.6 RPG, 2.0 TOPG
Eshaunte Jones (6'4, 190, RSFr.) 2.9 0.29 16.8 MPG, 6.1 PPG, 1.7 RPG
Quincy Hankins-Cole (6'8, 240, Jr.) 2.8 0.31 10.3 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG
Myles Holley (6'4, 190, So.) 2.6 0.18 9.2 MPG, 3.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG
Ray Gallegos (6'3, 175, Fr.) 2.6 0.18 14.3 MPG, 3.3 PPG, 1.5 RPG
Brandon Ubel (6'10, 220, Fr.) 2.6 0.16 15.9 MPG, 4.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Can Mizzou shoot? - If you haven't seen a Mizzou game all year, you would look at the stats and conclude that forcing turnovers and making 3's is why MU has ended up in Ken Pomeroy's Top 15.  Their defense is third in the country in Defensive Turnover %, and their offense is 52nd in 3-point %, and ... wait, what?  Mizzou ranks in the 85th percentile in 3-point shooting?  Huh?  That's right.  For the season, Mizzou's 37.2% 3-point shooting has been actually quite stellar.  The only problem: they never actually shoot 37%.  It's either 15% or 60%, rarely anything in between.  The "shooting is contagious" idiom is never more true than with this team.

    vs Kansas (3/6): 13.6%
    at Iowa State (3/2): 21.1%
    vs Colorado (2/24): 64.3%
    at Nebraska (2/20): 57.9%
    vs Texas (2/17): 15.4%
    vs Iowa State (2/10): 20.0%
    vs Oklahoma State (1/30): 54.8%

    Mizzou's great games do quite a bit to offset their weaker ones ... but it's near impossible to predict when they're going to catch fire and when they're not.  Even against just Nebraska, they shot 28.6% from long range at home (English, Taylor and Denmon: 2-for-12), and 57.9% in Lincoln (English, Taylor and Denmon: 10-for-14).  Against the same defense.  If Hot Shooting Mizzou shows up, they'll win by 20.  If they can't buy a bucket outside of 10 feet, it'll be a grind.

  2. Ball Control - One of Mizzou's biggest advantages comes in the number of turnovers they force.  Nebraska did a reasonably decent job of controlling the ball in these teams' two meetings this year, committing only 29 in 120 possessions (and only 11 of those were steals).  Of course, they lost those two games by a combined 32, in part because they only forced 18 total turnovers.  To beat Mizzou, NU will need to force as many turnovers as they commit ... which is obviously a pretty tall task.

  3. R-E-B-O-U-N-D.  The other reason Mizzou was able to handle Nebraska so easily (in comparison to previous years) this year: rebounding.  Despite the fact that Nebraska holds the statistical advantage in both rebounding categories, they were significantly outdone on the boards.

    Expected versus Actual Rebounds (both MU-NU games):
    Mizzou: 24 expected, 25 actual (+1)
    Nebraska: 20 expected, 14 actual (-6)

    Mizzou doesn't outboard many teams, but they did it both times against NU, and again ... NU just cannot let that happen.  Even if Cold Mizzou is bricking a bunch of shots, if NU is letting them get second chances, it will be hard for them to win.

Summary & Prediction

Three years of losing to Nebraska (Mike Anderson lost five of his first six against Doc Sadler) have still taken a toll on me.  Even though Mizzou won both games this year by 15+, I still don't trust that this will be easy.  In the 2pm (or 2:30, ahem) tipoff, in front of what will be a pretty apathetic and half-empty crowd, I see a pretty cold Mizzou performance for at least the first 25-30 minutes.  We'll say Mizzou creates some distance and wins, but I'm not expecting it to be easy.  (Then again, my own paranoia might be the best thing NU has going for it.  We'll see.)

Ken Pomeroy's Prediction: Mizzou 71, Nebraska 61 (MU 87%).
My Prediction: Mizzou 66, Nebraska 60.

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Image via Tulsa World

7 Oklahoma State vs 10 Oklahoma (6:00pm)

Comparisons

OSU Opp
OU Opp
Points Per Minute
1.85 1.68 1.79 1.82
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.10 1.00 1.07 1.09
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.31 1.21 1.25 1.25
2-PT FG% 51.8% 44.6% 48.5% 48.6%
3-PT FG% 35.0% 36.0% 34.8% 38.9%
FT% 71.6% 68.2% 74.1% 71.7%
True Shooting % 56.2% 52.0% 54.5% 55.3%
OSU Opp OU Opp
Assists/Gm 12.3 11.3 12.7 13.8
Steals/Gm 6.3 5.6 5.8 6.4
Turnovers/Gm 12.7 13.4 12.3 12.0
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.47 1.26 1.51 1.69
OSU Opp OU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 11.9 12.6 12.3 12.1
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 10.4 9.9 10.6 10.6
Difference -1.5 -2.7 -1.7 -1.5

Ken Pomeroy Stats

OSU Offense vs OU Defense Ranks
OSU OU
Pace 134 213
OSU Offense OU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 32 168 OSU big
Effective FG% 51 304 OSU big
Turnover % 64 316 OSU big
Off. Reb. % 272 89 OU big
FTA/FGA 190 35 OU big
OU Offense vs OSU Defense Ranks
OU Offense OSU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 54 61 Push
Effective FG% 121 123 Push
Turnover % 49 242 OU big
Off. Reb. % 268 17 OSU big
FTA/FGA 261 159 OSU big

OSU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
James Anderson (6'6, 210, Jr.) 24.1 0.71 34.1 MPG, 22.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.3 TOPG
Obi Muonelo (6'5, 220, Sr.) 12.9 0.42 30.5 MPG, 13.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.9 TOPG
Matt Pilgrim (6'8, 235, Jr.) 10.5 0.59 17.9 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 TOPG
Keiton Page (5'9, 170, So.) 9.3 0.28 32.8 MPG, 10.2 PPG, 2.6 APG, 1.7 RPG, 1.3 TOPG
Marshall Moses (6'7, 240, Jr.) 9.0 0.36 24.9 MPG, 9.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.1 TOPG
Roger Franklin (6'5, 220, Fr.) 2.8 0.27 10.4 MPG, 2.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG
Nick Sidorakis (6'4, 185, Jr.) 2.0 0.18 11.5 MPG, 2.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG
Fred Gulley (6'2, 175, Fr.) 0.7 0.04 19.5 MPG, 1.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.1 TOPG

OU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Tommy Mason-Griffin (5'11, 206, Fr.) 12.8 0.36 35.6 MPG, 13.9 PPG, 4.8 APG, 2.9 RPG, 2.8 TOPG
Tony Crocker (6'6, 209, Sr.) 12.6 0.39 32.2 MPG, 11.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.3 TOPG
Tiny Gallon (6'9, 296, Fr.) 11.4 0.48 23.8 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.3 TOPG
Cade Davis (6'5, 199, Jr.) 10.4 0.33 31.6 MPG, 10.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.4 SPG
Ryan Wright (6'9, 241, Sr.) 5.1 0.28 18.5 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG
Andrew Fitzgerald (6'8, 258, Fr.) 4.9 0.31 16.0 MPG, 5.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG
Steven Pledger (6'4, 217, Fr.) 4.2 0.23 18.3 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG
Ray Willis (6'6, 164, So.) 1.6 0.13 12.2 MPG, 2.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Tiny vs Pilgrim.  In these teams' first meeting this year in Norman, Matt Pilgrim had yet to become a true factor for OSU, but he and Marshall Moses had a blow-for-blow battle with Tiny Gallon.  Moses and Pilgrim combined for 16 points and 21 boards, but they were matched almost single-handedly by Gallon (13 & 18).  In Stillwater a month later, Gallon was suspended and Pilgrim had one of his best all-around games -- 16 points (7-for-7 shooting), 9 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 steals, 2 blocks.  With Pilgrim beginning to thrive (last nine games: 11.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and Gallon back in action, this could be a pretty entertaining battle to watch.

  2. Whatchu got, Mason-Griffin?  Not that anybody has noticed with OU's struggles, but in his last 13 games, Tommy Mason-Griffin has averaged 18.7 PPG and 4.9 APG.  He has shot just under 40% in that time (29.6% in his last five games), meaning he's probably shooting a bit too much, but ... he's a freshman.  Plus, he offers OU's best matchup advantage, taking on Fred Gulley, whom he abused for 30 points (on 23 shots) and five assists (with five TO's last time around).  He may have hit the freshman wall recently, but if OU's going to pull an upset, they'll need him to go crazy.

  3. A battle of extremes.  There are no minor advantages in this matchup.  When OSU has the ball, they hold a significant advantage in efficiency and turnovers; meanwhile, OU could keep them completely off the offensive glass (with Gallon) and probably won't bail them out with fouls.  Meanwhile, when OU has the ball, they hold a large advantage in turnovers, while facing extreme disadvantages in offensive rebounding and drawing fouls.  If one team can pierce one of their opponent's extreme advantages, they could find themselves on top.  They split in the regular season, and there are some really interesting matchups here.

Summary & Prediction

There really are some interesting matchups in this game, but ... never underestimate the "packing it in for the season" factor.  OU has lost 11 of 13 and very well might lay an egg and put themselves out of their own misery.  If they show up, and if Tiny Gallon can neutralize Pilgrim, then the game becomes a lot like a Missouri game -- are Anderson and Page hot?  Then OSU is winning.  Not?  Then they're probably losing.  But it seems like there's always one team that is not interested in staying long, and I have the feeling OU might be that team.

Ken Pomeroy's Prediction: Oklahoma State 76, Oklahoma 69 (OSU 57%)
My Prediction: Oklahoma State 70, Oklahoma 52

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Image via Hookem.com

6 Texas vs 11 Iowa State (8:30pm)

Comparisons

UT Opp
ISU Opp
Points Per Minute
2.01 1.71 1.78 1.72
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.11 0.94 1.05 1.01
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.28 1.13 1.24 1.13
2-PT FG% 52.0% 43.1% 47.5% 45.6%
3-PT FG% 35.0% 31.4% 37.0% 33.7%
FT% 63.3% 68.3% 65.7% 71.9%
True Shooting % 54.3% 48.7% 53.4% 50.8%
UT Opp ISU Opp
Assists/Gm 14.7 11.3 14.2 12.4
Steals/Gm 7.9 7.4 5.2 7.4
Turnovers/Gm 14.1 15.3 14.0 12.7
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.60 1.22 1.36 1.56
UT Opp ISU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 13.5 14.3 12.8 13.5
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 14.8 12.8 12.2 12.0
Difference +1.3 -1.5 -0.6 -1.5


Ken Pomeroy Stats

UT ISU
Pace 13 89
UT Offense vs ISU Defense Ranks
UT Offense ISU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 25 58 UT
Effective FG% 59 96 UT
Turnover % 95 301 UT big
Off. Reb. % 16 93 UT
FTA/FGA 97 7 ISU
ISU Offense vs UT Defense Ranks
ISU Offense UT Defense Advantage
Efficiency 109 23 UT
Effective FG% 123 21 UT big
Turnover % 140 180 ISU
Off. Reb. % 156 74 UT
FTA/FGA 186 127 UT

UT Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Damion James (6'7, 225, Sr.) 18.9 0.64 29.7 MPG, 17.7 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 2.2 TOPG
Dexter Pittman (6'10, 290, Sr.) 11.7 0.62 18.9 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.9 TOPG
Gary Johnson (6'6, 238, Jr.) 9.8 0.43 23.1 MPG, 9.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 TOPG
Avery Bradley (6'2, 180, Fr.) 9.6 0.33 29.0 MPG, 11.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.6 TOPG
Jordan Hamilton (6'7, 226, Fr.) 8.5 0.44 19.4 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 TOPG
J'Covan Brown (6'1, 185, Fr.) 7.1 0.31 22.5 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.4 RPG, 2.2 TOPG
Justin Mason (6'2, 195, Sr.) 3.8 0.21 18.1 MPG, 3.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.7 APG
Jai Lucas (5'10, 150, Jr.) 2.3 0.22 10.3 MPG, 3.0 PPG, 1.4 APG
Alexis Wangmene (6'7, 241, So.) 2.2 0.27 8.1 MPG, 2.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG

ISU Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min
(Last Time)
Line
Craig Brackins (6'10, 230, Jr.) 16.4 0.47 35.1 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 2.2 TOPG
Marquis Gilstrap (6'7, 215, Sr.) 14.6 0.46 31.9 MPG, 14.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 2.7 TOPG
Diante Garrett (6'4, 190, Jr.) 9.6 0.30 31.5 MPG, 9.1 PPG, 5.0 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 2.5 TOPG
Justin Hamilton (6'11, 260, So.) 8.8 0.41 21.7 MPG, 6.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG
LaRon Dendy (6'9, 230, Jr.) 8.2 0.52 15.7 MPG, 7.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.4 BPG
Scotty Christopherson (6'3, 200, So.) 6.1 0.24 25.5 MPG, 7.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.3 TOPG
Dominique Buckley (6'2, 200, So.) 1.0 0.13 7.5 MPG, 1.5 PPG
Chris Colvin (6'3, 195, Fr.) 0.1 0.01 15.6 MPG, 3.0 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 RPG, 2.1 TOPG

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Good Old Uncle Mo.  In their last three games, Texas has 1) gotten thumped by A&M, 2) almost laid a giant egg and lost to OU at home (they surged ahead and won by 11, but it was neck-and-neck for well past 30 minutes), and 3) gotten thumped by Baylor.  Their offense has suffered lapses, and their defense has taken a down-turn since losing Dogus Balbay to injury.  (Say what you will about Balbay's offense -- it's all deserved -- but he's a helluva defender.)  They are not the most confident squad right now.

    Meanwhile, ISU is playing its best ball of the season.  In the last two weeks, they've doubled their conference win total from two to four, barely lost to Missouri at home, then traveled to Manhattan and pulled the upset of the Big 12 season, a 3-point OT shocker over Kansas State.  If you're a believer in momentum, you're a believer in the possibility of an Iowa State upset.  Can Texas jumpstart their season at the last second, or are they as vulnerable as they appear?  A slow start could spell doom for them.

  2. Brackins' Time to Shine.  Craig Brackins gets the lion's share of the attention for Iowa State, but he's been ISU's second-best player for much of the season, behind Marquis Gilstrap.  Brackins' numbers look great, but he really falls in love with his jumper too much, and it makes him passive.  The Big 12 Tournament, however, is his chance to make quite the NBA audition.  A career game from Lucca Staiger (who has since abandoned ISU for pro basketball in Europe) kept ISU extremely competitive against Texas the first time around, but now it's up to Brackins.  If he can win the battle with Damion James (who I figure will be matched up with him often), then ISU has a very good chance.

  3. Hey Texas: Be Texas.  It wasn't an accident that Texas made it to #1 a while back.  Sure, by the time they reached the top spot, their performance had already begun to slide a little bit.  But they were simply awesome the first two months of the season.  They handled tough, physical teams like Michigan State and Pittsburgh with ease.  They finished 2009 at 12-0, winning games by an average of 28.4 points.  But then they flirted with disaster against Texas A&M-CC.  Then they let Arkansas and Colorado hang around a while.  Then they struggled to knock out Iowa State ... then were taken to OT by A&M at home.

    And then the losses came.  K-State by 9, UConn (!) by 14.  Baylor at home.  On and on.  Dexter Pittman seemingly ran out of gas, the offense lost its identity, and the defense started developing some holes.  They are just 6-8 since starting the season 17-0, and with the talent they have ... yeah, that just shouldn't happen.  Damion James' senior season is almost over -- it's time for him to take over again.  Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown, all three of whom have shown simply insane potential, are at the end of their freshman campaigns -- it's time for them to start playing like sophomores.  It's not too late for this team to figure things out ... but if they're going to do it, it starts with a great performance tomorrow night.

Summary & Prediction

Boy, I just don't know what to do with this one.  There is no result that would surprise me.  A 10-point ISU win?  I could see it.  A 50-point Texas win?  Yep.   Therefore, I'm chickening out and going with The Pom.

Ken Pomeroy's Prediction: Texas 79, Iowa State 70 (UT 80%).
My Prediction: Texas 79, Iowa State 70.

What can i say?  I'm a wuss.

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