Big East Efficiency Margins 1-24-11

In conjunction with the U Conn blog's weekly power rankings, I'll be adding a weekly look at teams' in-conference efficiency margins. Note that many teams have played a tough early schedule, so the numbers are just a look, not some kind of truth-telling, sooth-saying table. But a team that can't outscore its conference-mates probably isn't going to outscore many of the other top 40 teams that participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Note that the efficiency numbers involve scoring, offensive rebounding, team turnovers on both ends, and free throws - basically, all the ways a team can end a possession. These numbers are taken from Statsheet.

Team
W
L
Offensive Efficiency
Defensive Efficiency
Efficiency Margin
Pittsburgh
7
1
118.5
96.8
21.7
Villanova
5
1
115.6
100.2
15.4
Marquette
4
3
120.8
109.6
11.2
West Virginia
4
2
109.0
100.5
8.5
Louisville
4
2
108.8
100.5
8.3
Syracuse
5
2
107.6
99.6
8.0
Connecticut
4
2
105.1
99.2
5.9
Cincinnati
4
3
100.2
98.2
2.0
Notre Dame
5
3
104.7
106.1
-1.4
Georgetown
3
4
106.8
109.8
-3.0
Rutgers
3
4
104.0
108.2
-4.2
St. John's
4
4
97.7
102.7
-5.0
Seton Hall
2
6
92.0
101.9
-9.9
South Florida
1
7
100.0
110.6
-10.6
Providence
1
6
99.4
111.0
-11.6
DePaul
0
7
92.5
117.5
-25.0
Median
4
3
104.9
102.3
0.3

Once again, the DePaul Blue Demons are much worse than the rest of the league, but better days are coming. But the Pittsburgh Panthers are out there killing fools. So far, only the Providence Friars have come close to touching the Panthers, losing by 4 at Providence.

Meanwhile, in the +10 points per 100 possessions club, Villanova and Pitt are joined by... Marquette?! The Golden Eagles have really put up points, and enjoyed blowouts in 3 of their 4 league wins (againast DePaul, Notre Dame, and Rutgers), and lost by close margins to Pitt, Notre Dame in South Bend, and to Louisville. Note that high defensive efficiency number. The Golden Eagles are giving up a lot of threes and defending the interior like a house plant.

The West Virginia Mountaineers enjoyed an efficiency-skewing blowout of the Providence Friars, they should fall back to the middle of the pack. And that middle features interesting competition - the Cincinnati Bearcats, much like the Connecticut Huskies and the Syracuse Orange, are a cut above the middle of the pack on the defensive end, but the scoring is more indicative of the scoring-challenged clubs at the bottom of the table.

Rutgers is looking good - with actual scoring! But a caveat - their wins have been against the South Florida Bulls, Seton Hall, and Providence, and they scored more than 1 point per possession against the permissive Georgetown Hoyas and Marquette Golden Eagles. So, maybe not so good, Al. And the defense isn't looking great... poor three-point defense and a propensity to foul are culprits.

Those Hoyas.. wow. That defense is very bad, with Villanova, Louisville, and Providence coming in after they host St. John's on Wednesday. And how about the Seton Hall Pirates, unable to score? They're the worst-shooting team this side of DePaul. AND DePaul gets extra possessions by crashing the offensive glass better than the talented Pirates... making the DePaul offense a notch better so far. That would be embarrassing if those results hold.

The St. John's Red Storm have been worrisome, winning somce close ones, but losing by a lot when they do lose. Which might speak to good coaching, or an inability to contain talented scorers. but right now, the Johnnies, the Hoyas, Notre Dame, and Cincinati are battling for the last at-large spots in the NCAA Tournament for the Big East... unless the selection committee stops at 7.

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