Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Friday, February 17, 2012
Stats in the Paint: Weekend outlook

By ESPN Stats & Information

Let’s get you warmed up for the "College GameDay" road show (live on Saturday from Ann Arbor, Mich. at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

(6) Ohio State at (19) Michigan, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

When Ohio State has the ball: What defense will Michigan play? The Wolverines have played man-to-man on 87.7 percent of their opponents’ half-court possessions this season. Their zone defense has been effective though, limiting opponents to 34.6 percent shooting, compared to 42.3 percent versus their man defense.

In a 10-point win over Minnesota on Tuesday, Ohio State shot 59.1 percent and scored 1.13 points per play against man defense. When the Gophers played zone, the Buckeyes shot only 32.1 percent and scored 0.77 points per play.

When Michigan has the ball: Expect a stingy Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes are allowing 0.85 points per possessions this season, the lowest rate in the nation according to StatSheet.com. Sophomore guard Aaron Craft has been particularly suffocating; he leads the country with 49 turnovers forced as an on-ball defender this season.


Saturday’s Other Notable Matchups

(3) Missouri at Texas A&M, 2 p.m. ET on ESPN


Key stat: Missouri leads Division I with 1.20 points per possession this season, according to StatSheet.com. Texas A&M has scored a point per possession in four of 13 conference games, and the Aggies are 2-2 in those contests, compared to 2-7 in the rest of the conference slate.

Kansas State at (10) Baylor, 1:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3

Key stat: Kansas State leads the Big 12 in second-chance points per game (16.3) and offensive rebounds per game (15.2) this season. Baylor ranks seventh in the Big 12 in defensive rebounding, grabbing 67.3 percent of available boards.

Clemson at (7) North Carolina, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

Key stat: Roy Williams’ vaunted transition offense is humming again. North Carolina is third in the country with 20.1 transition points per game this season. The last time the Tar Heels were top five in that category was 2008-09, when they won the national title.

(12) Florida at Arkansas, 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Key stats: Florida is most vulnerable in the paint. In two losses to Kentucky and Tennessee last week, the Gators allowed 38 and 36 points in the paint, their two highest totals in conference play this season. Arkansas will look to force turnovers, which the Razorbacks do on 24.1 percent of opponents’ possession, the highest rate in the SEC.