Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kentucky Wildcats (12): Statistical Analyis

Early this evening, the Kentucky Wildcats tee it up against the Oklahoma Soonersin Maui.  In this article, we will take a look at the statistical comparison between the two teams.

Jeff Capel, former Duke Blue Devil, is the fifth-year coach of the Oklahoma Sooners  Capel's coaching record is as follows, courtesy of Statsheet.com:

Team Years Record
Oklahoma 2006-2011 83-50 (0.624)
Virginia Commonwealth 2002-2006 79-41 (0.658)

Capel has been pretty successful at Oklahoma, but the program has come under NCAA taint because of allegations surrounding Tiny Gallon, who left for the NBA draft last year.  The Sooners were a disappointing 13-18 last year despite having three players jump to the NBA, and some think that Jeff Capel's seat in Norman may be getting a bit warm.

Capel's team had a very high roster turnover last year.  Follow me past the jump for details:

Major losses from last year:

Name Height Wt Class Status
Tommy Mason-Griffin 5-11 206 Freshman Lost starter
Tiny Gallon 6-9 296 Freshman Lost starter
Willie Warren 6-4 203 Sophomore Lost starter

All three of these guys were high-school All-Americans, and all three of them opted for the NCAA draft.  All three were impact players for the team last year, although Gallon's NCAA issues and chemistry problems really hurt the Crimson and Cream in 2009-10

Overall, the Sooners lost eight players last year to varying circumstances.  They have added eight replacements, and here are the likely impact players among them:

Name Height Wt Class Status
Nick Thompson 6-9 212 Junior New (transfer) JUCO
Cameron Clark 6-6 195 Freshman New (impact freshman)
Calvin Newell Jr. 6-1 201 Freshman New
Romero Osby 6-8 247 Junior New (transfer) Miss. St.

Nick Thomson has been the most productive of the newcomers, with Cameron Clark right behind.  Romero Osby played well at Mississippi St. for a couple of years, and should figure to have an impact on this team, although at the moment he is sitting out his year in residence and will not be playing for the Sooners this year.

The full roster with notes are below:


Oklahoma Sooners Basketball Roster

# Pos. DOB W H College
Abdul Ahmed 12 F Left team 207 6-10 freshman
Carl Blair Jr. 14 G - 214 6-2 sophomore
Cameron Clark 21 G Impact freshman 195 6-6 freshman
Cade Davis 34 G Returning starter, leading ret. scorer & rebounder 206 6-5 senior
Andrew Fitzgerald 4 F returning occasional starter 237 6-8 sophomore
T.J. Franklin 3 G Returning player 174 5-11 junior
Kyle Hardrick 25 F Returning player 219 6-8 sophomore
Barry Honore` 31 F Returning player 262 6-7 junior
Tyler Neal 15 F - 209 6-7 freshman
Calvin Newell Jr. 11 G - 201 6-1 freshman
Romero Osby 24 F Year in residence 247 6-8 junior
Steven Pledger 2 G Returning occasional starter 206 6-4 sophomore
Ryan Randolph 22 G Returning player 201 6-4 freshman
T.J. Taylor 1 G - 217 6-3 freshman
Nick Thompson 55 F - 212 6-9 junior
C.J. Washington 5 F - 210 6-7 junior


Now, a look at who the two teams have played so far, via Kenpom.com:

Date Kenpom Opponent Rank Opponent Result Kenpom rank Notes Location Record
Oklahoma
Fri Nov 12 321 Coppin St. W, 77-57 64
Home 1-0
Mon Nov 15 293 North Carolina Central W, 71-63 70 OT Home 2-0
Thu Nov 18 337 Texas Southern W, 82-52 70
Home 3-0
Kentucky
Fri Nov 12 100 East Tennessee St. W, 88-65 72
Home 1-0
Fri Nov 19 112 Portland W, 79-48 61
Semi-Away 2-0

The first thing you'll notice is that Kentucky has played a far tougher schedule to date, and dispatched both opponents with relative ease.  OU handled Coppin St. and Texas Southern with relative ease, but struggled with North Carolina Central due to poor shooting.

The Four Factors

 

Here's a look at the Four Factors to winning in this game, and how the Sooners and Wildcats stack up against each other.  As you can see, the Wildcats have been shooting a significantly higher eFG%, as well as taking much better care of the basketball.  Kentucky is even doing better on the offensive glass, and if there is one potential weakness of this Kentucky team, that should be it.  The only one of the Four Factors where Oklahoma is clearly winning is on FTRate%, which measures how often you get to the line per field goal attempt, and the importance of that stat is minimized by Kentucky's high eFG%.

Overall Evaluation

Overall, the Sooners play at a more deliberate pace than Kentucky does, and that makes sense given Kentucky's extremely athletic and skilled freshmen, and OU's less athletic squad.

Oklahoma is fairly dangerous from the perimeter, but they have yet to face an opponent ranked as high as the top 150 in the land, so it's difficult to say how much of that success has been due to the futility of their opponents.  Oklahoma is not projected to do very well in the Big 12 this year, but this is a team that can improve and has some players that will give them a chance to win 16-18 games this season.

Unfortunately for Sooner fans, Oklahoma is mismatched against the Wildcats.  For one thing, they are not big enough to provide a physical mismatch, and not athletic enough to keep up with the cheetah-like speed of  the Kentucky Wildcats.

What Oklahoma has done well so far is get to the line, and if they can force Kentucky to foul them a lot, it would be a big benefit to them both in terms of easy points as well as putting the thin UK squad in a bind personnel wise.

Barring that, however, the Sooners are in tough versus the Wildcats, and they will have the devil of a time figuring out how to keep Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones from killing them at the rim, or from the perimeter, depending on how they choose to defend.

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