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Lzen
03-16-2009, 02:14 PM
http://www2.kusports.com/weblogs/newell_post/2009/mar/14/defense-not-offense-killing-jayhawks/

Blog: The Newell Post (http://www2.kusports.com/weblogs/newell_post/)
(http://www2.kusports.com/rss/weblog_entries/newell_post/)

By Jesse Newell (http://www2.kusports.com/users/jnewell/)
March 14, 2009

After the Kansas men's basketball team's loss Thursday to Baylor, KU coach Bill Self promised his team would practice as hard as it had all season this weekend (http://www2.kusports.com/news/2009/mar/13/one-and-done/), with two practices scheduled for today.
If I'm Self, I work on three things in practice: Defense, defense and defense.
http://media.lawrence.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Mar/14/defense_t620.jpg?fbf2daa044e08a86b24c9c38cd7501865a0e2373
The statistics don't lie: In the last three games, KU has had three of its worst defensive outings of the year*.
* For this blog, I will be using offensive and defensive efficiencies. Though this sounds complicated, it's actually very simple. Offensive efficiency is the number of points a team scores per 100 offensive possessions. Defensive efficiency, then, is the number of points a team allows per 100 defensive possessions. All statistics come from KenPom.com (http://kenpom.com/expsked.php?&c=O_OE&team=Kansas).
After the Baylor loss, there was a lot of talk about the Jayhawks' inability to break a zone, or Sherron Collins' shooting woes or KU's struggles getting the ball inside.
Guess what? The Jayhawks were better offensively on Thursday against Baylor than they were in the teams' first matchup in Waco on Feb. 2. And in the first game, KU won, 75-65.
Here are the offensive efficiency numbers for KU in the two games:
Feb. 2 at Baylor: 101.1
March 12 vs. Baylor: 101.3*

KU scored more points per possession in the second game than the first game. So what was the difference in the two contests? Why did the Jayhawks win one by 10 and lose the other by seven?
To put it simply: defense.
* I will point out, 101.3 is not a great offensive efficiency, but KU is 25-2 this year when its offensive efficiency is 100 or better.
Let's take a look at the defensive efficiency numbers for KU in the two games:
Feb. 2 at Baylor: 87.7
March 12 vs. Baylor: 112.3

It's pretty easy, then, to see that many have missed the true reason KU struggled Thursday. It's because the Jayhawks didn't guard worth a lick.
Like I said earlier, this has been a troubling trend for KU in the last three games.
Statistically, the Jayhawks have been solid defensively all season. KU ranks 16th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency (a figure adjusted to take into account the competition a team plays) with 89.6. The national average is 101.2.
Let's take a look at the Jayhawks' worst defensive efficiency numbers this season:
Nov. 25 vs. Syracuse: 106.5 (L 89-81)
Jan. 10 at Michigan State: 107.2 (L 75-62)
March 7 vs. Texas: 108.7 (W 83-73)
Jan. 3 vs. Tennessee: 109.0 (W 92-85)
March 12 vs. Baylor: 112.3 (L 71-64)
Jan. 6 vs. Siena: 114.0 (W 91-84)
March 4 at Texas Tech: 118.6 (L 84-65)
Dec. 23 at Arizona: 126.5 (L 84-67)

http://media.lawrence.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Mar/14/wise__t620.jpg?fbf2daa044e08a86b24c9c38cd7501865a0e2373
Two things should stand out right away.


Three of the Jayhawks' worst six defensive performances have come in the last three games. Before the Texas Tech game, KU hadn't had a defensive efficiency of 108 or higher since playing Siena. Now the Jayhawks have allowed at least 1.08 points per possession in three straight games. That's not a good trend to have entering the NCAA Tournament.
KU isn't very successful when its defensive efficiency is poor. Though this may seem somewhat obvious, it should discredit the belief that KU can simply outscore other teams when it is not playing well defensively.

Just for reference, the Jayhawks were No. 1 in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency in 2007-08 (82.8) and 2006-07 (82.2) and No. 2 nationally in 2005-06 (84.7).
The Jayhawks need a quick fix in defensive efficiency this year, but the good news is, the statistic has been one of Self's strengths as a coach.
Let's hope he uses two practices today and maybe a few more next week to work on his team's biggest flaw and not its biggest perceived one.

Lzen
03-16-2009, 02:16 PM
And on a related note, here is a SI article on defensive efficiency from early January.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/luke_winn/01/07/midseason/

Lzen
03-16-2009, 02:20 PM
Also, according to Kenpom's stats, Bradley (in 2006) was ranked #11 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
http://kenpom.com/team.php?y=2006&team=Bradley

This year's first round opponent, North Dakota State is ranked #139 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

http://kenpom.com/team.php?team=North%20Dakota%20St.

WhitiE
03-16-2009, 03:47 PM
damn man like the hawks much?

Buehler445
03-16-2009, 03:49 PM
Lzen doesn't fool around...
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HC_Chief
03-16-2009, 03:52 PM
Good info

WhitiE
03-16-2009, 03:53 PM
Lzen doesn't fool around...
Posted via Mobile Device

nope he sure dont......

Lzen
03-16-2009, 03:59 PM
damn man like the hawks much?

Just thought the stats were interesting and some other Hawks fans would like to see it, too. ;)

Lzen doesn't fool around...
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Damn straight. :D

Terribilis
03-16-2009, 03:59 PM
This actually makes me a feel a lot better about KU's first game in the tourney. Thanks Lzen

Buehler445
03-16-2009, 04:01 PM
OK, my question is where is the breakdown? Morningstar was pretty lockdown early, but seems to have fallen off a bit, probably because cpoaches now have film on him. Collins has played decent defense from what I can tell (haven't paid too much attention to him on defense). Tyshawn, I don't really know how he has done. The Morrises I can see. Ball...HACK...FTs. OR...watch the guy shoot a 3 and when he is about ready to release, jog out there. Little has been taken to the woodshed a few times. Aldrich has done well in there IMO. I think the wildcard here is turnovers. We throw a pass to the other guy and he gets a layup, it doesn't get any less efficient than that.

Am I missing something? What are your guys' thoughts?
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Lzen
03-16-2009, 04:02 PM
This actually makes me a feel a lot better about KU's first game in the tourney. Thanks Lzen

That was my first instinct after reading this, as well.

Lzen
03-16-2009, 04:06 PM
OK, my question is where is the breakdown? Morningstar was pretty lockdown early, but seems to have fallen off a bit, probably because cpoaches now have film on him. Collins has played decent defense from what I can tell (haven't paid too much attention to him on defense). Tyshawn, I don't really know how he has done. The Morrises I can see. Ball...HACK...FTs. OR...watch the guy shoot a 3 and when he is about ready to release, jog out there. Little has been taken to the woodshed a few times. Aldrich has done well in there IMO. I think the wildcard here is turnovers. We throw a pass to the other guy and he gets a layup, it doesn't get any less efficient than that.

Am I missing something? What are your guys' thoughts?
Posted via Mobile Device

Morningstar has still been our lockdown defender. Remember Clemente's tizzy? That was due to Morningstar's defense. Also, Abrams had a less than stellar game against KU due to Morningstar's defense.

The biggest things that I can see:

1. Our bigs don't always hedge properly on a pick and roll. And when they do and the other team throws the pass inside quickly to the screener, we don't get quick enough rotation by another defender.

2. Guards tend to help inside too much rather than make sure they keep a lock on a good shooter outside.

But more than anything that I can see is that they just haven't given good enough effort lately. I think with over a week off, Self will get that fixed.

Lzen
03-16-2009, 04:08 PM
BTW, if you didn't bother to read that SI article, I will share one stat about last year's team that is interesting. The 2007-2008 National Champion Jayhawks were #2 in offensive efficiency and #1 in defensive efficiency.

Terribilis
03-16-2009, 04:14 PM
OK, my question is where is the breakdown? Morningstar was pretty lockdown early, but seems to have fallen off a bit, probably because cpoaches now have film on him. Collins has played decent defense from what I can tell (haven't paid too much attention to him on defense). Tyshawn, I don't really know how he has done. The Morrises I can see. Ball...HACK...FTs. OR...watch the guy shoot a 3 and when he is about ready to release, jog out there. Little has been taken to the woodshed a few times. Aldrich has done well in there IMO. I think the wildcard here is turnovers. We throw a pass to the other guy and he gets a layup, it doesn't get any less efficient than that.

Am I missing something? What are your guys' thoughts?
Posted via Mobile Device
I don't know about TO's being the culprit. Tech had a lot more TO's then we did (19-13). Texas turned it over more as well. It seems like guards have really been lighting us up lately. I don't think Reed has been playing that poorly, but it does seem like whoever he is guarding has the green light. Fortunately this is Bill Self's bread and butter. I trust he will tighten the screws on this D come Friday.

Terribilis
03-16-2009, 04:17 PM
BTW, if you didn't bother to read that SI article, I will share one stat about last year's team that is interesting. The 2007-2008 National Champion Jayhawks were #2 in offensive efficiency and #1 in defensive efficiency.
yeah http://kenpom.com/rate.php is a pretty neat site. Memphis (#4 offensive/#4 defensive last year) looks like a defensive juggernaut this year according to Kenpom, with 79.4.

BigVE
03-16-2009, 04:23 PM
The defense has been less than stellar but there is not much a team or a guy can do when another team/player just gets hot and can't miss. Seems to happen against us too frequently.

Skip Towne
03-16-2009, 04:32 PM
If you would like to see our opponent's message board go to bisonville.com. Surprisingly, it has a lot of traffic. It is vbulletin and everything.

sedated
03-16-2009, 04:35 PM
The only schools that show up in the top 20 of both are:
(def)/(off)

- UConn (3)/(20)
- West Virginia (7)/(15)
- Missouri (8)/(18)
- Gonzaga (9)/(6)
- Kansas (14)/(19)
- Duke (16)/(4)

Buehler445
03-16-2009, 05:06 PM
The only schools that show up in the top 20 of both are:
(def)/(off)

- UConn (3)/(20)
- West Virginia (7)/(15)

- Missouri (8)/(18)
- Gonzaga (9)/(6)
- Kansas (14)/(19)
- Duke (16)/(4)
GFDI. :cuss:
Posted via Mobile Device

Bearcat
03-16-2009, 06:08 PM
Thanks for posting...


2. Guards tend to help inside too much rather than make sure they keep a lock on a good shooter outside.

But more than anything that I can see is that they just haven't given good enough effort lately. I think with over a week off, Self will get that fixed.

...I think that's what it comes down to. Last year you could rely on guys like Robinson and Chalmers to have 2 or 3 steals each per game, and you have to have that kind of intensity and effort. I'm sure Self is reminding them everyday that they've lost back-to-back games against the bottom of the B12, and the last place they want to be is back in Lawrence on Saturday.

kysirsoze
03-16-2009, 06:35 PM
Just thought the stats were interesting and some other Hawks fans would like to see it, too. ;)

You were right. Thanks!

Ultra Peanut
03-16-2009, 07:24 PM
This is awesome stuff, even though I'm not a KU fan.

The efficiency margin numbers (http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=596) seem to indicate that Kansas has the capability to make another deep run this year.

Pants
03-16-2009, 07:30 PM
This is awesome stuff, even though I'm not a KU fan.

The efficiency margin numbers (http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=596) seem to indicate that Kansas has the capability to make another deep run this year.

Yeah, too bad Memphis sucks asscock at that, HAHAHAH!

Ultra Peanut
03-16-2009, 07:31 PM
Yeah, too bad Memphis sucks asscock at that, HAHAHAH!srsly, doomed

the Talking Can
03-16-2009, 07:51 PM
ku was as good defensively last year as any team i've ever seen in college...they had everything...Chalmers was a thief, Rush was a lock down 6'5 wing, and our bigs were all athletic...a perfect storm of defense


i think we've overachieved this year - which is a credit to Self's coaching - and it is catching up with us...we don't have near the athleticism on the floor on the perimeter (Reed and moringstar are hard working but limited and we don't have any size at the 3) or the inside (the Twins are not freaks like Arthur or Wright were, and Aldrich is slow and looks slower since his foot/ankle problem)...

quick guards can penetrate on us, and our bigs are frequently out of position allowing easy baskets and easy position...

in the last 3 games we've played 1 good half - second half against UT...otherwise, we have spurts of 4-5 minutes and then we fade, that tells me that Collins, Aldrich, Morningstar are worn down..too many minutes, too little help...and we can't depend on freshman to pick up the slack, just too inconsistent...

i'm hoping to make the Sweet 16...but i have no idea what to expect this year...were we just in a funk or worn out or exposed??

Buehler445
03-16-2009, 08:35 PM
Morningstar has still been our lockdown defender. Remember Clemente's tizzy? That was due to Morningstar's defense. Also, Abrams had a less than stellar game against KU due to Morningstar's defense.


I recognize that, but have seen him a little slow on the closeout sometimes. Probably a result of #2.



1. Our bigs don't always hedge properly on a pick and roll. And when they do and the other team throws the pass inside quickly to the screener, we don't get quick enough rotation by another defender.


I've noticed this quite often as well. In fact, there are several times where I believe the other team has missed an opportunity. Badly. I don't think it happens as much when Morris is hedging, because Adrich is such a force down there. But that is certainly a weakness for this team. Sometimes the result is the guard having to help too much from the helpside and the guard gets an open outside shot.


2. Guards tend to help inside too much rather than make sure they keep a lock on a good shooter outside.


Agreed. I think this has more to do with it than #1. And I don't know how to fix it, except to not help as much and see what the bigs can do. Hopefully the Morrises don't foul toooooo much. I guess the other alternative is trying to abandon the help and close out quicker.


But more than anything that I can see is that they just haven't given good enough effort lately. I think with over a week off, Self will get that fixed.

Man, I don't know. I think a portion of it is that Collins is getting too many minutes. There are times when he gives up on defense or is slow getting back. What REALLY pisses me off is when someone (pisses me off worse when it is him) throws the ball away and get a 2 on 1 against him. He just as well sit down and watch the show. I recognize that he isn't tall enough to contest the shot, but he should commit to defending the ball or go after a pass or something, not just half-heartedly try to get in the way.

The other thing I see is that all of the young kids at one point have gotten in foul trouble by the wonderful reffing that occurs in the Big 12. I don't know if they get a little conservative to stay out of foul trouble or not, but I have certainly seen that in the microcasm of an individual game.

I'm hoping Self can get them turned around for the dance.