clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St. John's basketball is better than two teams?!

From Basketball Prospectus, a look at teams' in-conference efficiency.

Looking solely at a team's conference games holds several evaluative benefits. First, unlike games in November or December, there are an equal number of home and road games to consider. Even more important, the opponents in conference games are blessed, by definition, with similar resources….

Lastly, if you're interested in how a team is going to perform in March (and that pretty much takes in all of us), conference play constitutes the most recent and therefore relevant information. For me, conference play constitutes the regular season in college basketball.

So what do we find so far in 2008?

Key:

Through games of January 28, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession
Opp. PPP: opponent points per possession
EM: efficiency margin (PPP - Opp. PPP)

Big East: Beware Seton Hall...or at least their schedule

Opp.

Pace PPP PPP EM

1. Louisville 66.0 1.04 0.92 +0.12

2. Georgetown 61.9 1.07 0.97 +0.10

3. Pitt 64.5 1.10 1.01 +0.09

4. West Virginia 63.6 1.05 0.97 +0.08

5. Connecticut 70.6 1.10 1.05 +0.05

6. Marquette 70.0 1.05 1.02 +0.03

7. Syracuse 70.4 1.01 1.00 +0.01

8. Seton Hall 70.5 1.07 1.06 +0.01

9. Notre Dame 74.2 1.02 1.02 0.00

10. Providence 68.6 1.06 1.06 0.00

11. DePaul 68.2 1.02 1.05 -0.03

12. Villanova 71.2 1.03 1.06 -0.03

13. Cincinnati 66.3 1.02 1.05 -0.03

14. St. John's 68.0 0.92 1.04 -0.12

15. Rutgers 66.4 0.90 1.04 -0.14

16. S. Florida 64.6 1.01 1.15 -0.14

Despite what you see here, Notre Dame has somehow insinuated themselves near the top of the Big East standings. That means either their performance or their place in the conference pecking order is about to change. As it stands now, a team that's making just 43 percent of its twos in-conference doesn't have the trajectory to scare anyone come March.

Elsewhere in the conference, note that resurgent Seton Hall is not only scoring points in abundance, they also have a sweet schedule laid out for them. They've already gone to Pitt and lost. They don't go to Louisville this year. Their toughest remaining games are at Georgetown and at West Virginia. As incredible as it sounds, a 13-5 conference record after an 0-3 start is within the realm of possibility for the Pirates.