Preview: Colorado at Kansas

I've made what I feel is an honest effort, but there is nothing positive to report about the Colorado basketball team. They have a lame duck coach who was fairly inept even in the best of (relative) circumstances. They have but one decent player in Richard Roby but he's having a horrible year (41.8 2PTFG%, 23.7 3PTFG%, 1.5 turnovers per assist). They don't score efficiently and they don't stop their opponents from scoring efficiently.

COLORADO OFFENSE v. KANSAS DEFENSE

(all games)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
CU off 44.8 35.3 23.8 24.0 65.6 0.93
KU def 42.9 31.3 25.5 31.0 64.9 0.86

In all games, Colorado is almost as bad offensively as the average opponent of one of the top five defenses in the country.

COLORADO DEFENSE v. KANSAS OFFENSE

(all games)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
CU def 54.2 33.8 21.8 38.8 71.1 1.10
KU off 53.4 37.6 20.9 23.6 66.5 1.10

If Kansas can't make shots and get to the foul line in this game, I will be surprised and saddened.

The only interesting question about Colorado is whether or not they're the worst team in the any of the six major conferences. The candidates:

Team At-risk Record eff margin Conf Record eff margin KenPom rank
Arizona St 0-14 -16 0-9 -19 144
Minnesota 0-13 -19 1-5 -22 155
Oregon St 3-12 -18 1-7 -20 156
Colorado 1-11 -25 1-5 -23 195
Rutgers 2-12 -21 1-6 -18 200

Arizona State and Minnesota haven't won an at-risk game (By the by, it's just this week that I realized I stole that term from the REAL STANDINGS. Consider this an overdue tip of the hat to Mark.) but they've both been slightly more competitive in their losses than have the Buffaloes; a fact reflected in their at-risk and conference efficiency margins and their KenPom.com rankings. Oregon State has three unimpressive at-risk wins (@Northern Colorado, @Montana State, and @Arizona State) giving their profile a superficial boost with the last of those wins giving them a clear leg up in comparisons with the Sun Devils. Rutgers is really, really bad offensively but they're an average defensive team and thus lack the comprehensive incomptence that would make one comfortable declaring them the absolute worst team from a major conference. (Aside concerning the 7th major(-ish) basketball conference: I would take my chances with either Illinois State or Drake against any of these teams on a neutral court.)

Colorado's one-point win @Utah is the only thing arguing against their claim on this crown of shame, but they have the worst efficiency margin in both categories and are the least likely to get any better (or, if you prefer, the most likely to give up completely and tank the rest of the season). Until further notice, I'll consider them the worst.

Prediction: Kansas 86 Colorado 57

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