Posts tagged with Ku

Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 1/17/13

Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.

We'll work to get this fixed, but we had some major audio problems today with skipping. The audio is still available here now that you've been warned.

• Self says Ben McLemore is fine. He'll practice Thursday. He's a little tender and sore. The injury scared him more than anything, because he thought he heard something pop. He's going to be close to 100 percent Saturday against Texas.

To improve offensively, KU can shoot it better. Self thinks the ball is sticking a little bit. Sometimes, when other teams don't guard a certain position or player, the ball sticks, because that player feels like he needs to go make a play on his own. Self thinks the ball isn't moving as crisply as it was earlier in the year.

• Texas has missed Myck Kabongo for sure, but Javan Felix has had a good year. He can score, and he can shoot. He's a strong kid, especially in the upper body. Any time you lose a quality player, it hurts a team. His replacement has had a good year, though. Texas has one of the youngest teams in the nation. The Longhorns showed they could play against North Carolina.

• All Big 12 road wins are tough. KU went to Lubbock and was only up two at half. If you can go through this league with a good road record, you'll be battle-tested.

KU recruited Texas forward Ioannis Papapetrou, and he chose Texas. He's had a good year.

Forward Perry Ellis looked good the other night against Baylor, Self said. He just didn't make shots. It was good to see. He rebounded the ball rim-high. He's a terrific athlete. He can run like the wind. KU has three great sprinters at the 4-spot in Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Kevin Young. Those guys could run track. They're fast.

Self would prefer for KU to play at a fast tempo all the time. Every KU team in the last six years or so has played better when it has played fast. No one would accuse KU of playing slow this year. Self is a big believer that if you can't score fast, though, you need to work it side to side to wear down the defense.

Self thinks it's more important that Ellis becomes a better scorer than a better talker. Whether he talks much doesn't have any bearing on if KU wins. Self just wants him to be more aggressive. Self says Ellis is the best player KU has at the 4-spot to stretch the floor. Baylor was daring him to shoot, and if Ellis is on, he can make two of those three jumpers. That will open up room for Jeff Withey if Ellis can do that. Ellis came in with a lot of expectations coming in because he's local. It takes everybody a little bit of time. Ellis didn't come in with more accolades than Cole Aldrich, and it took Aldrich some time. Ellis is just going through the process. He's not going to be a good player; he's going to be a great player. There's a natural maturation process. Everyone goes through that. Ellis is right on schedule with where he needs to be. Now that he's playing to his skill set, he just needs to see the ball go in the basket.

KU has more guys challenging and being more aggressive on the defensive end with shot blocks. KU has some naturally gifted athletes. Traylor had a great block pinning the ball against the glass against Baylor.

• KU and Texas' defenses are about the same on field-goal percentage defense. Texas is kicking KU's butt in three-point field-goal percentage, though. The Longhorns have done a better job of guarding the arc.

• Self would have said on Jan. 1 that his team was ahead of schedule. Now, he'd say that the team is about where he thought it would be. Self doesn't think his team has done anything in January to make him think it is way ahead of schedule. Self thinks he has a nice team that tries pretty hard and is learning how to win ugly when it's not making shots. Those are all very positive things. KU is right where Self hoped the team would be but definitely not ahead of schedule.

• To Self, there's only one stat that matters with point guards, and that's wins and losses. Self thinks Elijah Johnson has done a really good job there. Johnson hasn't made shots yet. Take that away, and he's been pretty sound. When he's been matched up against other great guards, he's done a nice job in those matchups.

Self thinks the "muddier the track," the better off his team is. He thinks that sometimes the games that have rhythm are not best for his teams, because his teams never have the mindset to outscore folks; his teams instead take pride in keeping other people from scoring. Self is a believer that, especially away from home, you don't want the other team to get rhythm. If you look at last year's NCAA Tournament, most of KU's games had no rhythm. Self likes games when he thinks his team is not playing that well and he looks up, and the Jayhawks are up five.

• KU has high-tech equipment that shows if players are fatigued when they are working out. KU strength and conditioning coordinator Andrea Hudy can tell fatigue factors based on exercises. Self thinks having a couple extras days between games has helped his team. KU took Tuesday off, and on Wednesday, it had a 35-minute shooting practice. KU will get back to business today.


A look at where KU’s offense is better — and worse — than a year ago

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson takes off up the court past Baylor guard Brady Heslip after a steal during the first half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson takes off up the court past Baylor guard Brady Heslip after a steal during the first half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The Kansas men's basketball team ranks 17th in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted offensive efficiency — a measure that takes into account a team's points per possession while adjusting for schedule strength. A year ago, the Jayhawks finished 19th nationally in the stat.

So the Jayhawks are following the same offensive formula for success, right?

Actually, what's interesting is that this year's team varies greatly from last year's in the way it produces offense.

Let's take a look. The following chart takes a look at 10 advanced statistical measures: adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field-goal percentage (shooting), turnover percentage, offensive rebound percentage, free throw rate (the frequency a team gets to the free throw line), two-point percentage, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, three-point attempt percentage (the percentage of field goals shot that are three-pointers) and assist percentage.

The red line is the 2011-12 season (final stats), while the blue is 2012-13. The higher up the dot, the better the team's national rank in that category.

All statsitics from

KU's offense: 2012-13 vs. 2011-12

KU's offense: 2012-13 vs. 2011-12 by Jesse Newell

Enlarge graph

Let's start with the positives for KU: The Jayhawks are a much better shooting team this year, which makes some sense considering they are more balanced offensively compared to a year ago.

What is surprising — especially after I watched passes sail into the stands more than once while covering the team during its August exhibition trip in Europe — is how well the Jayhawks have taken care of the ball. KU has only turned it over on 18.8 percent of its possessions so far, and if that number holds up, it would tie the best mark for a Bill Self team at KU (2007-08 also turned it over on 18.8 percent of its possessions).

Though the Jayhawks' shooting is better — especially on three-pointers and free throws — that hasn't made as much impact as it could because of the team's struggles with offensive rebounds and getting to the free throw line.

KU has grabbed just 32.5 percent of its missed shots this year. If that number stands, it'll be the lowest percentage by a Self team at KU (last year's team was second-lowest at 34.6 percent).

The Jayhawks' free throw rate (37.0) also is on pace to be the lowest in the last five seasons.

Two numbers that remain mostly unchanged from a year ago are three-point attempt percentage and assist percentage. KU once again does not rely a lot on three-point shots, and that's a good strategy to have as an elite team in the NCAA Tournament, as two-point shooting is much more consistent game to game compared to three-point shooting.

Meanwhile, the Jayhawks continue to be a team that shares the ball well, though part of that high assist percentage this year might speak to the fact that the Jayhawks don't have many players that can create for themselves off the dribble.

In the end, KU is having similar offensive success this season compared to last while producing those points in an entirely different fashion.

Though this team doesn't get offensive rebounds or to the free throw line like a typical Self team, it has made up for it by shooting a high percentage while taking care of the basketball better than any Jayhawks team in the past decade.


Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 1/8/13

Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

• Self said there wasn't any pressure when he talked to a TV reporter during a timeout against Temple. He just thinks it didn't do anything to help his team. It was fine. It lasted 30 seconds. But he doesn't think it's something any coach would enjoy doing.

• Self said the way Travis Releford is shooting is outrageous. He's taking great shots. Self thinks he can become more aggressive driving the ball because he's good at it. But the hoop looks huge to him right now. He has a great follow-through on his shot, even though it's a little different than some guys. His release and follow-through is soft, though, which is the most important thing. Releford has become more consistent with his outside shot. Releford is a guy that KU needs to play well all the time, though, whether he makes shots or not.

Iowa State scores easier than any team in the league. They make a lot of threes and are great at rebounding. The thing that is concerning against the Cyclones is that their top seven guys have attempted at least 20 threes each. They turn the floor inside-out. They'll put their post players outside and their guards inside. After watching tape, Self said ISU is probably the best offensive team in the league.

• ISU is going to try to get Jeff Withey away from the basket defensively. The Cyclones are not going to change the way they play to do that, either.

• Self thinks KU's three-point defense is getting better. Anything below 30 percent from three for the opponent is excellent. KU isn't there yet, but it's close.

• Self wishes Elijah Johnson was aggressive more of the time, and Johnson knows that. The senior wants to get others involved, though. He can help KU out by getting paint touches off the bounce. It's always better to play in attack mode.

KU's players were excited and focused in at film session when they started talking about Iowa State and the second season starting. Self thinks they're ready for Big 12 play.

KU is proud of its eight straight league titles. Self says if you want to talk impressive, though, what Alabama is doing in football is impressive. Seeing a team win a title three out of four years humbles you. It's harder to have that type of sustained success in basketball, though, because there's more turnover. In football, usually a good freshman running back turns into a good sophomore running back. That type of thing doesn't always translate in basketball.

Everybody out there respects what Alabama coach Nick Saban does. The thing that impresses Self about guys like Saban or coach John Wooden or coach K is that they're never satisfied. It's hard to not take the foot off the gas a little bit. That's natural. Repeating titles doesn't happen often. When you win a title, your focus can go to a lot of things with your players and your staff that have nothing to do with the program. What's impressive is that Alabama is even more hungry after it wins a title. Saban doesn't let his players relax.

• KU's Big 12 title run is not like Alabama's title run. KU's is from a local standpoint. The Big 12 title important, and KU puts a lot of emphasis on it. It's a little different with KU, though. Self doesn't believe KU's players are satisfied or over-relaxed after they win the league.

• Self says the team probably sees the league title as more of a responsibility to continue the tradition than an opportunity to add another league championship.

• Self saw about the last six minutes of SMU against Tulsa when Larry Brown coached against Danny Manning. Self joked that the low-scoring game was one coach Henry Iba would have been proud of.

• Temple will do well in its league. It played with great poise. KU couldn't crack the Owls. Self thought the close-game experience was good for his team. KU showed good leadership down the stretch. It had late-game situations it hadn't had yet in practice. Self wants to play well every game, but he thought that was about as good of a game for his team as there could be because of the experience it gave the guys.

Self wants to see Ben McLemore score more and drive more and plug himself in more. He scored a lot of points early then went quiet for about 33 minutes. He's got to be able to do more than make easy baskets, which is what he did late.

Withey had a couple good fouls in the last game to prevent easy baskets. KU doesn't foul hard enough. It barely touches guys when it does foul. Coaches will tell you fouling hard at times is important, and Self said it was good to see Withey do that.


How Travis Releford became the best shooter in the nation

With his 5-for-5 shooting effort against Temple on Sunday, Kansas guard Travis Releford moved to the top spot nationally in the two best advanced shooting statistics.

The first is effective field goal percentage, which appropriately gives a player 1.5 times the credit for three-pointers (because they are worth 1.5 times the points compared to twos).

Rk Player Class Season Pos School eFG%
1 Travis Releford SR 2012-13 G Kansas .727
2 Victor Oladipo JR 2012-13 G Indiana .720
3 Logan Aronhalt SR 2012-13 G Maryland .714
4 T.J. Warren FR 2012-13 F North Carolina State .714
5 Kristijan Krajina JR 2012-13 F Mount St. Mary's .712
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2013.

The second is true shooting percentage, which weighs free throw shooting into the equation along with twos and threes.

Rk Player Class Season Pos School TS%
1 Travis Releford SR 2012-13 G Kansas .756
2 Kelly Olynyk JR 2012-13 F Gonzaga .721
3 Victor Oladipo JR 2012-13 G Indiana .718
4 Nik Stauskas FR 2012-13 G Michigan .712
5 Myles Mack SO 2012-13 G Rutgers .711
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2013.

It's quite a leap for the senior, who ranked 244th in eFG% and 306th in TS% a year ago.

So what has changed for Releford?

Let's take a closer look at the numbers to see where he's most improved from a year ago.

The following statistics are from Releford's data was missing the KU-Towson game from 2011, so I added those shots into the final total.

Releford close shots.

Releford close shots. by Jesse Newell

Releford has always been good at finishing close shots (dunks, layups and tipins), but this year, he's been on another level. Not only is he shooting more close shots this year, he's making a lot more of them, shooting a remarkable 77 percent on those tries. The senior has a knack for avoiding blocks when shooting layups in transition, and it appears he's only gotten better with that skill over time.

Releford two-point jumper.

Releford two-point jumper. by Jesse Newell

Being a high-percentage shooter isn't just about making shots; it's also about avoiding bad shots. Two-point jumpshots are statistically the worst shot a player can take, and Releford has basically eliminated this shot from his game, putting up only nine two-point jumpers this season. He's actually been well above the NCAA average on two-point Js the last two years but still hasn't felt the need to force them.

Releford three-pointers.

Releford three-pointers. by Jesse Newell

Releford has significantly increased his three-point percentage while also increasing the percentage of threes he's taken this year. Remember also that the senior started the season 0-for-11 from three, meaning he's made up ground quickly to get to 47 percent. In his last five games, Releford is 11-for-13 from three-point range (84.6 percent).

Releford free throws.

Releford free throws. by Jesse Newell

It's hard to remember this now, but Releford actually was a poor free throw shooter his first two years, making 17 of 32 free throws his freshman year (53.1 percent) and 16 of 25 his sophomore year (64 percent). Releford hasn't gotten to the line as frequently this year (as evidenced by his lower free throw rate, which compares a player's free throw attempts to his field goal attempts), but going from 65 percent to 88 percent is still a significant jump.

I wanted to end by giving Releford's shooting some historical perspective, showing KU's top eFG and TS percentages since 1998-99 — the start of Basketball-Reference's records.

Rk Player Class Season Pos eFG%
1 Travis Releford SR 2012-13 G .727
2 Tyrel Reed JR 2009-10 G .669
3 Wayne Simien SO 2002-03 F .646
4 Mario Chalmers JR 2007-08 G .631
5 Kirk Hinrich JR 2001-02 G .631
6 Darnell Jackson SR 2007-08 F .630
7 Markieff Morris JR 2010-11 C .627
8 Jeff Boschee SR 2001-02 G .623
9 Jeff Graves SR 2003-04 F .622
10 Kirk Hinrich SO 2000-01 G .619
11 Sasha Kaun SR 2007-08 C .619
12 Nick Collison SO 2000-01 F .601
13 Marcus Morris JR 2010-11 F .601
14 Thomas Robinson SO 2010-11 F .601
15 J.R. Giddens FR 2003-04 G .599
16 Markieff Morris SO 2009-10 C .599
17 Cole Aldrich SO 2008-09 C .598
18 Kenny Gregory SR 2000-01 G/F .597
19 Nick Collison JR 2001-02 F .595
20 Brady Morningstar SR 2010-11 G .592
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2013.
Rk Player Class Season TS%
1 Travis Releford SR 2012-13 .756
2 Tyrel Reed JR 2009-10 .682
3 Kirk Hinrich SO 2000-01 .667
4 Wayne Simien SO 2002-03 .658
5 Kirk Hinrich JR 2001-02 .657
6 Mario Chalmers JR 2007-08 .656
7 Darnell Jackson SR 2007-08 .650
8 Markieff Morris JR 2010-11 .642
9 Cole Aldrich SO 2008-09 .640
10 Jeff Boschee SR 2001-02 .638
11 Jeff Graves SR 2003-04 .632
12 Marcus Morris JR 2010-11 .625
13 Wayne Simien SR 2004-05 .616
14 Mario Chalmers SO 2006-07 .614
15 Jeff Withey JR 2011-12 .614
16 Michael Lee SO 2002-03 .612
17 Markieff Morris SO 2009-10 .612
18 Aaron Miles SR 2004-05 .611
19 Nick Collison SO 2000-01 .610
20 Ben McLemore FR 2012-13 .610
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2013.

With better shot selection, an elite ability to finish at the rim and improvements behind the line and arc, Releford has taken his shooting efficiency to a new level — one that is unmatched in recent KU history.


Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 1/4/13

Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

Ben McLemore has been very consistent. He's been more aggressive too. He hasn't hit a "freshman wall" yet, but it's still early to be hitting a wall. It's not even to the conference season yet. He's been more than KU expected from a consistency standpoint.

Temple's win over Syracuse was a great win on a neutral court. It will get KU's guys' attention. From a selfish standpoint, this game gives KU a better strength of schedule. Temple attacked Syracuse's zone well. It flooded the high post against the Orange. Temple played very well that game.

Self has learned you can't compare scores or say, "Let's attack Temple the way Canisius did." Coaches change and alter their teams and adjust week to week. Self focuses on how his team can attack an opponent.

• Self says the one true road game it had against Ohio State was great for the team because it played with the lead and played from behind and didn't panic in certain situations. That gives Self the best feel for his team even though it was only one game

Self has never told a kid that he thinks he has to red-shirt. He tells a player where they are in the rotation. He then tells them what guys they'd have to beat out to play the minutes they think they deserve. Red-shirts also help guarantee graduation. Self thinks if you're not an elite player, a red-shirt can definitely be a positive.

• Elijah Johnson is still growing into a leadership role. Self thinks he's done well. You can have a great leader that's a big guy. But if you ask coaches, they will always want their point guards to be their leaders. They're the quarterbacks of the team. If a guy cares, he'll force himself out of his comfort zone and become vocal. He's a bright kid. Johnson has become an extension of Self with his message to teammtes.

• Most of Self's talks with his players come in groups. He doesn't meet with guys individually very often to go over their games. He wants everyone to know how the other players can improve. It's not done to embarrass; it's done partly so other guys can help police each other and help each other improve.

There have been times where Jamari Traylor and Perry Ellis have been the best bigs in practice. There also have been times that Jeff Withey and Kevin Young have been best. Withey is going to play. Self sees this as a competition of three guys for two spots. Self has been impressed with Young, who coaches the other two young guys up, even knowing that might cut into his own playing time.

Self thinks replay is fine in college basketball. He'd rather get the calls right. In the Arizona-Colorado game Thursday night, Arizona didn't have a high-definition monitor on the scorer's table. There was an official that was in the national title game last year, so he's a great official. Self doesn't want to say it's unfortunate, because he doesn't have a dog in the fight. If the officials don't have the best look at courtside, though, that's something that probably needs to be corrected. That would have been a tough overtime for any team to play. Self doesn't know if KU has HD TVs at courtside at Allen Fieldhouse for its officials. That's something he hopes to look into.

• Self hasn't seen Tulsa or SMU play this year. Self can tell you that Larry Brown isn't concerned about beating Danny Manning, and Danny isn't concerned about beating Larry. Both are concerned about their teams. Self says it'll be pretty cool to see those guys go at it.


KU three-point shot charts: Naadir Tharpe’s hot spot and other quirks

To get a better feel for the Kansas men's basketball team's long-range tendencies, I consulted's shot charts and marked down the location of each three-pointer taken by KU's five most frequent outside shooters.

Green Xs are made threes, while red Xs are missed threes.

Let's take a closer look.

Point guards

Elijah Johnson

Elijah Johnson by Jesse Newell

Johnson's made threes are distributed fairly evenly, though his go-to spot appears to be the left-side wing. Half of the senior's threes have come from that area (10-for-24 shooting, 41.7 percent).

Naadir Tharpe

Naadir Tharpe by Jesse Newell

Talk about a hot spot. Tharpe thrives on the left side as well, but he's best just the left of the circle. Tharpe is 8-for-8 in that location this year, but when he moves farther left down the perimeter, he's 0-for-8. It's a small sample size but interesting nonetheless.

Shooting guards/wings

Travis Releford

Travis Releford by Jesse Newell

Releford appears to be most comfortable on the right wing, as he's made six of nine shots from that location (66.7 percent). Also notice that 21 of Releford's 36 three-point tries have come from the right side (58 percent). He doesn't appear to be a fan of shooting from the deep corners, attempting just three shots there while making none.

Andrew White III

Andrew White III by Jesse Newell

There's not as much data yet for White, though I do find it interesting that 19 of his 22 three-point attempts have come in four distinct locations. White also appears to like the straight-on shot, as five of his tries have come from that area (only Johnson has more).

Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore by Jesse Newell

Though I would have bet money a couple days ago that a majority of McLemore's threes were from the corner (doesn't it seem like that?), the shot chart shows that only four of his made threes have been from there. The deep left corner might even be his most inefficient shot, as he's just 3-for-12 in that location (25 percent). McLemore actually is best a few steps away from the left corner, where he's made seven of 10 threes. The freshman doesn't appear to have a glaring weakness, making a three on nearly every spot around the perimeter.


Top stories from 2012

The following are the top 10 most-clicked-on stories for in 2012.

10. Thomas Robinson declares for NBA Draft (22,701 pageviews):

With coach Bill Self to his left and 9-year-old sister Jayla to his right, Kansas forward Thomas Robinson announced that he’d be entering the 2012 NBA Draft during an April 9 news conference at KU. Robinson was later selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings, becoming the earliest Jayhawk drafted since Drew Gooden was taken fourth in 2002.

9. Kansas claims epic win in border war finale (23,057 pageviews):

In the final men’s basketball game played between Kansas and Missouri as conference foes, the Jayhawks overcame a 19-point, second-half deficit in an 87-86 victory over the Tigers at Allen Fieldhouse. Thomas Robinson made the most memorable play of the game at the end of regulation, skying high to block a Phil Pressey layup attempt with two seconds remaining to send the contest to OT.

8. Bill Self chimes in on conference realignment; ACC expansion and more rumors (23,616 pageviews):

Conference realignment continued to be a story in 2012, and on Nov. 27, Louisville announced officially that it would leave the Big East to join the ACC in 2014. Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self was asked about where the Big 12 stood during his weekly press conference that day. “I don’t know that we could be on more solid footing right now,” Self said. “With the situation with the SEC and the Big 12 in football, the alliance, the new television deal, we are in great shape. I don’t think there’s any need to rush to do anything.”

7. Roy Williams, Tar Heels hurting after loss to Kansas (23,706 pageviews):

North Carolina coach Roy Williams — the man in charge at Kansas for 15 years from 1988-2003 — fell for the second time to KU in the NCAA Tournament, dropping an 80-67 decision on March 24 to send the Jayhawks to the Final Four. “I’ll say, ‘What if,’ for a long time,” Williams said. “But we still had a chance. We just didn’t play as well as we needed to play.” Williams’ Tar Heels also lost to the Jayhawks in the 2008 national semifinals.

6. Altered anthem bothers Bill Self (24,020 pageviews):

Some Kansas University students made headlines for a pregame routine at Allen Fieldhouse, yelling the words “Home of the Chiefs” at the end of the national anthem instead of “Home of the Brave” — a tradition that started at Kansas City Chiefs games at Arrowhead Stadium. KU coach Bill Self spoke out on the topic, saying it was something KU “certainly could do without.” The chant has died down a bit this season, perhaps because of the Chiefs’ miserable season.

5. Norm Roberts joins Kansas coaching staff (24,618 pageviews):

After spending one season as an assistant coach under Bill Self at Kansas in 2003-04, Norm Roberts was selected on April 9 as the replacement on Self’s staff for Danny Manning, who left to become the head coach at Tulsa. Roberts — previously an assistant coach with Florida — said coming back to KU would have added significance with his son, Niko, already on the team as a walk-on.

4. KU men’s basketball team No. 2 seed in Midwest regional (24,957 pageviews):

When the Kansas men’s basketball team’s draw was announced, most of the focus turned to a potential Elite Eight matchup with North Carolina and former KU coach Roy Williams in the Elite Eight. There also was some concern about KU’s first-round opponent: 15th-seeded Detroit, which featured McDonald’s All-American Ray McCallum Jr. The Jayhawks ended up defeating the Titans, 65-50, on their way to the national championship game.

3. Weis announces dismissal of 10 Jayhawk football players (26,970 pageviews):

Just a month after taking the Kansas football coaching job, Charlie Weis announced a major roster shakeup, dismissing 10 players for the football program, with reasons ranging from academic and behavior issues to certain players requesting a transfer. The biggest names from the list included incumbent starting quarterback Jordan Webb, running back Darrian Miller, safety Keeston Terry and controversial QB Brock Berglund.

2. Shooting guard Wayne Selden commits to KU basketball (27,515 pageviews):

A week after attending Late Night in the Phog — and saying he was “blown away” by it — 6-foot-5 combo guard Wayne Selden orally committed to the Kansas men’s basketball team, picking the Jayhawks over Ohio State, Florida, UCLA and others. Ranked No. 14 nationally at the time by ESPN and No. 23 by, Selden is the headliner in KU’s 2013 recruiting class that was ranked second nationally by ESPN.

1. Charlie Weis kicks backsides, returns names (30,002 pageviews):

In his first news conference after being announced as Kansas’ new football coach, Charlie Weis addressed the KU football team’s uniforms during his opening statement. “Let’s get the biggest question answered right off the bat. Yes, we’re gonna put the names on the back of the jerseys,” Weis said. “Can we put that one to bed now?” In the two previous seasons, former KU coach Turner Gill had removed players’ names from the back of the uniforms to emphasize team over the individual. The decision angered many fans, who frequently had to pull out their rosters to figure out which players they were cheering for. This story received a huge traffic boost from outside sources, as more than half of the pageviews came from stories that linked to it.

The rest of the top 20: 11. Former KU player Marcus Morris cited for misdemeanor battery (21,537 pageviews); 12. Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps using transfer year to get head start on 2013 (21,446 pageviews); 13. Evan Manning likely KU bound (21,402 pageviews); 14. KU guard Merv Lindsay to transfer (21,261 pageviews); 15. Awesome babeee! KU routs Baylor, wows Dick Vitale (21,086 pageviews); 16. Milton Doyle spoke with Bill Self on phone before deciding to transfer (21,058 pageviews); 17. KU hires former Dallas Cowboys assistant Dave Campo as defensive coordinator (20,163 pageviews); 18. Freshman Milton Doyle to leave KU men’s basketball team (19,351 pageviews); 19. Tyler Self to play for dad (19,189 pageviews); 20. Andrew White officially signs with KU basketball (19,169 pageviews).

Top 10 stories from 2011
Top 10 stories from 2010


How well did KU defend three-pointers against Ohio State?

The most fascinating thing to me about this year's Kansas basketball team is its defensive profile.

With center Jeff Withey swatting shots inside, teams have gone exclusively to shooting three-pointers against KU. So far, this hasn't burned the Jayhawks.

According to, 39 percent of the field goals against KU this year have been three-pointers. Only 25 teams in Div. I (out of 347 total) have had a higher percentage of threes taken against them.

That's not a bad thing when teams don't shoot well from the outside, as the Jayhawks' last four opponents have made 15 percent, 21 percent, 28 percent and 26 percent of their three-point tries.

Of course, there's reason to believe this trend won't continue. Ken Pomeroy, for one, believes teams don't have much control of opponents' three-point percentages, saying teams should try their hardest to prevent threes rather than make opponents miss them.

It's still probably a bit extreme to say defenses have no control on three-point shots by opponents, as it would reason that closely guarded shots are made less often than wide-open ones.

With this in mind, I wanted to take a closer look at the last opponent that shot poorly from three against KU: Ohio State, which made eight of 31 threes (26 percent) for its second-worst three-point shooting game of the year.

Below, I posted a screenshot of each OSU three-point attempt with the shooter as close to the top of his release as I could get.

It's not scientific, but I'll break down the shots into four categories: "Closely guarded," "Somewhat guarded," "Barely guarded" and "Unguarded." I'll also include the shooters' three-point percentages coming into the game, which might help indicate if KU's scouting report said to let a certain player shoot from the outside.

It also might be fun to try to predict if a certain shot went in before scrolling down to see the result.

With that, let's take a look at the threes. We'll tally everything up at the end as well.

No. 1

No. 1 by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Sam Thompson
Three-point percentage: 27% (4 of 15)
Category: Somewhat guarded. Kevin Young closes out well to get a high hand, but he's still in recovery mode.
Result: Made three

No. 2

No. 2 by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Somewhat guarded. Ben McLemore closes with a high hand, but there's still plenty of room for Smith to get the shot off.
Result: Missed three

No. 3

No. 3 by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Closely guarded. Kevin Young is right with Thomas as he attempts this shot.
Result: Missed three

No. 4

No. 4 by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Sam Thompson
Three-point percentage: 27% (4 of 15)
Category: Barely guarded. Young does at least try to contest the shot from a few feet away.
Result: Made three

No. 5.

No. 5. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Closely guarded. McLemore is in Thomas' shorts here. That doesn't stop him from making the shot.
Result: Made three

No. 6.

No. 6. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: LaQuinton Ross
Three-point percentage: 31% (8 of 26)
Category: Barely guarded. The shot is contested, but Perry Ellis is a couple steps away. I will note that this three is a step or so behind the three-point line.
Result: Missed three

No. 7.

No. 7. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Barely guarded. Elijah Johnson extends a high hand towards Craft, but he's not close to him.
Result: Made three

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Somewhat guarded. Travis Releford is there, but he doesn't elevate to challenge the shot.
Result: Made three

No. 9.

No. 9. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Shannon Scott
Three-point percentage: 46% (5 of 11)
Category: Barely guarded. Almost a carbon copy of Craft's shot above. Johnson is late getting out and doesn't elevate on the shot.
Result: Made three

No. 10.

No. 10. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Somewhat guarded. Naadir Tharpe is within a couple of feet of Craft but doesn't jump on the shot.
Result: Missed three

No. 11.

No. 11. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Sam Thompson
Three-point percentage: 27% (4 of 15)
Category: Unguarded. Releford and Young don't communicate on a screen, and the result is Thompson getting an unblocked view of the rim.
Result: Missed three

No. 12.

No. 12. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Closely guarded. Young is close to Smith and elevates to get a high hand up on the shot.
Result: Missed three

No. 13.

No. 13. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Shannon Scott
Three-point percentage: 46% (5 of 11)
Category: Unguarded. This is where I draw the line. Yeah, Jeff Withey is coming, but he's so far away on the shot that Scott shouldn't be affected.
Result: Missed three

No. 14

No. 14 by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Barely guarded. Elijah Johnson is close to Smith, but he fails to get a hand up.
Result: Missed three

No. 15.

No. 15. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Sam Thompson
Three-point percentage: 27% (4 of 15)
Category: Closely guarded. Kevin Young once again is close to the shooter, jumping with his hand up.
Result: Missed three

No. 16.

No. 16. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Barely guarded. Elijah Johnson once again has neither hand up on the release.
Result: Missed three

No. 17.

No. 17. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Somewhat guarded. Travis Releford is there, but he doesn't jump on the challenge.
Result: Made three

No. 18.

No. 18. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Closely guarded. We've seen a lot of this from Young: high hand, elevating on the shot.
Result: Missed three

No. 19.

No. 19. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Sam Thompson
Three-point percentage: 27% (4 of 15)
Category: Barely guarded. McLemore has good leaping ability, but he's unlikely to change a shot from that far away.
Result: Missed three

No. 20.

No. 20. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Closely guarded. Thomas takes an ill-advised shot here, as Releford is right on him.
Result: Missed three

No. 21.

No. 21. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Unguarded. Releford is not challenging this shot at all.
Result: Missed three

No. 22.

No. 22. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Shannon Scott
Three-point percentage: 46% (5 of 11)
Category: Unguarded. This is about as unguarded as you can get. Scott misses it.
Result: Missed three

No. 23.

No. 23. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Unguarded. Johnson is chasing and doesn't challenge this three from Craft.
Result: Missed three

No. 24.

No. 24. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Somewhat guarded. McLemore is there but doesn't jump to contest.
Result: Missed three

No. 25.

No. 25. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: LaQuinton Ross
Three-point percentage: 31% (8 of 26)
Category: Barely guarded. Young closes out high, but he's not close enough to make much of an impact.
Result: Missed three

No. 26.

No. 26. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Unguarded. Looks like Releford is content to let Craft have that shot. It's hard to know if that was part of the gameplan (Craft went 2-for-6 from three against KU).
Result: Missed three

No. 27.

No. 27. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Closely guarded. Releford is right with Thomas with a hand extended.
Result: Missed three

No. 28.

No. 28. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
Three-point percentage: 49% (19 of 39)
Category: Unguarded. Maybe fatigue played a role at this point, but I don't think you'd normally expect a shooter like Smith to miss this one.
Result: Missed three

No. 29.

No. 29. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Aaron Craft
Three-point percentage: 33% (10 of 30)
Category: Unguarded. You might argue for a "Barely guarded" here, but Young doesn't even commit to the shot by Craft while staying down defensively. Craft makes it.
Result: Made three

No. 30.

No. 30. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: Deshaun Thomas
Three-point percentage: 41% (27 of 66)
Category: Unguarded. This is one I'd expect a shooter like Thomas to make. Instead, he airballs it.
Result: Missed three

No. 31.

No. 31. by Jesse Newell

Shooter: LaQuinton Ross
Three-point percentage: 31% (8 of 26)
Category: Closely guarded. Desperation shot at the end, and Ross is hounded by Young.
Result: Missed three

A few things that stood out to me with this study before we get to the final tally.

We might not be giving Kevin Young enough credit for his perimeter defense. He had five of KU's "closely guarded" plays in the study above and appears to be the best Jayhawk at getting out to perimeter shooters with elevation and a hand up.

Elijah Johnson still looks like he could improve with his perimeter defense. He was defending on four of the seven "barely guarded" plays above and oftentimes was caught with his hands down while opponents were going up for a three.

KU's three-point defense wasn't as good late, as seven of OSU's unguarded threes came on the Buckeyes' final 11 three-point attempts.

All right, let's get to it. Based on my unscientific defensive grading, here are the final results:

OSU three-pointers vs. KU.

OSU three-pointers vs. KU. by Jesse Newell

This is only a one-game sample, but we can start to see where three-point shooting might be more random than we give it credit for.

KU's close guarding did appear to affect OSU, as the Buckeyes made just one of eight threes when tightly covered.

The rest doesn't make much sense. OSU shot even worse on unguarded jumpers (1-for-9) than it did in any other category. And though it's a small sample, the Buckeyes shot a little better when they were somewhat guarded (50 percent) than when they were barely guarded (38 percent).

If nothing else, this proves KU might have been a bit fortunate with its three-point defense against OSU. The Buckeyes, which came in shooting 39 percent on all threes, ended up making just 11 percent on those shots from the perimeter where they were completely unguarded.

KU coach Bill Self was asked Friday afternoon if he was OK with opponents shooting as many threes as they wanted to against the Jayhawks.

"I'm OK with teams shooting guarded threes," Self said. "I think in large part, our three-point percentage defense was one of the worst in the country the first seven or eight games of the season. It was awful. But the last few games it's gotten better, I think in large part because teams miss, not because we've bothered them as much. And when you're rushed, you don't shoot as good of a percentage.

"But I think the number is too high. I wish we pressured out a little bit more to try to reduce that number and force them into Jeff, which I think would probably be something that could key some fast breaks from time to time."

The study above is limited, but I think it somewhat confirms what Pomeroy claims regarding three-point attempts.

As long as KU continues to surrender a high number of three-point attempts, it will continue to be a bit at the mercy of luck, letting opponent three-point shooting — something that is not completely in the Jayhawks' control — dictate whether many defensive possessions are successful or not.


A closer look at why KU’s inbounds plays worked against Ohio State

Because it's hard to realize all that goes on during a basketball play while it's happening, I wanted to do a quick breakdown of what allowed Kansas' Ben McLemore to get five easy points (a three-point play and a dunk) against Ohio State on one particular sideline out-of-bounds play.

Here's the video of McLemore's layup/foul if you want to follow along.

We see that KU starts by putting its four players on the four corners of the lane. McLemore comes from the weak side and starts the play by setting a diagonal screen for Kevin Young, who is closest to the inbounder, Elijah Johnson.

Original positioning.

Original positioning. by Jesse Newell

Notice that McLemore does a good job of being physical against his defender, OSU's Shannon Scott. The sophomore guard tries to keep McLemore from crossing the lane by bodying him up, but McLemore is able to extend his arms through the contact (without drawing an offensive foul) to make it over to Young.

McLemore push.

McLemore push. by Jesse Newell

From here, Young cuts to the rim to clear out of the way (light blue arrow).

McLemore screen.

McLemore screen. by Jesse Newell

KU then "screens the screener," as McLemore — the original screener — backs up to receive a screen from teammate Perry Ellis.

McLemore, who has wowed with a lot of his talents so far, also shows great footwork here, quickly tapping his feet in a backpedal to accept the screen before turning it back up to full speed to attack the rim.

Ellis' screen isn't perfect — it's almost more like a post-up — but it's good enough to clear space for McLemore.

Ben footwork/loop.

Ben footwork/loop. by Jesse Newell

Another aspect that shouldn't be overlooked is Young selling the play on the baseline (blue bubble below). His defender, OSU's Deshaun Thomas, appears to be in a position to help guard the rim, but Young raises his hand as if he's about to receive the ball.

Young calls for ball.

Young calls for ball. by Jesse Newell

Thomas buys the fake, quickly recovering to defend Young while leaving his back towards the basket.

Young's deke, along with Ellis' screen, leaves a wide-open lane for McLemore to receive the lob from Johnson.

Open lane.

Open lane. by Jesse Newell

KU pulls off the same inbounds play 7 1/2 minutes later.

Even though Jeff Withey is in the game as the 5 with Kevin Young at the 4 (as opposed to Young being at the 5 and Ellis at the 4 in the first play), the movements and screens for each player are the exact same.

All arrows.

All arrows. by Jesse Newell

Young once again plays a significant role, as he sets a solid screen on McLemore's defender, Lenzelle Smith Jr., to completely open up the lane.

Young screen.

Young screen. by Jesse Newell

OSU doesn't communicate well on the screen, and Thomas, who was guarding Young on the play, chases the forward to the outside instead of staying inside to protect the rim (yellow arrow above).

Johnson throws the lob, and it doesn't hurt to have a guy like McLemore catching it, as his head is nearly even with the rim at the top of his leap.

McLemore alley-oop.

McLemore alley-oop. by Jesse Newell

McLemore jump.

McLemore jump. by Jesse Newell

During the game, ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted, "Bill Self's inbounds play baskets vs. a well-coached OSU team one of many reasons he is worth salary. Has multitude of coaching strengths."

On the screen-the-screener play above, Self took advantage of McLemore's athleticism and Young's execution to get his team five easy points — a significant boost considering the Jayhawks beat the Buckeyes by eight.


Will Ohio State limit KU’s easy baskets?

Team: Ohio State
Record: 9-1
KenPom (Ken Pomeroy) Ranking: 9

Ohio State's Aaron Craft pursues Kevin Young in the first half of KU's semifinal game against Ohio State on Saturday, March 31, at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Ohio State's Aaron Craft pursues Kevin Young in the first half of KU's semifinal game against Ohio State on Saturday, March 31, at the Superdome in New Orleans. by Mike Yoder

3 Strengths

Taking care of the basketball: Ohio State gets a shot on almost every possession. The Buckeyes have turned it over on just 15.4 percent of their possessions, which is fifth nationally. This has been a staple of Thad Matta's teams at OSU, as the Buckeyes have ranked in the top 30 in offensive turnover percentage in each of their last three seasons. In addition, opponents have only registered steals on 5.6 percent of the Buckeyes' possessions (third nationally).

Rebounding: Ohio State isn't a huge team inside, ranking 102nd in KenPom's effective height measure that takes into account the top two players' heights on the floor, but the Buckeyes still have been dominant on the boards. OSU has grabbed 72.3 percent of the available defensive rebounds (38th nationally) and also 37.3 percent of the available offensive rebounds (52nd nationally). Six-foot-8 senior forward Evan Ravenel is OSU's best rebounder, ranking in the top 365 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. He gets plenty of help, though, as even a guy like 6-2 point guard Aaron Craft averages 3.1 rebounds per game.

Interior defense: Much like KU, Ohio State's defense is strong in the paint, as opponents have made just 40.8 percent of their twos against the Buckeyes (24th nationally). Part of the reason for this is getting back on defense; according to, only 27 percent of opponents' shots come on layups/dunks/tip-ins (NCAA average is 34 percent). OSU also forces a high number of two-point jump shots from opponents (36 percent; NCAA average is 33 percent) while limiting opponents to 30-percent shooting on those jumpers (NCAA average is 35 percent). The Buckeyes also thrive at blocking two-point jumpers, rejecting 11 percent of those shots. Six-foot-7 sophomore Sam Thompson and 6-11 reserve Amir Williams are OSU's two best shot-blockers inside.

3 Weaknesses

Three-point defense: If there's a weakness in Ohio State's defense, it's that the Buckeyes surrender too many three-pointers. So far, 35.7 percent of opponents' shots have been three-pointers, which is the 251st-lowest split nationally. Also, 30.4 percent of the points against OSU this year have come from threes (89th-highest split nationally). Teams haven't shot overwhelmingly well from three against OSU (30.7 percent) but that might be more of a product of the teams OSU has played.

Soft schedule: Through 10 games, Ohio State has only played one team in KenPom's top 100. To compare, seven of the 10 teams KU has played so far ranks in the KenPom top 100 (Michigan State, Washington State, Saint Louis, Oregon State, Colorado, Belmont, Richmond). Ohio State did lose its only game against a top-100 foe, but, to be fair, a 73-68 road loss at AP No. 1 Duke can definitely be forgiven. Take out that Duke game, and OSU has had no game that has been within single digits and only four games that it's won by a margin between 10-19 points. Give credit to the Buckeyes for dominating inferior opponents, but there still has to be some question about how the team will perform against upper-level competition.

Getting to the free throw line: Ohio State's free-throw rate (a team's rate of free throws shot compared to its field goals) is much lower than you'd expect for a team that has played a soft schedule. OSU ranks 143rd in the stat while averaging 21.7 free throws per game. That might sound like a lot of free throws, but remember, the Buckeyes get a lot of shots up. They don't turn the ball over much and are strong on the offensive glass, meaning that free throw count is relatively low compared to the field goals they have attempted (591).

3 Players to Watch

Six-foot-7 junior Deshaun Thomas (No. 1) has become Ohio State's unquestioned go-to guy offensively and could be in line for All-America honors at the end of the year. He takes on a huge offensive load for the Buckeyes, attempting 34.2 percent of their shots when he's on the floor (12th nationally). He's efficient with those attempts as well, making 40.9 percent of his threes (27 of 66) and 49.5 percent of his twos (46 of 93). Thomas doesn't get to the free throw line often, but he helps his productivity by almost never turning it over. He has the 40th-best turnover rate in the nation, giving it away just 13 times all season. Thomas also is a solid rebounder, ranking second among OSU's rotation players in defensive rebounding percentage.

Thomas isn't without weaknesses, though. He's not a great defender, and some analysts believe a good way to slow him offensively is to make him work hard defensively. Thomas also has a tendency to fall in love with two-point jumpers even though that's not where he's at his best. According to Hoop-Math, 43 percent of his shots this year have been two-point jumpers, and while shooting 39 percent from that range is a good percentage (35 percent is NCAA average), it's not elite. To compare, former KU forward Marcus Morris shot 52 percent on two-point jumpers during his final college season in 2010-11.

• I love the 2012-13 College Basketball Prospectus description of six-foot-2 junior point guard Aaron Craft (No. 4), as the preseason magazine said he "is something of the Derek Jeter of college basketball, in that he’s the most overrated and underrated player in Division I." Your opinion of Craft likely is based on how closely you watch him, as his stats are nothing special, but his defense still appears from the eye test to be extremely valuable. Craft is probably the nation's best on-ball defender, always staying close to his man while also drawing plenty of offensive foul and illegal screen calls. His steal percentage is down this year after ranking in the top 35 nationally in each of the last two years, but recent charting by's Luke Winn still indicates he's forcing quite a few "uncredited" turnovers.

Offensively, Craft's best skill is passing; he's second on the team in assist rate and is especially dangerous on kickouts following drives. KU would be best to not help on his drives while daring him to shoot. He's made just 40 percent of his twos and 33 percent of his threes this year while only taking 16.9 percent of OSU's shots while he's in.

Six-foot-4 junior guard Lenzelle Smith (No. 32) is the other player, along with Thomas, that has the potential to beat KU on the perimeter. He's made 49 percent of his threes (19 of 39) while ranking in the top 130 nationally in effective field goal percentage. Like Thomas, he almost never turns it over, posting the nation's 32nd-best turnover rate. Even with his efficient numbers, Smith isn't always aggressive, attempting just 20.8 percent of his team's shots while he's on the floor.


Here's what would scare me about this game if I was KU: I don't think the Jayhawks will get their normal easy points in transition.

As I mentioned in a blog earlier this week, KU has been thriving offensively by getting lots of easy baskets.

Game by game

Game by game by Jesse Newell

I don't expect Ohio State to give many of those up Saturday, partly because OSU doesn't allow teams to get steals, which is the best way for the Jayhawks to get out and run.

I like KU coach Bill Self deciding to put Travis Releford on Deshaun Thomas defensively. To me, this signifies that Self is going to force Thomas into guarded twos rather than open threes, which percentage-wise is the best way to go.

There's still reason for KU to worry because of Ohio State's quick guards. Craft and sophomore guard Shannon Scott (19th nationally in assist percentage) have been effective this year at driving then passing to open shooters. If KU overhelps defensively, Ohio State will have plenty of chances at shots from the perimeter (and away from the long reach of Withey).

In the end, this is two evenly matched teams playing at OSU's home gym. At Allen Fieldhouse, I'd take KU. On a neutral floor, I'd still like KU's chances.

In Columbus, I'll go with the Buckeyes pulling away late.

Ohio State 69, Kansas 63

Hawk to Rock

He's the only non-senior in KU's starting lineup, but I don't think the road atmosphere will affect the Jayhawks' Ben McLemore at all. The Jayhawks will need some half-court scoring against the Buckeyes, and I expect that McLemore will provide that on the interior and perimeter. Put me down for a 20-plus-point game from the future lottery pick.

Predictions tally
10-0 record, 155 points off (15.5 points off/game)

Hawk to Rock
SE Missouri: Perry Ellis (2nd in ratings)
Michigan State: Jeff Withey (4th)
Chattanooga: Andrew White III (10th)
Washington State: Ben McLemore (4th)
Saint Louis: Perry Ellis (7th)
San Jose State: Travis Releford (2nd)
Oregon State: Jeff Withey (2nd)
Colorado: Elijah Johnson (4th)
Belmont: Kevin Young (6th)
Richmond: Jeff Withey (1st)
Average: 4.2nd in ratings