Stats in the Paint: Weekend outlook

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Harrison Barnes will be among the players College GameDay will be assessing on Saturday afternoon.Let’s get you warmed up for the first College GameDay road show of the season (live from Tallahassee, Fla. at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

Saturday’s Matchups

(2) Kentucky at Tennessee, Noon ET

Key stat: In its first two conference games of the season, Kentucky has shot 50 percent against zone defenses and 39 percent against man-to-man. That’s noteworthy, because the Wildcats have faced zone defenses on about 60 percent of their offensive possessions in those two games.

(3) North Carolina at Florida State, 2 p.m. ET

Most PPG in Paint
Big Six Conference This Season

Key stat: Though Florida State allows 87.1 points per 100 possessions on defense (13th in the nation), it has trouble on the offensive end.

The Seminoles turn the ball over on 26 percent of their possessions, worst in the ACC and 11th worst in the country.

Oklahoma State at (4) Baylor, 3 p.m. ET

Key stat: Baylor is averaging 9 steals per game, and 21 points per game off turnovers (best in the Big 12). That’s helped by Perry Jones III, who is 9-for-9 on transition 2-point field goal attempts this season.

Teams on the rise

• Murray State ranks 10th in the nation in transition points with 307. In three games against teams currently in the RPI’s top 50, the Racers shot 77 percent and averaged 23 points per game in transition.

• UNLV is averaging 113.9 points per 100 possessions this season, 15th most in the country. The Runnin' Rebels get assists on 65 percent of their baskets, 11th-best in the nation.

Teams that are flailing

• Pittsburgh averages just 56.1 points per game with its FIRST-chance on a possession this season, which is fourth worst in the Big East and ranks 52nd out of 74 Big Six conference teams.

• Opponents are shooting nearly 60 percent in transition against Xavier in the Musketeers’ last eight games; opponents were shooting 47 percent in transition in Xavier’s first eight games.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

Among the topics Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis plan to tackle:

Is Doug McDermott the new Jimmer Fredette?

McDermott entered Friday averaging 24.5 points per game, which ranks second in the nation. He’s made the most field goals in Division 1 (158) and is shooting over 60 percent from the field this season.

McDermott has scored 30 percent of Creighton’s points this season and takes 36 percent of the team’s shots while he’s on the floor, comparable to Fredette, whose rates were 36 percent and 38 percent.

Creighton has played three games against Big Six conference opponents this season (all wins).

In those games, McDermott shot 66 percent from the field. In four games against Big Six foes, Fredette struggled, especially in the half court. McDermott made two-thirds of his shots in half court, and averaged 1.28 points per play. Fredette only made 42 percent and averaged 0.95 points per play.

The big difference in their games is in trips to the free-throw line. McDermott is just 15th in the Missouri Valley Conference and 402nd in the nation in free throws made. Fredette ended the 2010-11 season ranked first in the nation in that stat.