Posts Tagged By The Numbers

KU, TCU by the numbers

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

It was better than many expected. After such a devastating loss last weekend to Rice, Kansas looked much improved in many facets of the game. Unfortunately, the offense could not capitalize on the opportunities the defense gave them throughout the game.

It was one of those games that Kansas certainly could have won had the offense been able to finish drives. It could also have been a 30 point loss had TCU taken better care of the football. I’m not sure how much we learned about the team other than it was sure nice to see the players compete their butts off for 60 minutes. This was not always the case last season.

Sticking with the weekly feature, here are some numbers and stats that jumped out to me about the game and the season thus far:

6 – Number of receptions Tony Pierson caught. I have argued for the first two weeks that Weis was crazy to not try to get him involved in the passing game. It was so good to see him succeed in this role, and I am hopeful it is only the beginning. With James Sims returning next week, I’d like to see both of them on the field at the same time, with Pierson lined up in the slot.

12 – Number of KU turnovers forced in 2012. For some comparison, KU only forced 18 turnovers all of last year. Now if we could just get the offense to score some points off those turnovers.

37 – Doherty’s new range. He made one over 30 yards! I should note he also kicked a field goal from 37 yards last year too, so he matched his career long. His range is established, Charlie. Don’t test it.

13.0 - Average yards per kick return in 2012. Good for 4th worst in all of FBS football. We have got to get better in this department.

12 – Tackles by McDougald on the game. He had 9 solo tackles and two forced fumbles as well. Unfortunately he was a little lost in coverage a few times, but overall had a solid game.

3:58 – Amount of time KU had the ball in the 4th Q. Tough to mount a comeback when the other team has the ball the entire quarter. One KU 4th Quarter drive lasted 23 seconds (3 straight passes and out).

25% – KU 3rd Down conversion percentage in 2012. Bottom 5 in all of FBS football in this department. For a team that has a good offensive line and running game, this number should be much higher. Perhaps the development of Pierson on a quick toss will help raise this percentage.

20.3 – KU average points per game in 2012. For some comparison, Oklahoma State is averaging 62.3 points per game, West Virginia 55.5, Baylor 55.3. The second worst in the Big 12 is Iowa State at 28.7. Seven of the ten Big 12 teams average 46 points or more per game.

100 – Receiving yards for Turzilli on 3 receptions. Loved seeing Turzilli get involved in the passing game. Provides a big target for Crist. Could have had many more yards had he pulled in a couple catchable balls.

2 – KU running backs in the top 5 of the Big 12 in rushing yards. Impressive that both Pierson and Cox are among top 5 backs in the Big 12. The addition of Sims may cut into Cox’s carries, but he has proven to be a great all-around back when called upon. Best stiff-arm since Jon Cornish.

48.7 – Crist completion percentage against TCU – He went downfield much more in this game, which contributed to this percentage. His receivers also dropped a few very catchable passes. However, it still isn’t pretty. He had quite a few opportunities to check down after going through his progression and he failed to do so. Hopefully he’ll start to rely on the underneath route a little more, which should help open some things up.

Rock Chalk!

Note: We’re very excited to be going forward on the Jayhawk Talk podcast. Follow me at @JayhawkTalk on Twitter for more information. The first episode should be up on the website and iTunes this week!

KU, Rice by the numbers

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

Yikes. I argued that we didn’t learn a whole lot about this Kansas team the South Dakota State game. The competition was not very fierce, and it was easy to chalk up a few defensive gaffes and some juiced throws to nerves and rust that accompany many openers. We learned much more about KU on Saturday.

And it wasn’t pretty.

Crist was the easiest target for blame on a day where there was a lot of it to go around. He lacked focus and precision. He seemed flustered and rushed at times when he did not need to be. He looked capable in the first half, connecting on a few nice out patterns and a post or two in the middle of the field. But it did not take long for the Rice coaching staff to discover that KU has absolutely ZERO downfield threats. And with that, came the blitzes.

The running game, which literally carried us to a victory in the first game, became strained once it was apparent that the receivers were irrelevant. And the two-score lead which KU built on a nice drive to start the second half dissipated with every missed opportunity (read: field goal).

The blitzes will continue. So will the 8 (or 9) men in the box. Weis will need to show a little more creativity than he showed on Saturday to be anywhere near competitive against TCU.

Despite the poor tackling in some circumstances, I was not overly disappointed with the defense. Rice scored 24 points against UCLA in the first game. If you told me before the game that we would give up 25, I would have taken it. There’s no excuse for missing open-field tackles, but I get the feeling last year’s defense would have given up 40 to Rice. You might recall that defense. You know, the 120th ranked defense in the nation.

Oh, and if you’re curious, Rice was the 111th ranked defense last year…

Now, for some more numbers.

12 – Rice’s road game losing streak. Rice snapped its long road losing streak, which dated back to a September 11, 2010 32-31 victory at North Texas. If you’re curious, Kansas will look to break its own 13-game road losing streak this season, which dates back to a 34-7 win at UTEP on September 12, 2009.

8 – The number of Rice defenders in the box on nearly every 2nd half play. Crist, Weis, and the wide receiver corps (sans the injured Kale Pick) made defense very simple in the second half. Rice had the option of either (a) blitzing the hell out of KU off the edge, or (b) stuffing the box with 8 defenders. KU was forced into a one-dimensional offense that could no longer rely on the run and play-action. It worked.

2 – The number of 100+ yard rushing games for Tony Pierson in 2012. TP rushed the ball 19 times for 120 yards, good for a 6.3 yard average. His partner in crime, Taylor Cox, also pitched in 15 carries for 79 yards (and a TD), good for a 5.3 yard average. Hopefully these two can continue their success against TCU. It will likely depend on Weis and Crist’s ability to make the ‘Frogs defense at least halfway respect our passing game. (Note: I’m still waiting to see Pierson in the slot to get him some action in the passing game).

29 yards or less – The distance KU should attempt field goals the rest of the season. Ron Doherty is now 2 for 5 on the season, with makes from 22 and 29 yards. For every kick beyond 30 yards, it has not been pretty. On a more cheerful note, he is a phenomenal punter (8 punts on the season for an average of 46.9 yards).

93, 94 – The yards KU gave up on two Rice drives. Thanks in large part to…

10 – The amount of yards our defensive backs were playing off Rice receivers all game. This is one aspect of the game that was so infuriating to watch from the stands. Rice knew it. Kansas knew it. We all knew it. The underneath routes and hitch routes were open the entire game. And Rice was smart enough to take advantage of it. It isn’t all a lack of horses at corner. Campo clearly doesn’t have much faith in our linebacking corps in pass coverage either.

0 – The amount of games KU will be favored the rest of the season. I hope Weis has been practicing his “underdog” speech. Because we will literally be the underdog in every game for the rest of the season. Which leads me to…

1.5 – The Over-Under on the amount of wins KU will have this season. I’m taking the over, but barely. I think we’ll sneak a win somewhere we don’t deserve, similar to a Georgia Tech in 2010. You might remember that win came directly after a devastating 6-3 loss at home to North Dakota State. Not terribly unlike a devastating 25-24 loss to Rice. Perhaps TCU is in trouble?

I know the picture painted above is somewhat bleak, but hang in there, KU fans. We knew his was a rebuilding season. It’s not going to change overnight. I just hope we see a little more creativity out of our coaching staff going forward. After all, we don’t ask for much as KU fans. One thing we do ask is to not be embarrassed. Let’s start Saturday.

Rock Chalk.

KU, SDST by the numbers

Posted on: September 4th, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

It wasn’t exactly pretty.  But it was a win. And around here, we’ll take those most days. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that a guy named Turner lost his first game as KU’s head coach to a directional Dakota school. So this was a good start. And I think most can agree with that.

I’ll have more analysis throughout the week leading up to the Rice game. The point of this post is to provide a few numbers from the game and analyze how they impacted the final score. It will be a recurring post throughout the season to help paint the bigger picture before re-watching the game film for more in-depth analysis.

(1-0) – Charlie Weis’ record at KU. You can’t win them all unless you win the first one. Congratulations to Coach Weis and his staff on #1. Hope it is one of many during his tenure in Lawrence.

(30%) – KU’s efficiency on 3rd/4th down. Kansas actually moved the ball pretty well on Saturday. The team just had some difficulty finishing drives. This number helped contribute to that. Against better teams, we will need to improve our short yardage third down conversions.

(4.7) – Crist’s yards per pass average. For only completing 47% of your passes, you would think the yards per average would be higher. You would especially think so after watching the first play (43 yard bomb). It was a forgettable game for Dayne. I expect this number to be higher in every future game Crist plays under center at Kansas.

(99) – We don’t need to go into this one. Blah.

(7.6 and 6.2) – Yards per rush for Taylor Cox and Tony Pierson, respectively. Each ended up with 100+ yards rushing on the day. Incredible effort by both guys and good blocking up front as well. It will be interesting to see what the breakdown is among all the talented RBs once Sims returns.

(11-21-09) – The last time Toben Opurum played offense. He ran as the lead block on Pierson’s red zone touchdown run. Looking forward to seeing him in this capacity more this year.

(2) – The number of interceptions Bradley McDougald pulled in. It is the first time a KU defender has had two in the same game since Darrell Stuckey did so against Missouri on 11/28/08. It was also two of the four overall interceptions the team pulled in.

(2) – The number of blocked punts KU registered in the game. It was the first time KU has blocked multiple punts in a game since 10/23/04 against Oklahoma.

(0.0 and 27.3) – The average kick return yardage for KU and SDST, respectively. This will have to be an area of practice this week. Our kickoff coverage was not great. It will be interesting to see if Weis puts a few more starters on this unit. We’re also going to have to find a way to get a touchback once in a while.

573-569-58 – The overall record of the KU football team. KU will need to win a few games this year to keep this record from entering the red.

More analysis to follow in coming days and weeks. Looking forward to watching this team grow throughout the year.

Rock Chalk!



Kansas, Baylor by the numbers

Posted on: January 19th, 2012 by jayhawktalk 1 Comment

Robinson rises for the alley-oop. This eventually goes into the basket for 2 of his 27 points.

By @HailToOldKU

First things first, sorry I’ve gone missing over the last couple games. Kansas wrecked some fools, I have a real job, things got a little hectic. Is what it is. But when Kansas wrecks some highly ranked fools? Time to come back out of the woodwork. No more slacking.

I’m going to break this up a little bit differently than I have been, because putting stats on there for the bench guys would be completely irrelevant. So I’m going to ignore those guys – because Kansas is essentially a 5-man team anyways – and do numbers for the starters, and then some game stats that I thought were the key. Without further ado:

Thomas Robinson: 1 foul
Baylor can run out five guys with the size and ability to frustrate most posts. All of them, except maybe Quincy Acy, are stretch-fours who can get a traditional post into trouble by dragging him out to the perimeter and either drawing fouls or getting by them for a bucket. Robinson did an incredible job of staying out of foul trouble. With the Jayhawks’ lack of depth, he needed to stay on the floor for 30-plus minutes. He played 35. Oh, and he had 27 and 14. Which doesn’t suck.

Tyshawn Taylor: 10 points
I know Taylor finished with 28. The 10 I mention are the 10 that came during KU’s 13-0 run to end the first half. Taylor’s run entering the break gave the Jays all the momentum entering the second half and put his team up a dime at half. He came out and played a brilliant second half, hitting 10 of 14 shots in his most efficient night of the season.

Jeff Withey: 9 offensive boards
This number just makes me laugh. Seriously? NINE? That’s insane! Here’s the best part, though. The Bears, with all their ridiculous length, combined to get eight offensive rebounds as a team. Man, if it weren’t for the fact that Thomas Robinson is the Greek God of Thunderdunking, we’d all be going nuts about how much Withey has improved. As it stands, I’m going nuts about it anyways. He’s the most improved player on the Jayhawks roster by far.

Elijah Johnson:  1 three-pointer attempted
We’re getting dangerously close to having Good Elijah and Bad Elijah nights just like we do with Tyshawn. The bad Elijah isn’t out of control or turnover prone or anything like that, he just jacks up an insane amount of threes with little regard for Bill Self’s offense.  Self’s offense usually works. Let’s just stick with it. Elijah was great Monday because he played within himself, didn’t do too much and let the two best players on the team be the two best players on the team. Johnson has the talent to be the star, but so did Thomas Robinson last year. Sometimes you have to know your spot, and EJ’s is as the third option, at best.  Great night all-around from him, though, as he embraced the role. 11 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, 4-of-7 shooting. Did it all well.

Travis Releford: 36 minutes
Releford had the biggest challenge of any Kansas defender last night. Not because he was guarding the Bears’ best player (that honor went to Withstar who D’d up on PJ3), but because he was outmatched by five inches and didn’t have much, if any, advantage in quickness against freshman Quincy Miller. Miller went for 17 points, but needed 12 shots to do it and only pulled down a couple boards. Releford played the most minutes on the team because he’s as good as it gets defensively for the Jayhawks right now, and he should be an all-conference defender by the time the season ends. Startling how similar Releford’s numbers (11 points, 3 boards, 4 assists, 5-of-7 shooting) were to Johnson’s.

Key Team Numbers

48-34, 39-24, 17-8: The Jayhawks worked Baylor in the paint, outscoring the Bears 48-34 in the lane and outrebounding them 39-24. Withey and Robinson deserve much of the credit. Also, the Jayhawks won 17-8 on second chance points, courtesy of Withey’s nine (seriously! NINE!) offensive boards. Love that number. Baylor has one of the best frontcourts in the country (I’d put them behind Kentucky and North Carolina only), and the Jayhawks shredded them.

114+: I wasn’t in the building, so I don’t know the exact number, but the highest I saw was somewhere over 114 decibels in the Fieldhouse Monday night. I’m going to toot our own horn here for just a minute: The best fans in college sports live in Lawrence, Kansas.

KU, Davidson by the numbers

Posted on: December 21st, 2011 by jayhawktalk No Comments

Some numbers that mattered for each player in Monday’s loss to Davidson. More bad than good this time around.

Thomas Robinson: 21 and 18
I just made up a new rule for this piece. If you get 20+ points and 15+ rebounds, you get two key stats. At this point I’m really starting to believe that Robinson is the best player in the country, and that Anthony Davis and the Kentucky frontline holding him to 12 and 11 (note: “holding” him to a double-double) is one of the more impressive defensive performances of the season. Obviously I watch more KU hoops than any other school, but no one has impressed as much as Robinson.

Tyshawn Taylor: 8 days
Taylor had a torn meniscus, played on it nine days ago, had surgery eight days ago, then decided he could play Monday. Let’s just straighten out two things here. First, this means that anything Kansas got from him was a bonus. By most medical logic, he’s out for that game and maybe one or two more. So getting 15 points and seven assists was great. If Elijah Johnson knocks down a couple more threes, we’re looking at a double-double. Solid performance from Taylor. If at this point you’re still upset with the five turnovers, I don’t know what to tell you. You should know what you’re getting from TT by now. Second thing this tells us is that Taylor is an absolute warrior, and has developed into the leader that Self needs him to be. It was pretty clear that Taylor wasn’t at full speed, but Self obviously has no faith in Naadir Tharpe (more on this later). Taylor at 70 percent, like I tweeted pregame, is still the team’s best lead guard. Apparently by a pretty wide margin.

Elijah Johnson: 3-10 3P FG
Johnson’s got a beautiful stroke. He’s got great rhythm as a catch-and-shoot guy, and when he’s off the dribble he’s got a nice, quick release. But for a guy who is as good at shooting as he is, Johnson goes cold an awful lot. I feel like EJ’s one of those irrational confidence shooters. If he hits one, he starts to think he’s going to hit everything, and he usually does. But if he misses a couple, it goes the exact opposite way. He starts to think too much about his shot, tries to correct mid-game, and it completely throws him off. He’s got worlds of talent. He’s just got to get out of his own way.

Travis Releford: 8 points
I like Releford. A lot. He’s pretty obviously the team’s go-to lockdown perimeter defender, and he’s athletic enough that in the break that he’s an offensive weapon. But for me he has to do more. Kansas can’t rely on Robinson and Taylor – and Johnson to a lesser degree – for all of the scoring, and Releford’s the next guy up. He can shoot (granted his shot is ungainly compared to Teahan or Johnson, but the numbers are there to back him up), and he’s able to get to the rack pretty consistently. If this team is going to succeed, it needs either Releford or the next guy on this list to develop into a double-figure scorer.

Jeff Withey: 16 minutes
Watched the game a couple times now, stared at the boxscore for a good long while, and I can’t figure out why Withey didn’t get more minutes. The only thing I can come up with is that Davidson is laden with guards and keeping Withey in the game meant Robinson had to guard the perimeter and when Robinson is in the process of going for 21 and 18, you just can’t risk him getting into foul trouble. That’s fair. But he’s still the best defender on the team, and if you extrapolate his numbers out to a 24-minute game, he’s looking at a 14-point, 6-board day, which is considerably more than Kansas got from Conner Teahan, who played the lion’s share of Withey’s minutes. I think I just unconsciously complimented Withey’s offense. I’m moving on.

Conner Teahan: 2-8 3P FG
If Teahan’s not hitting from outside, he cannot play 26 minutes. Plain and simple. This sounds like the argument people used to make against Brady Morningstar, but I was actually pro-Morningstar for most of his career. Morningstar brought a lot of other things to the table: great court vision, quality defense. He was like the guy who outworks everyone else on the rec center courts, that everyone else inevitably hates because hey, man, we’re just here to have some fun and jack up some shots and you’re standing really close to me. Teahan doesn’t have that. He’s too slow-footed on defense to guard a three, let alone an athletic one or two, and is more of a liability because of that then Robinson-outside-because-of-Withey ever would be. All that said, Bill Self is considerably smarter about basketball than I am.

Kevin Young: 0-1 FG
“What is this consistency you speak of?” – Kevin Young.
Young didn’t really say that. If you weren’t sure. But he might as well have. After a brilliant performance off the bench against Ohio State in 24 minutes, Young got 10 minutes against Davidson and didn’t do a damn thing with one of them. I believe it was the man who’s blog I’m borrowing who said he hoped Young would be a homeless-man’s Thomas Robinson. I concurred with that assessment. But he brought little energy and no offensive spark to the Jayhawks in his time on the floor Monday. Bad day for him.

Justin Wesley: 0-1 FG
I was never high on Wesley, so seeing him play at an uninspiring level hasn’t really floored me. I’d hoped he’d be a spark off the bench, and his athleticism that he showed off at Late Night the last couple seasons has been reason enough for some excitement, but this is still a guy who averaged one point and one rebound at Lamar University. There had to be a reason for it. I think it’s pretty clear now what it is. For all his limitless athleticism, Wesley isn’t a great basketball player. It’s like the difference between Kobe and LeBron. LeBron is a world-class athlete, maybe the best in the world right now. I honestly believe he could pick up pretty much any sport and be a star at it. He’s that good. Kobe is a basketball player. Not the biggest, strongest or fastest guy on the floor (don’t get me wrong, he’s still a great athlete), but he’s just got more basketball talent than anyone in the game. Wesley is like LeBron, in that he’s a phenomenal athlete. If he signed up to be a wide receiver, Charlie Weis would be able to do some serious damage with him. He’s just not much of a basketball player, unfortunately.

Naadir Tharpe: 3 minutes
Monday was pretty much a worst-case scenario for the Jayhawks. Going down early meant that Tyshawn Taylor wasn’t coming out of that game unless his knee flat-out quit on him. That said, I’m still surprised Tharpe only got three minutes. It’s been evident that Self doesn’t have a whole lot of faith in Tharpe over the last couple games, but you had to expect Taylor to be limited to about 25 minutes max – Self said pregame he didn’t want him going over 30, he wound up playing 33 – which would have meant Tharpe getting at least 10 minutes. Three, though? He never even got a chance to show what he could do. It wasn’t necessarily a bad day for Tharpe, just disappointing.