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A Tempo-Free Look at Baylor

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Tonight's game with Baylor will feature a contrast of styles. UK plays relatively quickly; its adjusted tempo of 70 possessions/game ranks 98th nationally, and UK's average possession length of 15.4 seconds ranks 27th. Baylor, on the other hand, plays slowly; Baylor's adjusted tempo of 64 possessions/game ranks 290th nationally, and the Bears' average possession length of 18.7 seconds ranks 322nd.

Baylor on Offense:
--Baylor is 32nd nationally in Offensive Efficiency, scoring 1.13 points/possession.

--Of the 4 factors which contribute most to efficiency*, Baylor is good at all of them except holding onto the ball. Baylor ranks 11th nationally in Offensive Rebound%, grabbing 41% of its own misses, and has a FTA/FGA ratio of 53.5, 30th nationally**. The Bears also shoot the ball reasonably well, ranking 45th nationally in Effective FG% at 54.4%. But Baylor is terrible at taking care of the ball; the Bears rank 332nd nationally in turnover%, turning the ball over on 23% of its possessions. One would think that Baylor will be susceptible to on-ball pressure, which could lead to UK transition baskets.

--Baylor is of 2 minds when it comes to the distribution of their points. The Bears are one of the best perimeter shooting teams in the nation; they hit 43% from 3, 18th nationally. But they only take 31% of their total FG attempts from behind the arc. That ratio is 210th-lowest in the country.

--Baylor's 2 best 3-point shooters are also taking the vast majority of their 3-point shots. 6-2 senior guards Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip have taken 80 of Baylor's 132 3-point attempts. Heslip alone has taken 38% (50/132) of Baylor's 3-pointers. In fact, 81% of Heslip's total FGAs have been from 3, so identifying him early and closing out will be a key for UK defensively.

--You thought UK had problems at the free throw line? Baylor is even worse, shooting only 66% on the season. Unlike UK, Baylor hasn't been improving recently***; in their last 3 games, the Bears are shooting only 62% from the line.

Baylor on Defense:
--Baylor's allowing 0.97 PPP, making the Bears 54th in Defensive Efficiency.

--Of the 4 Factors, Baylor is best at keeping opponents off the FT line and FG% D. Baylor opponents' ratio of FTAs/FGAs is only 29.3, 23rd-best in the country. And the Bears are 44th nationally in eFG% at 44.4%. Baylor does not defend the 3 well; their 3-pt FG% D is 36.4%, 246th in the country. But BU opponents are hitting only 39.9% from 2, which is 11th nationally.

--Baylor does not steal the ball much or turn over opponents much. Baylor steals it on only 5% of opponents' possessions, 340th in the country, and turns opponents over on only 14% of possessions, 337th nationally.

--Like UK, Baylor blocks a lot of shots. They block 16% of opponents' FG attempts, 18th nationally****. BU's best shot-blocker is 7-1 center Isiah Austin, who's blocking 13% of opponents' shots when he's in the game.

--2 key Baylor defensive stats to watch tonight: Defensive Efficiency and Effective FG%. Baylor's closest win (67-66 over Dayton) and 1 loss (74-67 to Syracuse) were also Baylor's worst DE and defensive eFG% games. Baylor allowed 1.08 PPP to Dayton, and 1.20 PPP to Syracuse. BU also allowed Dayton to shoot a .567 eFG% and Syracuse .542.

*--As discussed in previous blog entries, these factors are shooting the ball (Effective FG%), taking care of the ball (turnover%), rebounding the ball (Offensive and Defensive Rebound%) and getting to the FT line (FTAs/FGAs).

**--Interestingly, UK is also good in these areas, but slightly better. UK ranks 1st nationally in Off Reb%, grabbing 48% of its own misses, and is 2nd nationally in FT Rate at 65.8.

***--After starting slowly, UK is now shooting 68% from the FT line and has hit 74% (74/100) from the FT line in its last 3 games.

****--UK has a Block % of 18%, 8th-best nationally.

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Updated 12-06-2013 at 01:43 PM by KSRBEvans

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  1. badrose's Avatar
    Nice work, Brain!