Tennessee-Ole Miss four-factors preview: Which team will do something better than usual?

0 0 vote
Article Rating

The No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers — in search of another all-important Quadrant 1 win — take on the Ole Miss Rebels tonight at 7:00 p.m. on the SEC Network.

That means it’s time to take a look at the teams’ respective four factors numbers, first as a straight-up comparison and then in the context of their opponent.

Four Factors: Straight-Up

Effective FG%

  • Tennessee 55.9 (No. 15) (down from 56.1 (No. 12))
  • Ole Miss 53.5 (No. 64)

Prior opponents:

  • LSU: 52.7 (No. 93)
  • Vanderbilt: 50.3 (No. 198)
  • Kentucky: 52.8 (No. 93)

Conclusions: Tennessee’s shooting percentage has been trending downward lately, presumably due to the increased competition, but they are still quite good and are still a better-shooting team than Ole Miss. But the Rebels rank better in this category than any of the Vols’ last three opponents, including the two that beat them. Basically, expect both teams to shoot well.

Turnover %

  • Tennessee 16.0 (No. 25) (down from 15.9 (No. 23))
  • Ole Miss 18.7 (No. 172)

Prior opponents:

  • LSU 19.0 (No. 196)
  • Vanderbilt: 19.9 (No. 255)
  • Kentucky: 18.5 (No. 158)

Conclusions: The Vols have also been uncharacteristically generous in turning the ball over lately, but their numbers are still good despite the recent slide. Ole Miss appears to be roughly the same as the prior three opponents in this category.

Offensive Rebound %

  • Tennessee 31.9 (No. 65) (up from 31.8 (No. 74))
  • Ole Miss 31.9 (No. 64)

Prior opponents:

  • LSU 37.4 (No. 6)
  • Vanderbilt: 28.6 (No. 178)
  • Kentucky: 38.3 (No. 3)

Conclusions: These two teams are evenly matched in this category, at least on the offensive side. The Rebels are better than Vandy, but not as daunting a challenge as either LSU or Kentucky.

Free Throw Rate

  • Tennessee 34.8 (No. 136) (down from 35.3 (No. 127))
  • Ole Miss 32.8 (No. 200)

Prior opponents:

  • LSU 39.8 (No. 29)
  • Vanderbilt: 44.8 (No. 7)
  • Kentucky: 41 (No. 22)

Conclusions: Well, this should be a welcome reprieve for the Vols tonight. All of the Vols’ last three opponents were Top 30 in getting to the free throw line, but the Rebels are ranked 200th.

Those are the straight-up comparisons of the teams’ respective averages in the four factors, but what about the fact that those numbers are impacted in any given game by the opponent?

Four Factors: Opponent impact

Effective FG%

When Tennessee has the ball

Tennessee’s EFG% is 55.9 (No. 15), while Ole Miss’ defense against that is 49.7 (No. 130). The Vols need to make the most of this advantage on the offensive end.

When Ole Miss has the ball

The Rebels’ shooting offense is 53.5 (No. 64), which is quite good. But Tennessee’s shooting defense is 46.8 (No. 26). The Vols are improving in this area, but they’ll be challenged tonight.

Conclusions

The Vols should have the advantage on both sides of the ball in effective field goal percentage.

Turnover %

When Tennessee has the ball

Tennessee’s turnover % is 16.0 (No. 25), while the Rebels’ turnover defense is 21.8 (No. 35). This is essentially the same ranking as LSU, which caused the Vols to double them up on turnovers, 14-7. The good guys need to do better than that this evening, but Ole Miss may cause them problems.

When Ole Miss has the ball

Ole Miss’ turnover % is 18.7 (No. 172), but Tennessee’s turnover defense isn’t any better, at 18.6 (No. 176). Yes, we said the same thing about LSU last week.

Conclusions

On paper in the offensive and defensive turnover categories, Ole Miss looks essentially the same as LSU. The turnover box score in the Vols game against the Tigers was 14 turnovers for Tennessee to 7 for LSU. If form holds, we should expect the Vols to once again have trouble protecting the ball, but they need to do better than that.

Offensive Rebounding %

When Tennessee has the ball

Tennessee’s OR% is 31.9 (No. 65), a ranking that has been improving despite the increased competition as of late. In addition, Ole Miss’ defense in that category is 30.4 (No. 267), making this the biggest advantage of the night for the Tennessee offense.

When Ole Miss has the ball

On the other hand, the Rebels’ OR% is 31.9 (No. 64), while the Vols’ defense in that category is 30.3 (No. 261), which makes this the biggest advantage of the night for the Ole Miss offense.

Conclusions

Both teams have distinct advantages over the other on the offensive glass. Making the most of this while mitigating the other’s advantage will be extremely important.

Free Throw Rate

When Tennessee has the ball

Tennessee’s FT Rate is 34.8 (No. 136), while Ole Miss’ defense against that is 33.5 (No. 192).

When Ole Miss has the ball

The Rebels’ FT Rate is 32.8 (No. 200), while Tennessee’s defense against that is 33.6 (No. 196).

Conclusions

Shrug. Neither team is especially good at getting to the line, but both defenses are pretty good at sending their opponents there anyway. Like the OR%, this is another even matchup where a team doing better than it normally does can secure for itself an important surprise advantage. The good news for Tennessee is that, although they were done in by both Kentucky and LSU in this category, they were able to keep it from happening against Vanderbilt despite the fact that Vandy usually does this well.

Summary and Score Prediction

Tennessee should shoot the ball better than Ole Miss this evening, but securing the ball is going to be both incredibly important and especially challenging. Both teams appear to be equally as good at getting offensive rebounds and equally as bad at getting to the line. With the matchups so even in these last two categories, I’m expecting the main battle to be there and the game to be decided by whichever team wins those two areas.

The goals for the Vols, then, should be (1) to minimize turnovers but don’t let them happen in bunches due to being frazzled, (2) to win the rebounding battle, and (3) to focus on getting to the free throw line more often than the Rebels.

KenPom has Tennessee winning this one 78-73.

Go Vols.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gavin Driskill
Gavin Driskill
1 year ago

Me and my orange shoes will continue our tour of opposing arenas roughly along the I-55 corridor tonight.

Won in Starkville last year, beat Memphis in December, hoping to make it 3-for-3 in Oxford.

Go Vols.

Gavin Driskill
Gavin Driskill
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Driskill

It wasn’t pretty…but still undefeated, baby!

Pete
Pete
1 year ago

In the arena with you Gavin. Other than the 8-0 run to start the first half and the 14-0 run after Ole Miss hit the first FG of the second half, we were outplayed pretty badly. Those runs were really beautiful basketball, but we had to watch a lot of Jerry Springer shows around us for most of the game.

Gavin Driskill
Gavin Driskill
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete

Heh, there was a LOT of salt from the folks wearing red last night.

They were talking a fair bit of trash in the last 5 minutes and were then suspiciously quiet at the end. I feel for them 😉