Team Spotlight: Kansas

Note: This article was written before a major overhaul of the ratings system on the website. These numbers are out of date.

Kansas is ranked #1 in our 2019-2020 rankings at evanmiya.com, and for good reason, as they had a dominant season. They had a wide margin between them and #2 Gonzaga in the overall ratings, and were 4th in offensive rating and 2nd in defensive rating nationally. 

Top 5 teams in the nation

Player Notes:

Kansas boasted the top two most valuable player in the nation, Udoka Azuibuike and Marcus Garrett. Devon Dotson also slots in at #10.

Top 10 players in the nation

Here is an overview of Kansas’s player ratings:

A look at the Team Overview for Kansas

Doke is not a surprise at #1 in the nation, given that he was a monster on the court, averaging 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. His value was especially evident on the defensive end of the court, as he is ranked #2 nationally in our defense metric. Kansas beat writer Scott Chasen wasn’t surprised by Doke’s ranking, stating, “Udoka Azubuike was a transformative force on both the offensive and defensive end, and even when he wasn’t scoring or blocking shots, his mere presence changed how other teams played Kansas. He was always the No. 1 focal point of opposing scouting reports.”

Marcus Garrett is more of a surprise at #2 in the nation overall, given that he wasn’t a focal point in the offense. However, when you look at how the team performed with him on the court, it becomes very obvious why he is ranked so high and is “one of [Bill] Self’s all-time favorite players to coach”, according to Chasen.

  • Garrett was ranked top 10 in the nation in team defensive efficiency, which measures a team’s points per possession conceded when a player was on the floor. He was third on his team in this category, behind Azuibuike and Isaiah Moss.
  • He was second on the team in Team Off-Def Eff, meaning that when looking at the team’s margin of offensive efficiency minus defensive efficiency for each player, he was the second most impactful player on his team.
  • When looking at most effective teammate pairs for Kansas, Marcus Garrett is listed three times in the top six best pairs. 
  • In the Weighted Chemistry metric, Garrett and Azuibuike had the highest chemistry of any pair of players on the court. This indicates that they extremely elevated each others’ game when they both played together, compared to their individual average play. Garrett also had four of the top five teammate weighted chemistry scores (with Azubuike, Moss, Dotson, and Agbaji).
Top 5 teammate pairs for Kansas with the highest chemistry
  • Every single teammate performed better than his normal average when on the court with Garrett, as indicated by the Above/Below Average metric.
A look at how Marcus Garrett performed with every other teammate

One other player worth mentioning is Isaiah Moss, who was first in the nation in Team defensive efficiency, which directly measures how many points per possession Kansas gave up when he was on the court. Though this metric does not account for the strength of other players on the court with Moss, it shows that he was a very good defensive influence, which is reflected in his top 15 ranking in the overall ratings and top 10 defensive rating.

Special thanks to Scott Chasen, writer for 247 Sports and CBS Sports, and Dylan Morrell, contributor for ThroughThePhog.com, for their comments.

Published by Evan Miyakawa

College basketball analytics at evanmiya.com

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