Inside the Numbers: UNC-Greensboro at Kansas
by Donald Davis

Related pages

Coach's comments

Box score

Season stats

Possession analysis

Explanation of NEP

If you didn’t enjoy the UNC-Greensboro at Kansas game you are either dead or a UNC-Greensboro fan. That passed the smile test in spades. The smile test, of course, is computed by adding the number of times you see Coach Williams smile on the sideline versus the number of times he is scowling, frowning, yelling, gasping, etc. There were lots of smiles this game. Larry Connally, the ESPN announcer made comment to the effect that Coach Williams was a among the most effective at preparing his players for early season games. The boys were sure ready for this game. They looked faster, stronger, quicker, and all around better in just about every category than Greensboro. What must it be like to travel thousands of miles and have to play in Allen Fieldhouse against a highly talented team. Of particular note in the game commentary by the ESPN guys was the absence of the overused cliché, “the Spartans just won’t go away.” They didn’t have to go away, the Jayhawks put them away.

Before we get into the game statistics let’s take a minute to review some of the milestones we will be tracking this year. We have at least four guys on this team that have a chance to finish very prominently in the Jayhawk record books. Specifically, Hinrich and Collison are in their senior campaign and have a chance to reach some significant milestones this season.

Team Victories: The Jayhawk record for most victories in a season is 35 accomplished once by Larry Brown in 1985-86 and once by Roy Williams in 1997-98. Those two seasons also account for the most games played by a Jayhawk team in a season at 39. This season the Jayhawks could play a maximum of 41 games. If the stars are aligned this group of Jayhawks could surpass the 35 victory mark. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Career Scoring: KU has 45 career 1000 point scorers. The way Langford and Simien are beginning this season they could possibly join that club. Hinrich began the season in 32nd place and has moved past Wayne Hightower in 31st. He needs only 5 to move beyond Billy Thomas with 1152 points. If Kirk averages 18 points per game this season and the Jayhawks play in 41 games he would finish his career with 1850 points good for 4th all-time behind Danny, Raef, and Clyde (no last names required). With only 39 more points he would surpass Clyde for third. The one catch in these prognostications is Collison is ahead of Kirk and will likely finish ahead of him. Nick began the season 283 points ahead of Kirk. Nick will need to average 14.76 PPG (41 games) to reach the 2000 point plateau. He would need to average 16.37 PPG to pass Raef for second all-time. If the Jayhawks only play 36 games Nick would need 16.81 and 18.64 PPG respectively to reach 2000 and Raef. These guys are definitely two very special Jayhawks. Kirk and Nick are averaging 18.0 and 22.5 PPG respectively through the first two games.

Career Rebounds: Nick began the season in 11th place all-time with 763 rebounds. He has already passed Greg Ostertag to break into the top ten. Barring injury, Nick will very likely surpass Eric Chenowith for 4th place all-time. He will need to average 4.15 to 4.72 RPG (41 and 36 games) to take 4th all-time. He will need to average 7.8-89 to pass Bill Bridges for third and 10.3-11.8 to pass Raef for 2nd. He will most likely finish in the top 5 in career scoring and rebounds matching only Danny and Raef. Nick has averaged 8.0 RPG through the first two games.

Free Throw Percentage: Kirk Hinrich is 5th all-time in FT% at 81.2%. As long as he shoots 80% or better he will stay there.

Season Assists: Last season Aaron Miles set the freshman record and had the second most assists of any KU player with 252. If KU plays all 41 games Miles would need to average 6.8 APG to surpass Jacque (no last name required) for most assists in a season. Aaron has 12 assists through two games. Amazingly enough, even if Aaron just matches last seasons numbers, he will finish the season in 6th all time passing such luminaries as Haase, Woodberry, Turgeon, Robertson, and Pritchard. This kid is very special.

Career Blocks: Nick currently ranks 5th all-time and has a chance to move into first with 2.5 blocks per game. More likely Nick will average slightly above 1 BPG and pass Danny Manning for 4th.

Career Assists: Kirk Hinrich currently sits in 5th all-time with 538 assists. By averaging 4 APG he will pass Jordon, Valentine, and Hunter into 2nd all-time. In order to pass Jacque he will need to average 6.5 APG. This milestone is possible but unlikely. Nevertheless, this stat is amazing considering he played only two seasons as the true point guard and both of those seasons he was matched in the backcourt with another PG in Jeff Boschee. This kid is truly a very special college player.

There are other potential milestones and we will point those out as they come more into play.

Now let’s take a look at the UNC-Greensboro game.

Player of the Game: Kirk (Chicken Man) Hinrich Some of you are wondering what’s up with the nickname. Well, I grew up just outside of Kansas City in the 60’s and early 70’s. There was a radio station with the call letters WHB which played top 40 and had the normal kind of funny skits and stuff that are still common today among morning radio shows. During that period there was a skit they ran frequently called the Adventures of Chicken Man. The show always opened up with a deep bass voice saying, “Chickennnnnnnn Mannnnnnn”, followed by a little weenie voice saying, “he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere”. Well that sort of expresses my assessment of Kirk’s game. He seems to be everywhere on the court. He continued his very effective shooting, hitting 10 of 17 from the field including 3 for 6 on 3-pointers. He had 7 boards, 5 assists to only 1 TO, 1 block and 4 steals. No a bad line for playing a ton of minutes. But wait, he only played 27 minutes. This adds up to an amazing team-leading NEP of 39.0 and a n-NEP of 57.7. To give you a perspective of these stratospheric numbers let’s look at the 10 best single game performances last year.

Opponent Date Player NEP n-NEP
VALPARAISO 2-Jan-02 Drew Gooden 48.6 69.4
Texas Tech 9-Mar-02 Aaron Miles 47.1 75.4
Texas Tech 9-Mar-02 Drew Gooden 43.3 66.6
at Kansas State 4-Feb-02 Kirk Hinrich 40.7 60.3
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 15-Dec-01 Drew Gooden 39.8 54.9
UMKC 8-Dec-01 Kirk Hinrich 38.1 46.1
at Nebraska 24-Feb-02 Drew Gooden 37.8 45.9
Seton Hall 21-Nov-01 Nick Collison 37.4 48.2
PITTSBURG STATE 28-Nov-01 Drew Gooden36.4 54.0
MISSOURI 28-Jan-02 Drew Gooden36.2 51.7
Holy Cross 14-Mar-02 Drew Gooden36.0 40.0
KANSAS STATE 27-Feb-02 Kirk Hinrich 35.9 42.2
IOWA STATE 18-Feb-02 Drew Gooden 34.1 52.4
at Missouri 3-Mar-02 Nick Collison 33.3 43.0
Stanford 16-Mar-02 Kirk Hinrich 32.8 62.4
Stanford 16-Mar-02 Jeff Boschee 32.7 37.3
at Texas A&M 26-Jan-02 Drew Gooden 32.7 42.1
NEBRASKA 9-Jan-02 Kirk Hinrich 32.5 44.8
MISSOURI 28-Jan-02 Kirk Hinrich 32.4 39.3
NEBRASKA 9-Jan-02 Nick Collison 32.2 46.0

Kirk’s 39 NEP is very close to his best and his n-NEP of 57.7 is also his second best as a Jayhawk. This was Kirk’s second best game ever as a Jayhawk and would have ranked as one of the best 5 single game performances all of last year. Simply a wonderful and exciting performance by Kirk.

Honorable Mention POG: Tie between Wayne, Keith and Nick All three had just amazing games which would have ranked in the top 20 n-NEP scores last season. Keith won POG honors in the first game with his second-best game ever as a Jayhawk and bettered his numbers for both NEP and n-NEP in the second game. He recorded a 50+ n-NEP for the second time and also recorded his best-ever NEP. Aaron had a very solid game but was lost in the shuffle since his co-starters had exceptional games. My oh my was this a fun game.

Player NEP n-NEP
Kirk Hinrich 39.0 57.7
Nick Collison32.9 48.7
Keith Langford28.8 50.1
Wayne Simien28.7 42.6
Aaron Miles17.5 26.0
Jeff Hawkins8.6 38.4
Michael Lee6.6 22.0
Jeff Graves3.7 13.3
Bryant Nash3.4 7.1
Moulaye Niang2.8 10.2
.sht">Stephen Vinson0.1 2.0
Christian Moody-0.9 -11.6
Brett Olson-1.5 -30.6

Significant Stats
One stat I particularly like seeing is Kirk Hinrich getting offensive. He shot at a rate of 6.25 shots per 40 minutes. This game he increased to a team leading 25.19. This is the kind of offensive mindedness we need from Kirk. Nick and Wayne combined for about 34 which was consistent with the first game. Keith also took a more offensive tack moving from 12.8 to 19.1 shots per 40 minutes.

Hang with me on this one. I really like our %LOB of 11.2%. What is %LOB? I’m glad you asked because it is an important stat and one that has hurt KU. We play a very up-tempo game which lends itself to TO’s. If we don’t play the up-tempo game effectively, we can find ourselves losing the advantage it gives us by turning the ball over. Looking strictly at TO’s is a little deceiving because it is dependent on the number of possessions. For instance Oklahoma State averaged about 75 possessions per game last season and we averaged over 93. This means we are going to have many more opportunities to lose the ball which will be offset by many more opportunities to score. To compare who handled the ball more effectively you need to divide the number of TO’s by the number of possessions. This is the %LOB. Last season we averaged 17.4% LOB and were below 11.5 only three times. In our 4 losses lat season we average 20.0% LOB. We played a very up-tempo game last night and really protected the ball. Our team A/TO was an astounding 1.91. This would have ranked 5th for all of last season.

We continued our “wise” shooting for the most part resulting in a 54.6% shooting percentage. Our season shooting% through two games is 54.0%. The word ‘wise” needs to be qualified. We did have a good percentage but Bryant Nash will have to show a little better proficiency before Roy will give him the green light in the future. He was 0 for 4 from three land. Actually the non-starters were 0 for 7. Not exactly inspiring. We only managed 67% from the FT line which is too low. On the plus side Nick shot 5 for 7 for 72% and is shooting 72.2% for the season.

We continued our good glass work outrebounding the Spartans by 16 and garnering over 60% of the total boards. More importantly we completely dominated the offensive glass. We pulled down almost 53% of the rebounds on the offensive glass. Considering we averaged only 36% last season and were above 50% only 4 times confirms our board work was outstanding. Kirk gets special kudos for pulling down 4 offensive boards.

That should about take care of things for now. Please feel free to email me with any questions or requests.

Stats all for now, folks.

Email Don

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