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CU/Pittsburgh Preview (more of a scouting report)

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by jgisland, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    They aren’t Arizona…..but they kind of are…..


    What started out as a preview turned into more of a scouting report – this focuses heavily on Pittsburgh and what they do, at this point in the year I’ve discussed CU tirelessly, I figured my time was best spent on the unknown.


    Colorado received their highest seed in the Tad Boyle era this year; they received an “8” earning the right to play Pittsburgh in the first round. While this may be a bit high for CU, however it is a testament to Tad Boyle and CU with how they were able to pull together after losing Spencer (Peter) Dinwiddie. But how high is 8, is it way too high? Pitt is 25-9, are they too low? Looking at several rating methods the only way these seeds make a lot of sense is if you use RPI. Currently Vegas has Pittsburgh power rated about 5 points ahead of CU. Pittsburgh is power rated an 81, in line with: VCU, UCLA, New Mexico, Ohio State, Memphis, Iowa State, Oklahoma, San Diego State and Tennessee. CU is a 76, in line with Providence, Nebraska and NC State. The Vegas line opened at Pittsburgh -6.5 and it’s now -5.5 with the over under at 128.5.

    Rating

    Colorado
    Pittsburgh
    RPI
    35
    39
    Sagarin
    55
    20
    KenPom
    64
    18
    LRMC
    55
    20
    BPI
    51
    13
    Sonny Moore
    73
    18



    Pittsburgh played a lot of close games this year, 15 of their 34 games were decided by 6 points or less. Jamie Dixon’s team went 7-8 in those games. Without going through every team, I’d have to say comparatively that’s a lot. Dixon is 50-48 in close games overall, 26% of his games have been decided by 6 or less. So while 15 close games in a season seems high, Dixon has averaged 9 games a year that are deemed “close” in his 11 year career, so this isn’t exactly new territory. But why is this? Why do Jamie Dixon’s teams play a lot of close games? They play SLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW! Only once in his eleven years have they been in the top 200 in terms of tempo, couple that with the fact that they don’t take a lot of three’s and you take a lot of the variance out of the game, resulting in close games.

    Year
    Tempo
    Rank
    3PA/FGA
    Rank
    2014
    64
    291
    26.8
    316
    2013
    60.7
    337
    26.3
    214
    2012
    63.1
    297
    32.7
    173
    2011
    62.9
    318
    27.4
    292
    2010
    62.6
    322
    29.1
    262
    2009
    66
    186
    29.3
    264
    2008
    65.4
    223
    30.4
    263
    2007
    63.4
    293
    29.4
    270
    2006
    65.6
    228
    31.8
    197
    2005
    65.1
    250
    29.5
    250
    2004
    61.4
    314
    24.9
    306
    Average
    63.65
    278.09
    28.87
    255.18

    There is some hope with it comes to the coaching front, Jamie Dixon’s teams do regress in terms of efficiency margin during the month of March.


    [FONT=&amp]AEMFY = Average Efficiency Margin November to February[/FONT]
    [FONT=&amp]AEMM = Average Efficiency Margin March

    [/FONT]

    Seed Team Coach AEMNF AEMM DIFF
    9 Pittsburgh Jamie Dixon 22.5 20.9 -1.7

    This year’s Pittsburgh team is pretty much the same as the last 11 years of Dixon teams. They’re efficient on offense, they limit teams defensively, they don’t turn the ball over and they win a lot of games. In a nutshell, they’re a solid basketball team that isn’t going to beat themselves. CU has seen some good teams this year but some of the narratives of this Pittsburgh team look surprisingly like…..Arizona. Both play really solid half-court defense and limit transition opportunities, which is not a great sign for CU, CU needs to get out and run. What is even more impressive is that Pittsburgh, like Arizona, is able to grab offensive rebounds while still limiting opponents’ transition opportunities. We’ve seen teams like Wyoming, UCSB and Harvard completely ignore the offensive glass in an attempt to keep CU out of transition; Pittsburgh does not appear to be one of those teams that needs to do that. They grab 37.8% (19[SUP]th[/SUP] best) of their offensive rebounds while limiting opponents to taking only 18.8% (50[SUP]th[/SUP] best) of their initial field goal attempts in transition. CU takes 25.5% (54[SUP]th[/SUP]) of their initial field goal attempts in transition, keeping Pittsburgh off of the offensive glass and getting out into transition is going to be key in this game.

    2.png

    #TadBall is predicated around defense and rebounding, but it also means limiting shots at the rim and making teams take inefficient two point jumpers. While CU hasn’t done as well at that this year as they have in previous years (they’re average this year, 165[SUP]th[/SUP]) it may not matter. Pittsburgh takes 38% of their shots on two point jumpers, 9% more than average. But this isn’t the dribble, dribble, one on one, huck up a mid-range jumper shot, it’s an orchestrated within the offense two point jumper, 53.4% of the jumpers that Pittsburgh shoots are assisted, this is 9[SUP]th[/SUP] best overall. This is similar to another team that CU is familiar with ….Arizona, they take 41% of their shots as two point jumpers, but not nearly as many of theirs are assisted (34.4%).

    1.jpg

    Pittsburgh defense in the half court is similar to the premise of #TadBall, they only allow 27.2% of shots to come at the rim where teams shoot at a decent clip, 57.8%. They force teams to shoot a majority of their shots from mid-range (39.2%) where teams are grossly inefficient against them shooting 34.1%. From 3 it’s similar; teams shoot 33.7% of their non-transition shots from 3, shooting a paltry 32.6%. CU must get the ball into the post and penetrate and attack the rim, if they settle for mid-range jumpers and 3’s it’s going to be a long day for CU.

    Lamar Patterson deserves his own section; he’s 8[SUP]th[/SUP] in KenPom’s Player of the Year Standings, behind Doug, McDermott, Russ Smith, Jabari Parker, Nick Johnson, Sean Kilpatrick, Shabazz Napier and Cleanthony Early, so he’s firmly in the “good” category. He does just about everything for Pittsburgh, and as I discussed earlier, Pittsburgh doesn’t shoot many 3’s, but every time one went up for Pitt this year odds are it came from him, he shot 39.5% of Pitt’s overall 3’s attempted (194 of 491), where he shot just shy of 40%. He’s also incredibly efficient given the number of shots he takes and possessions he uses. When he’s not shooting he’s involving his teammates, he accounts for 30% of the teams assists when he is on the floor. He’s also averaging the most amount of minutes on the team (80.1%) while only committing 2.6 fouls per 40 minutes.

    I talked about “bench minutes” on pachoops.com a couple of weeks back, that teams that have fared well in the tourney tended to be teams that have short benches of go to guys. Pittsburgh plays their bench an average of 28% of the time (231[SUP]st[/SUP]) while CU has played their bench 32.6% of the time (125[SUP]th[/SUP]). With all of the injuries this year Tad and CU have had to experiment with lineups and go to guys, but there is an interesting trend the last 5 games. CU has most frequent lineup the last 5 games (Booker, Talton, XJ, Gordon and Scott) has played 39.5% of the minutes, the next closest lineup (Booker, Talton, Thomas, XJ and Scott) has only played 6.6% of the minutes. Meanwhile Pittsburgh’s most frequently used line-up is only playing 26.9% of the time, but their 2[SUP]nd[/SUP], 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] and 4[SUP]th[/SUP] most frequently used lineups all have been on the court for more than 10% of the time. Both teams go roughly 8 guys deep right now, but it’s interesting to see how those 8 guys time is allocated differently.

    This game is likely to be ugly, likely to be close and likely going to come down to the wire. CU can’t waste a single possession, they can’t take quick low percentage shots and they can’t turn the ball over. There simply aren’t going to be enough possessions in this game for that to occur and even come close to a victory. Pittsburgh has only scored less than 1 point per possession 5 times this year, where CU has done that 14 times, including their last 8 (12 of the 14 times come post Dinwiddie).

    Fun Facts:

    • Colorado is 2-6 against NCAA tournament teams since the injury of its best player, Spencer Dinwiddie. It was 3-2 before the injury.
    • Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas are all in the top 10 for least experienced teams, per kenpom.

    • Kenpom.com measures luck as “a team’s record compared to what they deserved based on their game by game efficiency.” By their rankings, Colorado, Saint Joe’s, Texas, NC State, Western Michigan, San Diego State, and Villanova were the luckiest teams in the field this year.



    Seed Team Off Eff Def Eff EM W L
    9
    Pittsburgh
    112.7
    96.6
    16.2
    3
    8
    8
    Colorado
    105.1
    98.7
    6.3
    5
    8

    [FONT=&amp]Last 10 Games – Who’s Hot?[/FONT]
    Seed Team Off Eff Def Eff EM W L
    9
    Pittsburgh
    116.9
    99.7
    17.2
    5
    5
    8
    Colorado
    102.7
    97.1
    5.7
    5
    5



    BUT LASTLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
    [video=youtube;WjJFZEhbsc8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJFZEhbsc8[/video]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  2. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Excellent, jg. Rep this man.

    One very minor thing (I'm not trying to be "that guy" nitpicking a phenomenal write up) don't we have 2 wins and 6 losses against Dance teams post Spencer? (W: Arizona St, @ Stanford. L: UCLA, @ ASU, @ Arizona, @ UCLA, Arizona home, Arizona neutral)

     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    L Buff likes this.
  3. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Yes, you're right - i got that from that Harvard sports website, can't trust Ivy league kids. Updated with correct info.
     
  4. Ruckus

    Ruckus Peep my words. Club Member

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    That post brought back some Excel nostalgia!

    And it had other good stuff, too. Appreciated as always, JG.
     
  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    You guys better rep JG on this.

    It's a better preview than you'll see from anyone who is actually getting paid to do this and will publish something this week. Not only did he do it for free, but we're getting it for free. Let's give the man a little thanks ('cause I'm not sharing any of the Junta hookers & blow).
     
  6. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    fantastic stuff. nuggets of hope in there at least when it comes to the last 10 games. Basically, we need one of those incredible shooting nights to have a chance. The kind that only happen a few times a season.
     
  7. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Here's the CU/Pittsburgh Preview for Dummies:

    Colorado has a "Big 3" for scorers averaging over 10 points per game. Pitt only has a "Big 2".

    CU needs all 3 to play well while doing what it needs to do on the glass and with turnovers to make sure Pitt doesn't get extra possessions.
     
  8. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    Repped, but was disappointed to not see a prediction.
     
  9. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Metrics would say that Pitt wins, D3H. They're getting a little more than a tenth of a point advantage over competition than the Buffs do per exchange (focus on last 10 games against similar competition). About 70 possessions in a game per team. So, Pitt wins by around 6-8 points depending on the pace. For CU to reverse that and get a win, the Buffs need to do something to tilt that from the norm. That probably means limiting Pitt to 1 shot on offense and avoiding turnovers when the Buffs are on offense.
     
  10. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    That is the key to the game, if CU can keep them off the boards and not turn the ball over it should be close. Pitt with their style of play will not get blown out, CU just needs to make sure they play smart so they don't.
     
  11. wyobuff

    wyobuff Well-Known Member

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    I'm not too concerned with booker in this game (He's a big game player) or Jelly - I think the xaviers will be the key here. If we can get good minutes and 8-12 pts from XT and if XJ goes into beast mode, I think we'll be ok.

    Since patterson plays the 2, will they move XJ to the 2, or have XT and jaron guard him? They have him listed at 6'5 on espn, while xt is 6'2 and jaron is 6'5.
     
  12. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    CU wins....the message board analysis category. +Rep to jg.
     
  13. RumblinBuff

    RumblinBuff That one blogging guy Club Member

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    Legit. Nice work JG.
     
  14. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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  15. SuperBuff

    SuperBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Bring on Florida!!! I kid, I hope you are able to provide us with a Fla preview.
     
  16. BuffTE41

    BuffTE41 Member

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    We need to approach this game with the mentality that we are going to light it up from beyond the arc. They are going to come after Scott, so XJ, Ski and Talton will have open looks, they are all capable shooters and need to capitalize. The Buffs are due for a shock and awe shooting performance (something like CSU 2012, or Creighton vs. Nova this year.) Do that and it won't matter how good Pitt is at rebounding.
     
  17. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    Scott is overdue on having a dominant tournament game.
     
  18. Crash Davis

    Crash Davis MA....THE MEATLOAF!!! Club Member

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    Because the one he's played in wasn't very good? :confused:
     
  19. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    Are you not counting the pac12 tournaments or the Charleston classic?
     
  20. Colobuffs21

    Colobuffs21 Club Member Club Member

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    did you watch the arizona game?
     
  21. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Using one game as a sample size?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. Crash Davis

    Crash Davis MA....THE MEATLOAF!!! Club Member

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    Sorry, I thought "tournament" was referring to NCAA.

    And quite frankly.......no......I don't see what pre-season or conference tournaments have to do with the NCAA tournament.
     
  23. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    So you discount the play of other tournaments? Do you just ignore the entire season before THE tournament.
     
  24. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Nice job JG. Appreciate it.

    I can see this being a defensive battle and a low scoring game for sure.

    Hope they devise some options for Scott to pass to someone out of the double team. I haven't seen him have many options in the last few games and that double is coming.
     
  25. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

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    So good JG! Also want to see how Jelly handles the double team. Getting him to see the floor and have the open guy get to a spot and receive a pass will be big. This team, not just Jelly, need to learn how to adjust to the double on Scott.
     
  26. Colobuffs21

    Colobuffs21 Club Member Club Member

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    The most recent one? yeah. The point of the argument was he wasn't worried about scott's performance, when in all actuality his performance is likely the most crucial for us to win.
     
  27. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Yeah and my point was that Scott's had what, two bad games all hear? Using one game against the best defensive team in the nation is just dumb and extremely selective.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  28. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    I hope so as well - we've heard it from the panther poster on here and from an interview from Tad today that we expect to see Scott doubled, it's been an issue all year. He can't continue to have to dribble out of the double team, need cutters.....
     
  29. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    So I was thinking about the Scott double team. It seems to be the blueprint to beating our offense. First is Scott getting the ball too high in the post. Sometimes he is 15 or me feet from the basket when he gets the ball.

    Second if someone does give him a high post entry pass. Can't that person set a screen and have another play come around to be an outlet for Scott? If the defensive player bringing the double team is closer to the three point line (like we saw from Arizona ) Scott can hand the ball off and the player drives or finds a cutter. If the double is on the side closer to the basket flare out and shoot a three.

    It doesn't seem that hard to execute as there is only one screen and one defender to read.
     
  30. Colobuffs21

    Colobuffs21 Club Member Club Member

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    While admittedly selective, I still stand by the argument that Scott's performance on Thursday is and should be a major concern for all buff fans. Talton or in a lesser sense XJ can have a stinker of a game, and we may pull it out. Scott having a down game would mean we lose.
     

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