Indiana vs. Arkansas: tale of the tape.

Here's a quick comparison of tempo-free stats for IU and Arkansas, courtesy of Pomeroy's scouting reports for the Hoosiers and the Razorbacks (the parenthetical is the national rank), and other factors such as computer ratings. My usual color-coding won't work really well considering that the two teams wear the same colors. Since IU used to wear fire engine red, this is Indiana and this is Arkansas:
GENERAL
Record: IU 25-7; UA 22-11
RPI: IU 23; UA 32
Sagarin: IU 19; UA 39
Pace: IU 67.1 (167); UA 69.2 (92)
OFFENSE
Raw efficiency: IU 110.7 (34); UA 106.4 (90)
Adjusted efficiency: IU 116.4 (21); UA 11.0 (58)
Effective FG%: IU 52.4 (72); UA 51.7 (100)
Offensive rebound %: IU 36.2 (59); UA 38.0 (21)
Turnover %: IU 20.0 (106); UA 22.0 (235)
Free throw rate: IU 32.6 (11); UA 24.9 (186)
3 point %: IU 34.6 (186); UA 33.9 (216)
2 point %: IU 52.6 (37); UA 52.0 (49)
Free throw %: IU 76.3 (10); UA 67.2 (233)
Block %: IU 7.9 (76); UA 9.8 (230)
Steal %: IU 9.0 (97); UA 9.8 (156)
3PA/FGA: IU 34.8 (161); UA 30.2 (267)
Assists/made field goals: IU 52.0 (233); UA 54.4 (176)

DEFENSE
Raw efficiency: IU 95.4 (42); UA 96.5 (55)
Adjusted efficiency: IU 90.9 (31); UA 91.3 (35)
Effective FG%: IU 46.9 (48); UA 47.4 (63)
Offensive rebound %: IU 28.9 (30); UA 31.6 (110)
Turnover %: IU 19.4 (258); UA 21.2 (155)
Free throw rate: IU 30.0 (48); UA 36.5 (169)
3 point %: IU 33.9 (103); UA 32.6 (47)
2 point %: IU 44.7 (43); UA 46.6 (100)
Block %: IU 10.3 (90); UA 14.6 (13)
Steal %: IU 10.4 (140); UA 10.0 (165)
3PA/FGA: IU 35.6 (218); UA 35.3 (206)
Assists/made field goals: IU 56.1 (209); UA 52.3 (100)
It's not terribly surprising that although this is an 8/9 matchup, IU has a decided statistical advantage. IU is an eight seed because of abysmal recent performance, which hasn't been quite bad enough for long enough to ruin IU's once-excellent overall numbers. Still, IU's offense seems to be a bit more effective that the Razorbacks' offense while the defenses are fairly comparable. Arkansas blocks lots of shots and plays good three point defense, which, given Eric Gordon's recent slump, is not good news. On the flip side, IU excels at getting to the free throw line and Arkansas sends its opponents to the line quite a bit. If the three isn't falling, Gordon should drive early and often (but carefully, given the Hogs' shot-blocking prowess).
Given the coverage, which has centered on how IU needs to pick up the pace against Arkansas, I was surprised to see the Hogs' middling pace of 69.2 possessions per game, only 2.1 more per game than IU. In the linked article, Dan Dakich mention the Arkansas-Tennessee game in the SEC Tournament, but that 72 possession game was close to Tennessee's average than to that of Arkansas. Arkansas broke to 70 possession barrier only 6 times in 19 SEC games (compared to 4 times in 19 Big Ten games for IU). Certainly, Arkansas plays faster, but they aren't exactly like Loyola Marymount was in the 1980s.
More on Arkansas's season and individuals as the week continues.


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