Stats & Info: St. Mary's Gaels

Kentucky over Florida headlines BPI picks

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
11:58
AM ET

Mark Zerof/USA TODAY Sports
BPI gives Julius Randle and the Wildcats a 60 percent chance to beat Florida on Saturday night.

ESPN’s Basketball Power Index rates teams using a system that takes into account factors such as the pace of a game, margin of victory, game site and absence of key players.

In addition, BPI can be used to make projections of each team’s chance of winning a specific matchup. The team with the higher chance to win according to BPI has won about 73 percent of the time this season. For example, on Saturday, Feb. 8, BPI correctly projected three teams in the Top 15 of The Associated Press poll (Michigan, Texas and Cincinnati) to lose to lower-ranked or unranked opponents.

Here is a preview of five of Saturday’s matchups, examined using information produced by BPI:

Florida at Kentucky (9 PM, ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Kentucky 60 percent likely to win
These teams are closer in BPI – Florida No. 3, Kentucky No. 6 – than in The Associated Press poll (3 and 14, respectively), and the BPI projection reflects that.

The location of this game is significant. The Gators would be more likely to win according to BPI if these teams were playing on a neutral site (55 percent likely) or at Florida (69 percent), as they will on March 8.

The matchup quality for this game (a 0-to-100 gauge of the quality of a contest, based on the teams’ BPI) is 89.3; no game in the remainder of the regular season has a greater quality number.

Pittsburgh at North Carolina (1 PM, CBS)
BPI Projection:
Pittsburgh 56 percent likely to win
Despite Wednesday’s dramatic loss to Syracuse, Pittsburgh remains among the nation’s most powerful teams. All five of the Panthers’ losses have been to teams in the BPI Top 30, with three of those coming against BPI No. 2 Syracuse and BPI No. 8 Duke; four of those losses were by a combined 10 points. Two of Pittsburgh’s wins (over Clemson and Stanford) rank among the Top 20 this season based on BPI Game Score.

The quality of their performance across all of their games makes the Panthers the team BPI projects to win this game against BPI No. 33 North Carolina.

Kansas State at Baylor (7 PM, ESPNU)
BPI Projection:
Baylor 56 percent likely to win
With Kansas State (BPI No. 40) coming off its overtime victory over BPI No. 4 Kansas, it might be surprising to see the Wildcats as underdogs to a team that isn’t likely to make the NCAA Tournament as things stand now, but that is the impact of home-court advantage. According to BPI, Kansas State would be 73 percent likely to beat the Bears (who are No. 57 in BPI) if this game were in Manhattan, Kan., instead of Waco, Texas.

LSU at Arkansas (5 PM, ESPNU)
BPI Projection:
Arkansas 73 percent likely to win
If BPI ranking determined selection to the NCAA Tournament, Arkansas (BPI No. 44) would be the 33rd of 36 at-large selections, as it stands now. That would appear to leave the Razorbacks with little margin for error.

In the teams’ first meeting this season, on Feb. 1, LSU (now 63rd in BPI) beat visiting Arkansas 88-74. The Razorbacks registered a 40.6 BPI game score that day, their second worst of the season.

Brigham Young at Saint Mary’s (8 PM, ESPN2)
BPI Projection:
Saint Mary’s 64 percent likely to win
Much like Arkansas, BPI No. 51 Brigham Young and No. 53 Saint Mary’s appear to be in the gray area of possible tournament selection heading into this matchup. As it stands now, if BPI ranking determined the NCAA field, BYU would be the third-most powerful team and the Gaels the fourth-most powerful to miss out on one of the 36th at-large spots.

BracketBusters stats primer

February, 17, 2012
2/17/12
11:09
AM ET

AP Photo/ Stephen Haas
Time to cram on Isaiah Canaan and others in BracketBusters action this weekend.
Your one-stop primer for this weekend’s BracketBusters games.

MARQUEE MATCHUP
16 Saint Mary’s at 14 Murray State - 6 ET Saturday, ESPN/ESPN3

This is the fourth game in the 10-year history of the BracketBusters event that has pitted two ranked teams against each other. The lower-ranked team has won the three previous meetings.

Murray State’s opponents rebound 35 percent of their misses, putting the Racers in the bottom 20 percent of the country in defensive rebounding. That could be a problem against the Gaels’ Rob Jones, whose 10.8 rebounds per game ranks in the top 10 nationally.

FEARSOME FOURSOME
The top four players in Division I according to Offensive Rating on KenPom.com will be featured in televised matchups.

F Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts
The 6-foot, 6-inch wing has really excelled in isolation. He's averaging the third-highest points per play while turning the ball over fewer than once every 14 plays when going one-on-one (minimum 50 plays).

F Doug McDermott, Creighton
The sophomore efficiently moves without the ball within Creighton’s offense. McDermott has made nearly 80 percent of his shots off cuts to the basket and averages better than 1.5 points per play, both of which rank among the top 10 in Division I (minimum 50 plays).

G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
The Racers lived up to their nickname this season, ranking third nationally in transition points per play. As the team's starting point guard, Canaan leads the fast-paced attack. He’s scored on 60 percent of his transition plays, racking up nearly four times as many assists as turnovers.

G Damian Lillard, Weber State
Lillard torches opposing teams as both a scorer and passer. Among players with at least 50 pick-and-roll plays, he averages the second-most points per play in Division I and created an additional 96 points on 82 passes with just six turnovers.

RECORD SETTER?
The record for points scored in a BracketBuster game is 35 by Norris Cole of Cleveland State at Old Dominion on Feb. 20, 2011. Another contender who could top that is South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters.

The junior topped the 30-point mark five times this season, including in his last game on Wednesday. KenPom.com shows that he draws 6.5 fouls per game (32nd in the nation). He’ll enjoy a home-crowd advantage as the Buffalo Bulls travel west to play the Jackrabbits at 1 ET (ESPNU).

GET TO KNOW: WICHITA STATE
Here are quick facts on the defending postseason NIT champs who are unranked in the ESPN/USA Today’s Coaches Poll but rank 12th in ESPN's new BPI.
• 8-3 vs BPI Top 100 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 5 games)
• 14-4 vs BPI Top 150 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 9 games)
• Won 13 of last 14 games (only loss in 3OT)
• Third-most experienced team in the nation (according to KenPom.com) starting four seniors
• Four players shoot at least 38 percent from 3-point range (minimum 25 attempts)
• Joe Ragland: 68.58 true shooting percentage ranks fifth in Division I

Wichita State plays at Davidson, Noon ET Saturday on ESPN2/ESPN3.


Contributions by Mackenzie Kraemer, Katie Sharp and Harold Shelton

UConn's Andre Drummond stands out

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
1:03
PM ET
Andre Drummond's big night
Andre Drummond lived up the hype of being the second-ranked incoming freshman in the nation. In Connecticut’s 64-57 win over West Virginia, Drummond went off for 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and added 11 rebounds.

It’s the first 20-10 game of his career. That’s something even Emeka Okafor never pulled off as a freshman. Drummond is the first UConn freshman with a 20-10 game since Caron Butler in 2000-01.

Dellavedova leads hot-shooting Gaels
In an 87-72 win over San Francisco, St. Mary’s shot 67.3 percent from the field. That was the Gaels’ highest field goal percentage in the past 15 years. They fell just short of the school-record 68.4 field goal percentage set in 1983 against San Diego. Matthew Dellavedova netted a career-high 27 points, while Stephen Holt fell one rebound shy of a triple-double.

Hoyas hardly miss, but lose
Sean Kilpatrick went off for a career-high 27 points, as Cincinnati came away from Washington, DC with a 68-64 win over Georgetown. The Hoyas lost despite a 59.1 field goal percentage. That’s Georgetown’s best shooting game in a loss since a 63.4 mark in a 2008 NCAA Tournament loss to Stephen Curry and Davidson. Meanwhile, it’s the highest opponent field goal percentage in a Cincinnati win in at least the past 15 years.

Nash stepping up in Big 12 play
Le’Bryan Nash stepped up his game for the Bedlam Series, matching a career-high with 21 points, as Oklahoma State came away with a 72-65 win over Oklahoma.

After averaging 11.7 points per game in non-conference play, Nash is putting up 18.0 in three Big 12 games. That places him third in the Big 12 in scoring during conference play, behind only Travis Releford and Marcus Denmon.

Grambling State wins another
For awhile it didn’t seem as through Grambling State would win a game this season. Now, the Tigers have two victories. Quincy Roberts, a transfer from St. John’s, netted 26 points in a 72-71 win over Alcorn State. Grambling State won despite recording only four assists. That tied the second-fewest assists in a win this season in Division I.

DePaul has DePower Thursday night

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
11:14
AM ET
Rare Big East win for DePaul
DePaul outscored Pittsburgh 7-0 in the final 10 seconds of the game to come away with an 84-81 win. The Blue Demons had lost 16 straight Big East home games and had only won two Big East games in the past three seasons combined. All three of DePaul’s conference wins over the past four seasons have been by three points or fewer. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has lost four straight games for the first time during the Jamie Dixon era.

Monster performance for North Texas freshman
North Texas outlasted South Alabama 78-73 in overtime courtesy of a monster performance from freshman Tony Mitchell, who finished with 34 points and 16 rebounds. He’s the first freshman to put up at least 30 points and 15 rebounds since Jared Sullinger last season.

In fact, over the last five seasons, the only other freshmen to pull it off were Fordham’s Chris Gaston and Michael Beasley, who had five such games. Mitchell, who was once Missouri bound, was playing in just his seventh game.

Jones happy to be back in San Diego
Rob Jones saved his best game for his former team. The St. Mary’s senior scored a career-high 31 points to go with 12 rebounds in a 78-72 win over San Diego.

Jones spent his first two seasons at San Diego before transferring in 2009. In fact his previous career-high of 27 came as a freshman at San Diego back in February 2008. St. Mary’s has won 12 of 13 and improved to 14-2.

Seven points at halftime for Louisiana-Monroe
Louisiana-Monroe had only seven points at halftime in a 58-30 loss to Florida Atlantic. The Warhawks actually had as many turnovers as points in the first half. Charles Winborne’s three points led the team going into the break.

No one on the team finished the game with more than two field goals. The team shot 19.5 percent on the game, the second worst shooting performance by a D-I team this season. That included 17.9 percent from two-point range. For Florida Atlantic, it set a school record for fewest points allowed in a half and in a game.

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