Tom's Take: the numbers game

January 22nd 2013

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College basketball writer Luke Winn posted an article this week at SI. com about the relationship of defensive efficiency stats to postseason success.  Looking back over the past decade of those numbers, Winn notes that “only five teams ranked worse than 25th in defensive efficiency have made the Final Four and only two of those were outside the top 50” (VCU in ’11 and Marquette in ’03).

Given that kenpom.com currently ranks UK 20th in DE, it bodes well for the current Cats to peak in March, provided we see the same kind of passion to guard opponents that we saw at Auburn (which will be coupled with the shotblocking prowess of Nerlens Noel).  Granted UK's DE number must be judged in light of a somewhat softer pre-conference schedule this season but historically, Ken Pomeroy's numbers are a good gauge of which teams guard the best. 

At Auburn, Archie Goodwin embraced the challenge of defending the opponent's best player and he shut down Frankie Sullivan.  If he continues to do that, there won't be any repeats of the day like Elston Turner had two games back.


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December 20th, 2003
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