Here’s the GRT Four Factors Forecast for Tennessee’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks tomorrow.
Summary and Score Prediction
Happy thoughts: The Vols appear to have an advantage in turnovers on both ends of the court. It also looks like they have a distinct advantage in shooting defense, which is good because . . .
Challenges: . . . Tennessee’s shooting has run away from home. Or it’s on Rumpsringa or something. It’s gone, is what I’m saying. Like Al Pacino’s cash. Fortunately, it looks like it might have eloped with Kansas’ shooting defense. Maybe they’re seeing a fertility specialist together? Have I over-milked this metaphor? Yes? Okay!
Although the two teams are clones on the offensive glass, Kansas appears to have an advantage in defensive rebounding.
Predictions: The line is not yet out, but KenPom projects a 2-point win for the Vols with a score of 66-64 and a 57% chance of winning. Our new Hoops Statsy Preview Machine, using 10 comps, likes the Vols by 6 (Tennessee 67, Kansas 61). Using all comps, it’s Tennessee 73, Kansas 68.
Here’s what each team looks like at this point of the season. Everything that follows includes a global caveat that these are season numbers, and both Tennessee and Kansas have been in a bit of a slump.
So, without accounting for opponent impact (see below for that), Kansas shoots better from three (no surprise there, right?), and Tennessee’s defense is quite a bit better. Vols have a slight edge at getting to the free throw line, but rebounding looks even.
Four Factors: Straight-Up
Conclusion: Among prior Vols’ opponents, Kansas looks most like Missouri, Vanderbilt, and App State.
Conclusion: Most like Alabama, App State, and Missouri in turning the ball over. Not bad, but not especially good, either.
Offensive Rebound %
Conclusion: Twinsies! Most like Florida and Texas A&M among prior Vols’ opponents.
Free Throw Rate
Conclusion: Ooh. They’re really not good at getting to the line. Most like Colorado and Vanderbilt here.
Four Factors: Opponent impact
Goodness, fellas. Time to put a poster on a pole because we’ve gone and lost our stroke. Fortunately, Kansas’ defense appears to be missing as well. And Kansas isn’t much better at shooting, but they’ll be going up against Tennessee’s defense, which remains safely at home on the sofa.
The Vols are still doing pretty well at protecting the ball and exceptionally well at relieving their opponents of their most prized possessions. Kansas is not particularly good at either of those things, so chalk this up as a distinct advantage for the good guys.
Offensive Rebounding %
As I noted earlier, Tennessee and Kansas are identical twins on the offensive glass. However, the Jayhawks’ defensive rebounding appears to be better than Tennessee’s, so give this one to the Clown Birds. I don’t know how they jump with those puffy shoes, but hey.
Free Throw Rate
Tennessee gets to the foul line on a pretty regular basis, but Kansas is good at defending without fouling, so we’ll just have to see how that shakes out. On the other end, the Jayhawks don’t get nearly as many trips to Freeland, but the Vols have been fouling more often lately. So let’s consider this category a double shrug, meaning it could well be the deciding factor.