How good is KU? Probably better than you think.

I emailed the below to some friends earlier, and though it might be of interest to PB readers. According to Ken Pomeroy's stats, Mario Chalmers leads the nation in Steal %, which, though I can't find the explicit definition, is a normalized stat to measure a player's effectiveness at stealing the rock.

Good grief.  The kid's just a freshman but how fast are his hands?

A few other things from Ken's stats that I believe are telling.  The bottom line is that KU's record is misleading since we've lost 5 games by a total of 13 points.  Had we scored 18 more points this season, or had our opponents scored 18 points less, we'd be in the top 5 in the country.  Would we be a better team at this point in time?  No.  We would be the same team, except we'd probably be more complacent.  Don't believe me?  Look at Ken Pomeroy's numbers, which look at a team for the sum of its possessions more than simply for its wins and losses.  The former is, in my opinion, a better indicator of future success, particularly for a young team.

According to KP,

KU has the 6th best defense in the country

KU is ranked #2 in effective field goal % and #1 in 2 point fg%

KU's ranked #7 in the Pythagorean rankings, which predicts a teams record based on their per possession stats and is meant to 'predict' a team's record against an average schedule

KU's ranked 16th overall in Pomeroy's overall rankings and 9th over the last five games, despite a couple of losses.

I know all about the lies, the damn lies, and the statistics, but I think the way that Pomeroy ignores wins and losses is very useful for looking at KU, which has a disproportionate representation of close losses which make their record look worse than it actually is.  Mike DeCourcy told me he thought KU was probably between 15-20 and KP's stats seem to back that up.  The last 5 stats seem to indicate that the team is improving however, and I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to show that as the team matures.

I've been very bullish on the Hawks this year, even during the weeping and gnashing of teeth sessions post so many close losses.  Perhaps I'll be proven to be a naive, heart-before-head fool at the end of the year, but I think there are a lot of reasons for optimism.  I'm confident that we'll make the tournament with at least a 10-6 record in the B12, and I think we've got a fair shot at 12-4 or better and a decent seed in the Big Dance. 

I can tell you this, we've got good guard play and great defense, and any team with both of those is a hard out in the Tourney. 

Anybody want on the bandwagon?

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