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Stat Check: What’s Better and What’s Worse

The season stats don’t tell the whole story.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Back on January 10th, I did a break down of the Oklahoma State basketball team’s statistics to see what they were doing well and what they were doing poorly (and what they were terrible at).

At that point, the Cowboys were 10-5 and three games into their six-game losing streak. Now that OSU seems to have turned things around, I think it’s time to revisit those stats and see what’s changed... for better or for worse.


THE GOOD

In the first 15 games of the season, Oklahoma State was Top 10 in four stats and Top 20 in six. Despite the fact that they are still Top 20 five stats, the Cowboys have dropped in every stat since last check, with the largest drop coming in the turnover margin. In the last 7 games, OSU has dropped from a +4.5 to a +2.7.

Offensively, OSU is still solid, averaging 87.5 points a game and still grabbing offensive rebounds at a rate that is ridiculous considering our highest rated single player is Mitchell Solomon at #83 (go big Sol).

So, what about that defense...


THE BAD

Overall, there aren’t a lot of changes. Opponent field goal percentage and turnovers are basically the same over the last seven games. Opponent 3-point field goal percentage is down slightly, but opponent scoring is up slightly.

What isn’t reflective in these numbers, are the defensive improvements we’ve seen during the current four game winning streak. (Something Joel wrote extensively about earlier this week)

During the winning streak, opponents are only hitting 42.5% of their shots and 27.4% from behind the arc, scoring is down to 69.25 points a game, and OSU is only averaging 11 turnovers.

It will be interesting to reexamine these in a couple of weeks.

Now for the really bad part.


THE UGLY

At last check, Oklahoma State was second to last in the country (#346) in personal fouls at 24.8 a game.

Today? They’re up to #343 with 24.1 personal fouls a game.

It’s why I have a hard time getting too upset (despite what my Twitter says) when the refs blow the whistle against the Cowboys.


If the defensive improvement continues, the Cowboys still have a shot at making the NCAA tournament. The middle of the league is a mess and after this week, five of the Cowboys’ remaining eight games are at home. There’s no reason OSU can’t end the season 9-9. In the Big 12 that should equal an invite to the Big Dance.

We’ll see where things stand in a couple of weeks when we take another look at where the stats stand then.