Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
2/05/2007 03:33:00 PM
Durant Versus The Wall
Freshman forward Kevin Durant is averaging 33.1 points in Big 12 play for Texas.
The Kevin Durant Show, which has produced at least 30 points in six of eight Big 12 games, rolls into College Station tonight for a tasty duel. The nation's best individual offensive player will square off against Texas A&M's top-five defense -- which is sure to give Lil' Kev the most physical challenge he'll face in the Big 12. (Kansas' defense is statistically more efficient than A&M's, but we can't really call the Jayhawks superior to the Aggies at this point.)
Late Saturday night after winning in Lawrence, A&M's Mr. Clutch, Acie Law, was already talking about his team's next test. "You've got Mr. Superstar, Mr. Do-It-All Kevin Durant coming in," Law said. "I really enjoy watching him play, to tell you the truth."
No doubt the Aggies will also enjoy harassing Durant into what they hope will be his lowest point total of the Big 12 season. The current low is 26 against Nebraska on Jan. 24. While it's still unclear which A&M player -- either Dominique Kirk, Antanas "A.K." Kavaliauskas, or Marlon Pompey -- will guard Durant, there is a good chance he won't break 30. And I think there's a good chance Texas won't win, either ... but Vegas has already established that.
I did a far-too-elaborate analysis today to attempt to predict how Durant would fare against A&M. First I took his point totals in Big 12 play and, thanks to the possession data on midmajority.com, came up with a "DPPTP" (or, Durant Points Per Texas Possession) score for each game. The DPPTP score was then divided by the opponent's overall defensive efficiency (or Defensive Points Per Possession, from kenpom.com), to get a final "DRatio" (Durant Ratio) that factored in his efficiency versus the relative strengths of the defenses he's faced.
By plugging the average DRatio for the eight Big 12 games (.499) into a formula with Texas A&M's defensive efficiency (.827) and the projected number of possessions for a Texas-Texas A&M game (67.0), Durant's projected point total for Monday night is 27.7. I'll round it up to 28, and make it my official pick.
Readers: To what point total will the Aggies hold "Mr. Superstar, Mr. Do-It-All Kevin Durant"? Leave your picks (as well as your NAMES) in the comments before tip-off. There will be a prize for the winner, and additional nods to anyone who can come up with a more absurd Durant-prediction formula than mine.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Aggies held him below 20. Anywhere but college station, I would say that he lights it up for 30+. In college station, where "just foul him" passes for a legitimate defensive strategy, my guess is he will have difficulty putting up big numbers and might even get knocked out of the game.
Durant will have 34 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks. I think the game will be close though, as I think both teams may get into foul trouble. Also, I think A&M will have to score more than 70 points to win. But as in March Madness, it often comes down to guard play and Law is the the best one on the floor. A&M 77 - Texas 71. -Ryan R. from College Station.
Kevin Durant is a special player who comes up big when he needs to. A&M's defense is solid and I can't take away from that, but I still think Durant will drop 34 and manage to bring down 13 rebounds. Those are my exact predictions.
Durant plays his best on the road with opposing teams fans trying to rattle him. Look at the OSU and Tech games where he put up 37 both times. Nobody's fans are more obnoxious than A&M's, so I see him getting 40, a new career high to go along with 16 rebounds.
Durant will start off hot (say 14 points 5 boards in the first 10 minutes) - then the defense of A&M will frustrate him to the point where he will receive at least one technical foul (i say this because he is likely hearing in austin how important this game is to the tu faithful and how they simply cannot lose to A&M and he, being a freshman, will succumb to this type of emotion). So, i predict (if he isn't otherwise dq'd )he will end the game with no more than 20 points. I do think both teams will be in foul trouble early. BTW, i predict an Aggie victory 72-65. WTAW!!
In Big 12 play, A&M is holding leading scorers to 37% of their average. Being of simple mind, I say Durant scores 21 and A&M wins by 5. Don't forget this will be game 3 in 6 days with a late night turn around from Lawrence.
22 points, 11 boards. The atmosphere at CS is just gonna be too much- he'll be tight tonight, but get to the line enough to get to 22. Plenty of misses by his teamates for 11 boards though. A&M wins by 14.
Texas A&M hasn't been ranked lower than 13 all year, yet I still haven't seen them in Luke Winn's Power Rankings all year. I know you say that a team has to prove that they belong, but seriously, they've been hovering around #8 all season. That being said, Durant is held to 18, A&M wins by 15, and Winn is left wiping egg off his face.
32 points, 17 boards, 3 blocks, Texas wins by 5. It will be a close game and Texas' final 4 points will come off free-throws. Aggieland hasn't seen this kind of punisher since Westbrook lit up McElroy in '95. hook'em -Arnold in Austin.
Based on performances against Villanova, LSU, Michigan State, and Texas Tech (poor ags, still can't beat Tech... at anything), Durant will score 33 points and pull down 14 boards. Texas wins by 3 in overtime.
The game is a rivialry.So that blowout it will not be. Durant will be Durant. over 30pt. over 20 rebound. Texas chances depends on what they will get from everyone else. Like to see Abrams step up. He has been missing the last couple of games.
Way to go, Luke, with the formula coming up with the exact 28 points Durant made! You should be able to make some money with that. So now are you ready to acknowledge the Aggies truly belong in the top 10, dare I say top 5? Winning by an 18 pt. margin against Texas is pretty phenomenal, especially when it's only 2 days after taking down Kansas. Gig'Em Ags! and keep the true Aggie spirit alive. Remember to treat even the online community with the class that Acie showed at Kansas. There are a lot more folks watching us now.
VERY nice call on Durant's eventual score tonight, Luke. Looks like you "Winn"...
That being said, if you don't put the Aggies in your top 6 in your next Power Rankings - then I'll have to starting calling you Luke "Looz" (as in "not Winn"). I mean, their only real bad game this year was at LSU - they could have won against UCLA in Anaheim - and Texas Tech's phenomenal 3-pt shooting - better than 50% - coupled with the Aggie's uncharacteristic misses at the foul line resulted in their only other loss - at a tough place to play. I'll take the Aggies on a neutral court against any team in your top 5!!!
Patrick in Albuquerque - TAMU Class of 1984 - Whoop!!!