Recently

It has seemed to me like Kansas has gotten their act together a little since the Texas Tech loss. They've stopped letting inferior teams hang around, they've pushed the tempo, and their offense seems to have benefited. I wanted to see what the stats said about this, so I played with Pomeroy's. His Game Plan pages list raw game-by-game efficiency stats on offense and defense. These tell you only half of the story, though. You can see a team's output, but you need the context of that output. 1.1 points per possession against Texas A&M is excellent. Against Baylor, eh. To get that context, you need the opponent's seasonal adjusted efficiency stats. Taking those two pieces of the puzzle, I worked backwards from the formulas and parameters Pomeroy lists on his site to obtain adjusted game-by-game efficiency stats.

So, was my perception correct? Has KU's offense been on an uptick? Here are the game-by-game adjusted efficiency numbers since the Texas Tech loss. "Equiv Rnk" indicates what their Pomeroy Rating rank would be if they played like that every game... OR what rank team they could be expected to beat on a neutral court if they performed at that level.

Opponent A/H Off Eff Def Eff Pyth Equiv Rnk
Baylor A 113.4 69.0 .9967 1
Colorado H 113.5 94.5 .8916 53
Nebraska A 125.3 75.4 .9971 1
Texas A&M H 120.7 92.7 .9543 17
Kansas St. H 145.4 92.1 .9948 1
Missouri A 132.5 83.7 .9949 1
Average - 125.1 84.6 .9891 2
Full Season - 116.0 82.6 .9803 6

The offense has indeed taken a step forward. A full season Adj Off Eff of 125.1 would rank 2nd in the country (behind Georgetown). The defense has slipped a little - 84.6 would only rank 6th. One caveat, though - the one game where they needed to play like a top-5 team (vs. Texas A&M), they didn't.

One other caveat - I cherry-picked this data to show only their recent warm streak. How do the Hawks stack up if I do the same for the other top teams? For each team, I used their most recent 5 to 10 games, whatever gave them the best results. I looked at the top 10 and a few other teams I suspected might be able to crack the top, so there's a chance I missed some team on a ridiculous tear. But I think these are the 10 hottest teams. ".99+" is the number of .99+ games in the past 10.

Team Off Eff Def Eff Pyth .99+
North Carolina 123.5 77.2 .9956 7
Pittsburgh 120.8 80.8 .9903 4
Georgetown 143.2 96.7 .9892 4
Kansas 125.1 84.6 .9891 5
Florida 131.7 89.4 .9886 4
Ohio St. 128.6 88.1 .9873 3
Texas A&M 124.2 86.5 .9847 2
UCLA 120.6 85.3 .9817 2
Memphis 121.6 86.1 .9815 4
Wisconsin 122.4 87.9 .9784 1

Three things jump out at me:

  • Georgetown's offense is unstoppable.
  • If not for the letdown against NC St, I'd be calling UNC's defense unbreakable.
  • It's UNC and everyone else.

I'm sure I'll mess around with this sort of thing more as we get closer to the tournament. For now it's nice to see that KU can get as hot as any almost team in the country.

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