Mea Culpa

So pretty much everything I predicted on Friday turned out to be wrong. Kansas won, for one thing. The game was a shootout, albeit a slow paced one. Julian Wright was the best big man on the court by a significant margin. Darrell Arthur, in the few minutes he was allowed to play, was more effective than either Noah or Horford. Robinson and Chalmers had decent games but were outshined by Taurean Green. Sherron Collins looked very much like a freshman and Sasha Kaun looked very much like someone still getting over a knee injury. And every Jayhawk not named Jon Cornish laid an egg in Columbia.

The good news is that Kansas beat the best college basketball team in the country (and one that posed several difficult matchups for them) without fully correcting many of their obvious and ongoing weaknesses. The bad news is that Kansas still has several obvious and ongoing weaknesses. Chief among them is the complete inability to handle end-of-game situations with much composure. Brandon Rush's maddening passivity, the team's penchant for committing unforced turnovers and guards providing needless help defense and leaving shooters open beyond the three-point line all deserve mention as well.

This team is obviously pretty good when they play hard. I still don't think they're close to tapping fully into their potential.

stats glossary

For comparison's sake: 2006 and 2005 individual and team stats from kenpom.com.

TEAM OFFENSE

Opp Poss eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate PPP
NAU 75.0 58.7 39.4 18.7 27.0 1.21
ORU 77.2 44.8 41.9 24.6 16.4 0.92
Towson 75.7 61.4 31.0 23.8 29.8 1.15
Tenn St 72.0 60.2 41.9 20.8 30.5 1.24
Ball St 63.2 46.4 48.6 26.9 23.6 1.01
Florida 61.2 57.1 37.9 17.4 32.1 1.19
Season 70.5 54.6 40.6 22.0 26.3 1.12

There weren't many turnovers committed against Florida, they just tended to be unneccessary ones (Chalmers and Robinson committing carrying violations twenty-five feet from the basket or Julian Wright attempting to dribble through the Florida zone along the baseline). Overall, though, it was an outstanding (and coming on the heels of Friday's putrid offensive displaye against Ball State a thoroughly unexpected) offensive performance.

TEAM DEFENSE

Opp Poss eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate PPP
NAU 75.2 38.3 29.3 27.9 23.3 0.76
ORU 73.4 56.0 26.5 21.8 32.8 1.06
Towson 75.2 44.6 31.4 31.9 25.0 0.81
Tenn St 70.7 35.3 29.8 24.1 37.9 0.76
Ball St 60.9 36.2 36.1 31.2 38.3 0.76
Florida 63.7 51.5 38.6 19.5 33.8 1.12
Season 69.7 44.0 32.1 26.0 31.7 0.88

Keep in mind that opponents' FT Rate counts the number of attempts the opposition gets per 100 field goals. Still, there's been a lot of fouling in the last three games. Tangentially, I'm still waiting for ESPN to show a replay of Sasha Kaun's foul on Al Horford in the final minute of regulation so I can determine whether that was the early leader for worst play of the year or worst call of the year.

Updated individual stats after the jump.

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSE

Name Min eFG% FT% FT Rate PPWS Pts/100 A/100 TO/100
Rush 191 50.7 50.0 16.4 1.03 25.5 3.9 5.3
Robinson 188 40.3 75.0 67.7 1.06 13.9 9.0 3.0
Wright 185 65.7 68.8 21.6 1.34 23.9 5.2 5.8
Chalmers 161 53.6 60.0 10.9 1.09 22.9 6.7 2.8
Arthur 132 65.5 78.6 37.9 1.39 42.1 0.4 4.7
Jackson 112 57.1 63.6 50.0 1.22 23.3 2.0 6.6
Collins 112 64.1 71.4 15.6 1.31 23.3 4.6 3.5
Stewart 39 25.0 0.0 0.0 0.41 4.4 4.4 1.5
Kaun 30 30.0 100.0 30.0 0.80 17.0 0.0 5.7
Name Min eFG% FT% FT Rate PPWS Pts/100 A/100 TO/100

Russell Robinson still can't make a shot from the floor but he maintains an average level of scoring efficiency by shooting (and making) a huge number of free throws relative to his number of made field goals.

Darrell Arthur should shoot the ball. Darrell Arthur should shoot the ball a lot.

INDIVIDUAL REBOUNDING AND DEFENSE

Name Min OR% DR% BS/100 S/100
Rush 191 7.0 14.1 1.5 0.3
Robinson 188 5.8 7.1 0.6 4.0
Wright 185 11.1 21.8 3.7 2.8
Chalmers 161 0.8 9.6 1.1 4.6
Arthur 132 18.4 14.1 5.2 2.2
Jackson 112 15.2 17.5 1.5 1.5
Collins 112 2.2 7.4 0.0 1.0
Stewart 39 0.0 8.0 0.0 1.5
Kaun 30 8.1 6.9 0.0 0.0
Name Min OR% DR% BS/100 S/100

There is absolutely nothing not to like about Darrell Arthur. He scores often and efficiently from the floor, he gets to the line often and makes his free throws, he has thus far been a beast on the offensive glass, he gets a decent number of defensive rebounds, and he blocks shots and steals the ball at rates that rival Julian Wright. I plan to enjoy Mr. Arthur's time in Lawrence while it lasts.

The above also shows how impotent Kaun has been thus far. Last year his rebounding rates were 12% (offensive) and 17.7% (defensive), he blocked 5.9 shots and stole the ball 1.6 times per 100 possessions.

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