Friday, December 19, 2008

Longhorn'd - The Texas Preview

The Dossier on Texas:

GENERAL INFORMATION
  • Win-Loss Record: 9-1
  • Best Wins: UCLA, Villanova (Neutral Court), Oregon
  • The Loss: Notre Dame (@ Maui)
  • #5 in both AP/Coaches' Polls
  • #22 in Kenpom ranking
WHAT THE LONGHORNS DO WELL
  • Defend, especially on the interior. Texas is the #12 team in the nation in defensive efficiency; their opponents score 0.833 points per possession (anything under 1 is pretty good, get that number below 0.85 and we're talking national title contender). They're also one of the best blocking teams in the nation. Texas blocks 17.6% of all opponents' shots.
  • Shoot the dang three. Well, this item bodes well. Texas' leading scorer, A.J. Abrams, has been shooting 47% from behind the arc. He's also averaging about 36 minutes a games so expect to see him a lot. Texas also has two other players shooting above 38% on their threes (Damion James and Connor Atchley, the latter of which looks like he was kidnapped from the Bo Ryan Cloning Facility of Tall White Guys that Can Shoot), which will spell trouble for the Spartans if their three point defense stays mediocre.
  • Hold onto the ball. Texas only turns over the ball about 13 times a game, a little better than average. Don't expect to rip the ball away from Abrams, he only turns it over about once per game.
DO WE HAVE A CHANCE? WHERE DO THEY SUCK?
  • Anything involving the free throw line. The Longhorns shoot 61.2% from the foul line, 307th in Division I. They have four players in their main rotation that shoot under 60%, so if the game is close in the end, there should always be a favorable person to foul.
  • Their offensive percentage inside the arc is strikingly average. UT shoots 48% on their twos, and that percentage puts them at 171st in the nation.
  • But yet they still take many more twos than threes. Only 25% of Texas' shots are threes, despite how well they shoot the ball from 20 feet, nine inches.
ALRIGHT, I'LL BITE. HOW DOES MSU WIN THIS GAME?
  • Chris Allen becomes unconscious behind the arc. Texas has a very strong interior defense, so accurate perimeter shooting will be pivotal for extending the interior defense and creating cracks for passing lanes inside. Allen can help immensely if he makes Texas guard him anywhere inside 25 feet.
  • By being unafraid to foul anywhere inside the arc. This point is tailor-made for Raymar to excel. Make Texas earn a victory by hitting their foul shots.
  • HOLD ONTO THE CONSARNED BALL! Self-explanatory, no stats needed.
WHAT HAPPENS IN HOUSTON?

I believe that this game is going to be nip and tuck all the way through. However, I think MSU is going to create their own undoing with a few too many turnovers and a few too many Abrams threes.

Texas 73, MSU 65.


1 comment:

DP99 said...

Great preview, but I hope you don't feel too bad the win came without any of your key points being a contributing factor!