(Vanilla, Graph-free) Preview: Kansas at Oklahoma

If you haven't already, read this. Now then, if you've bothered to return (and I don't blame you if you haven't)...

Oklahoma's overall defensive efficiency ranking (15th in the country per Pomeroy) flatters to deceive.


Team Overall Big 12 At-risk
OU 0.917 1.024 1.061
KU 0.849 0.877 0.929

"At-risk" constitutes all road and neutral games plus home losses in both of these cases.

It would be nice for Oklahoma were they a really good defensive team because (this is the part I write twice a week in this space:) they don't figure to score very easily against Kansas.


(Big 12 games only)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
OU off 47.7 37.1 19.4 25.3 73.9 1.06
KU def 43.0 27.9 22.8 36.3 64.5 0.88

Kansas leads the league in field goal defense and defensive rebounding. Oklahoma relies on their offensive rebounding to make up for their poor field goal shooting. They're sort of like Kansas State with slightly worse three-point shooting and a higher turnover rate. Kansas State couldn't get to a point per possession in either meeting with Kansas.


(Big 12 games only)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
OU def 47.7 32.1 20.2 41.3 72.2 1.02
KU off 55.6 38.1 19.8 22.4 66.7 1.15

Oklahoma's defensive profile is pretty average across the board with the exception of the high number of free throws they allow their opponents to attempt. Both creating and converting free throw opportunities remains Kansas's greatest offensive weakness. If the Sooners give up two free throw attempts for every five Kansas field goal attempts, the Jayhawks will discover a previously untapped vein of point scoring opportunities. Here's hoping they make some of them.

Oklahoma plays at a much slower pace (just under 62 possessions per game) than the Jayhawks (just under 70 possessions per game). The respective Iowa State games demonstrated the broad effect that dictating pace can have on a team's performance.

The difference in talent and performance between Kansas and Oklahoma is such that Oklahoma cannot even afford to split the difference between the two teams' preferred paces of play. They must keep this game at 62 possessions or less to have a chance to win. Nobody's thoroughly reduced possessions against Kansas since the game in Ames.

Prediction: Kansas 74 Oklahoma 61