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St. John's basketball: Inconsistent Storm

The efficiency margin for the St. John's Red Storm in conference is about -.05 points per possession (meaning that their current projected 6-12 record in the Big East seems about right).

Yet the Storm have put up some bizarrely good offensive performances along with their usual hefty beatings. Much like last year, they can eke out close wins (and now big wins), but when they lose, they really get their lose on. There is not a single close loss. Or even a loss by less than their efficiency margin.

I can't quite explain it. Actually, I can explain it a little. The Red Storm can beat the defensively indifferent/ inept (Notre Dame, South Florida), the sloppy (Cincinnati), and a team that was having a bad day (Louisville). They can lose to those teams as well. But when it comes to crisp, precise teams, they are sunk.

Tempo neutral graphic, below the fold.

I think Pittsburgh is somewhere in the middle - on a bad day for the Panthers, anyway. We'll know more about the team after the next two games, for sure.

Click on the image below for the larger version.

2-22-10 eff margin