Rock Chalk Spreadsheet

The good folks (or is it folk?) at the Phog Blog paid a little visit to Ken Pomeroy’s stats, fired up Excel, tippy-tapped on a few keys and cranked out a few nifty graphs that are worthy of your perusal.
What they looked at was the offensive and defensive efficiencies of the top ten (using Big Tenleven math) teams in the country over the course of the season. The graphs exposed some very interesting trends. As a whole, it is clear that the best teams get better and better offensively as the season goes on. No surprise there. What I wouldn’t have guessed is that the defensive efficiencies showed no such clear trend. Some teams have gotten better, some have gotten worse and many are all over the place.
Interesting, huh?
My theory is that the best coaches put a strong focus on defense in their early practices. By the time the season starts, all of the defensive packages are in place and are already effective. Once the season starts, then they start focusing more on offense. As teams master sets, they add more and they figure out which players are the most effective.
Ken Pomeroy has talked about just how impressive Georgetown’s offense is (and when have you ever heard that about Georgetown before?) and this graph really shows that. The Hoyas are WAY better than the other squads. Defensively, Carolina had a similar gap over its peers, but that has gone away. If I had to guess, I’d say they lost it in Raleigh.
The only other ACC team reviewed was Duke. You might not be surprised to see that the Blue Devils started out as the best defensive squad, but have gotten progressively less effective as the season has gone on. Lucky for them, their offense has made up for that. Still, Pomeroy’s Pythagorean rating shows them as the weakest of the top teams, while UNC is the best (just barely).

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