I’ve learned a lot from running this blog for 2+ years. Above all I’ve learned that I really know very little about sports compared to a lot of other people — coaches, statisticians, OKC Dave, etc.
I do, however, know the following to be true: Oklahoma State’s basketball team does not have a great offense. It has a decent offense, that can be really good at times, but it is not by any stretch of the statistical (or any other) imagination considered one of the best in the country or Big 12 Conference.
Which is why this statement from Travis Ford confuses me.
I asked Ford what needs fixed offensively re: BU 2nd half & K-St.: "We have the second best offense in the Big 12. Not panicking." #okstate
— Carson Cunningham (@CarsonC5) March 16, 2013
First of all, I don’t even know what he’s talking about.
For the entire season Oklahoma State averaged the fourth most points per game out of any Big 12 team. For conference only play OSU was tied with OU for second most points scored so I guess maybe he’s referencing that?
But it confounds me that coaches (and fans) continue to refuse to look at tempo-free stats. OSU had the most possessions per game in the conference by far and it barely scored the second most points.
Maybe Ford means we had the most voluminous offense in the conference? His statement in and of itself is ridiculous though — do you see where the logic comes apart?
Offense is all about efficiency — what you’re doing with the ball every time you get it.
Which OSU wasn’t great at. Ford wants to go conference-only stats so here are the PPP (points per possession) for Big 12 teams in conference games only:
Iowa State – 1.13
Kansas State – 1.12
OU – 1.08
Kansas – 1.06
Oklahoma State – 1.05
Baylor – 1.05
WVU – 1.00
Texas – .99
Texas Tech – .89
TCU – .86
That doesn’t look like the second best offense to me. And I could pretty easily be convinced that it’s the sixth best offense…
That looks like an elite defense that gives a pretty average offense a lot of chances to score and win games.
And that’s the part that really gets me — it’s almost like Ford refuses to admit how elite his defense is. He won’t trap or press with a lead even though it works and Smart, Markel, Cobbins, and Williams are ridiculously good at it.
The defense, not the offense, is the reason OSU has 24 wins so far this year. It is one of the best at OSU in the Ford/Sutton era.
So let’s not be confused about who we are as we head to the tournament. Defense creates offense on this year’s OSU squad and defense is what will carry us to the Sweet 16 (if it carries us anywhere).