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Bedlam basketball preview: A bad Oklahoma State visits a mediocre Oklahoma

Between losing streaks and KenPom stats, this game likely won’t be pretty.

Oklahoma State v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

The first edition of Bedlam men’s basketball in 2020 arrives at 2 p.m. Saturday (ABC) in Norman and, as the old Jerry Clower coon hunting story states “just shoot up in here amongst us, one of us got to have some relief.”

One of these teams is guaranteed a little relief this weekend.

Oklahoma State’s conference losing streak is well known as the Cowboys sit at 0-7, while Oklahoma has dropped four of their last five Big 12 matchups, including losses to both Iowa State and Kansas State, who sit above OSU in a tie for eighth (2-5) in the conference standings. That bodes well for the Cowboys on the surface, but only one of the Sooners conference losses came at home, to Kansas.

Projected starters

OSU: Avery Anderson III, Isaac Likekele, Lindy Waters, Cameron McGriff

OU: De’Vion Harmon, Austin Reaves, Jamal Bieniemy, Kristian Doolittle, Brady Manek

To truly understand the excitement that stats can generate, let’s take a look at the numbers per KenPom.

Projected Finish
OU 8-10 (currently 3-4)
OSU 4-14 (currently 0-7)

When you look at the remaining schedule those four projected wins HAVE to be home games against TCU, Kansas State, OU, and Iowa State. Unless something drastically changes those are the only games I see where OSU could be favored.

AdjEM (difference between AdjO and AdjD)
OU No. 47 nationally, No. 5 Big 12 (+13.64)
OSU No. 80 nationally, No. 9 Big 12 (+9.70)

AdjO vs opponents AdjD
OU +13.5 (this means OU’s offense scores 13.5 points more per 100 possessions than OSU’s defense allows)
OSU +9.9 (this means OSU’s offense scores 9.9 points more per 100 possessions than OU’s defense allows)

KenPom Game Prediction
OU 71, OSU 65 (72% confidence in OU win)

If we look at Big 12 stats only, this gets even more invigorating...

Offensive Efficiency (how many points is a team predicted to score in 100 possessions)
OU 97.2 (No. 5 Big 12)
OSU 84.8 (No. 10 Big 12)

So if we look at just the raw numbers here, if you divide 84.8 by 100 you get 0.848 points per possession for OSU. Multiply this by their "tempo" number of 66.6 (the number of possessions expected in a game) and you get 56.5 points. Do the same math for OU and you get 64.4 points. There are obviously other metrics involved, but that's a nice raw math example of how it works.

Defensive Efficiency (how many points a team will allow in 100 possessions)
OU 98.0 (No. 5 Big 12)
OSU 106.7 (No. 9 Big 12)

Therefore OSU's defense is predicted to allow 70.7 points to OU (106.7/100 x OU's tempo), while OU's defense would allow 65.3 points to OSU. If you compare to KenPom's game prediction you can see what is generally driving those numbers.

While these are the main metrics for predicted game outcome, there are other numbers to consider.

Offensive Effective FG% (takes into account the higher value of a made 3pt shot)
OU 47.9% (No. 7 Big 12)
OSU 39.6% (No. 10 Big 12, only team under 45% which indicates how poorly OSU is shooting from behind the arc)

Defensive Effective FG% allowed
OU 46.0% (No. 5 Big 12)
OSU 53.6% (No. 9 Big 12)

Offensive 2pt% (shooting percentage on 2pt shots only)
OU 47.0% (No. 6 Big 12)
OSU 39.1% (No. 10 Big 12)

Defensive 2pt% allowed
OU 47.2% (No. 5 Big 12)
OSU 51.9% (No. 9 Big 12)

Offensive 3pt%
OU 32.7% (No. 5 Big 12)
OSU 27.0% (No. 10 Big 12)

Defensive 3pt% allowed
OU 29.7% (No. 3 Big 12)
OSU 36.8% (No. 9 Big 12)

Offensive Free Throw Rate (FT attempts as a percentage of FG attempts, so essentially how much is a team getting to the line)
OU 32.8% (No. 4 Big 12)
OSU 28.0% (No. 7 Big 12)

Defensive FT Rate allowed
OU 18.1% (No. 1 Big 12)
OSU 37.4% (No. 8 Big 12)

Offensive TO Ratio
OU 16.8% (No. 1 Big 12)
OSU 18.7% (No. 4 Big 12)

Defensive TO Ratio forced
OU 15.1% (No. 10 Big 12)
OSU 19.7% (No. 6 Big 12)

If you take the last four stats we can roughly predict that OU will get 18 FTAs, while OSU will get about 15. Given OU's Big 12 FT% of 71.8 and OSU's of 66.4, that would indicate 13 points from the line for the Sooners and 10 points for the Cowboys.

Defensively there is no separation with block and steal rates with both teams Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, in the Big 12 in both categories. Offensive rebounding could be an area where OSU picks up a few possessions and points. The Sooners‘ offense is last in the Big 12 in offensive rebounding percentage, while OSU’s defense is No. 2. The Cowboys’ offense is No. 7 and OU’s defense is No. 6. Both teams pull down about 35 boards/game while giving up about 38/game, so that would seem to offer Oklahoma State 2-3 additional opportunities.

That is a long way around to saying that this might not be the prettiest game to watch and is clearly an uphill battle for a Mike Boynton squad that is struggling to put the ball in the hoop.

My prediction...