Candidate for picture of the year up there, all the way down to the perfect placement of the Power T on the ball.
Here’s the GRT Four Factors Forecast for Tennessee’s game against Auburn tomorrow.
What to Watch
Oh, good: Auburn averages over 16 turnovers per game and will likely have more than that against a disruptive Tennessee defense.
But, but, but: The Vols have been turnover-happy themselves as of late and could give that advantage right back if they don’t get that corrected.
The line isn’t out yet, but KemPom projects this one as Tennessee 73, Auburn 69, which equates to a 62% chance of winning.
Our fledgling Hoops Statsy Preview Machine likes the Vols by 8 (Tennessee 77, Auburn 69).
Auburn is not especially good at shooting defense, at least inside the arc. Bad at turning the ball over. Good on the offensive boards.
Four Factors: Straight-Up
Conclusion: Weird. If you look at the baseline up there, it looks like Tennessee and Auburn are basically the same at shooting the ball, except that Auburn is slightly worse from three. But here, when it’s “effective field goal percentage,” Auburn’s quite a bit better, just behind Alabama. Not sure what to think about that, to be honest. Maybe they’re inconsistent, or maybe they do really well against bad defensive teams and struggle against good ones, with some outliers muddying things up.
Conclusion: Auburn appears quite careless with the ball. Tennessee’s numbers in this regard probably look better than they are, as it feels like they’re on a real skid lately.
Offensive Rebound %
Conclusion: The Tigers are elite on the offensive glass.
Free Throw Rate
Conclusion: Auburn gets to the free throw line at a pretty good clip.
Four Factors: Opponent impact
Okay, so Tennessee’s struggling offense is going up against Auburn’s struggling defense. Got it.
On the other end, Auburn’s offense is pretty good at getting the ball in the bucket, but the Vols’ defense should make things more difficult for them than usual.
These numbers make it look like the Vols should win the turnover battle decisively. However, the numbers showed the same thing for the Vandy forecast, and although Tennessee did force the Commodores into 19 turnovers, they also gave up 17. The Vols need to do a better job there.
Offensive Rebounding %
As good as Auburn is at getting offensive rebounds, they’re decidedly not good at getting defensive rebounds. This looks like it could even out and nullify itself.
Free Throw Rate
There’s been a lot of discussion about Rick Barnes’ adherence to the notion that it’s still important to be able to score from all three levels. Nobody’s arguing about three-pointers and layups; the issue is the mid-range jumper. I’d defer to Barnes on that, of course, but I do wonder how many free throw attempts are sacrificed at the altar of open mid-range jumpers.
In any event, the Vols’ season-long numbers are pretty good here, and Auburn tends to foul a lot, so it could be a good day at the stripe for the Vols tomorrow. On the other end, Auburn knows how to get there as well, and Tennessee’s committing more fouls now than it did early in the season.