How good is KU's defense?

Very, very good.  Ken Pomeroy's defensive efficiency stats only go back to 2004, but if they keep it up for the rest of the year, Kansas will be the best defense of the past 3 years by a wide margin:

TEAM YEAR RATING
Kansas 2006 79.8
Louisville 2004 81.9
Pittsburgh 2004 81.9
Washington St. 2005 82.5
Duke 2005 82.9
Connecticut 2004 83.0
Duke 2004 83.5
Iowa 2006 83.7
Georgia Tech 2004 83.7
Villanova 2005 83.8
Stanford 2004 83.9
Connecticut 2006 84.0

 

The difference between Kansas and the second best team, Louisville, is as large as the difference between Louisville and the 12th best team, UConn.  How are they doing this?

Two main things: field goal defense and balance.  They have the lowest effective field goal percentage of all defenses in the past 3 years, AND they're one of only four squads in that time to rank in the top 25% of all division I teams in each of Pomeroy's special defensive categories (eFG%, TO%, OReb%, FTA/FGA):

TEAM YEAR eFG%
Kansas 2006 41.3
Connecticut 2004 41.5
Connecticut 2006 41.7
Boston U. 2005 41.9
Duke 2005 42.2
Pittsburgh 2004 42.9
Connecticut 2005 42.9
Memphis 2006 43
Cincinnati 2005 43.1
George Mason 2006 43.2

(Jim Calhoun is doing something right up at UConn.)

The balanced defenses, with their ranks in each category:

TEAM YEAR eFG% TO% OReb% FTA/FGA AdjEff
Kansas 2006  1 66 77 55 1
Old Dominion 2005 34 24 43 57 53
North Carolina 2005 36 54 63 49 7
Mississippi St. 2004 69 75 71 22 17

 

At first I looked at these and was happy because the past two NCAA champs showed up.  But then I noticed another thing.  Check out the other 2006 teams listed anywhere in the charts:  UConn, Memphis, and Iowa.  Texas has played two of them and beat them both, which makes me a little wary about Saturday.  If the way to take down Texas is through offense, not defense, KU may be in a little trouble.

Gregg Doyel vilifies Jim Calhoun

That's the first and last time you'll read the word "vilifies" in a headline this year. Of that I am certain. I am also certain that you will not read a more stunning, poisonous indictment of a college coach's character this year than Gregg Doyel's pedal to the metal screed against UConn's Jim Calhoun. Calhoun's got a sailor's mouth, and I'm sure his office was filled with what Spock called "colorful metaphors" when he read this article. It's unbelieveable. Thanks to Mic for pointing it out to me. Parents, are you listening?

But Calhoun honors nothing but his own program. That is why Calhoun, er, the school, suspended reserve point guard A.J. Price for the entire 2005-06 season but suspended All-American point guard Marcus Williams for just the first semester -- despite their involvement in the same criminal case. Price was expendable. Williams was not. This is justice, Jim Calhoun style.

How much sweeter will it now be when we take them out in round two in Maui?

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