March 10, 2013
Minnesota’s Efficiency in the Tubby Smith Years
Tubby Smith blasted his team’s defense after they gave up 1.29 points per possession to offensively-challenged Purdue in yesterday’s 89-73 loss. Purdue’s best offensive performance this season prior to going off on the Gophers was 1.19 points per possession.
After the game Smith commented that this might be his worst defensive team since arriving in the Twin Cities. Today we take a look at both Minnesota’s defensive and offensive efficiency during Tubby’s tenure.
Back in January we discussed the difference between raw and adjusted efficiency. A point of that article was that Minnesota’s adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom.com benefited from some assumptions that didn’t align well reality. That is, Minnesota’s defense was held in a higher regard than it should have been.
In looking at the history of the Gophers’ raw defense during the Smith years you’ll see the numbers haven’t been very good since the days of Damian Johnson (whose senior year was 2009-10).
However, once 2012-13 is adjusted, this season’s defense jumps from a #104 ranking all the way up to #45. The rankings follow in the chart below (i.e., Minnesota’s adjusted offensive efficiency in 2012-13 ranks as the 17th best in the nation):
This might be a scary thought for some, but relative to offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency this season has easily been one of Tubby’s top two (only 2009-10 comes close) and arguably his best. The graph below plots the offensive & defensive rankings for each year (raw and adjusted).
For each season, the gold squares represent raw rankings and the maroon rotated squares represent the adjusted rankings per KenPom. (Offense on the x-axis, defense on the y-axis; the closer to the lower left of the graph, the better.)