This exercise was a lot more fun before Tuesday. I was anxious to see if there was any thing that jumped out at me about our stats for the season in comparison to prior years, and if there was any thing that could suggest what we could expect out of this team in the tournament. And then I found out that we'd be Fabless and the whole thing just seemed silly.
To refresh, I examined two NIT bound teams, two Sweet 16 teams, two runner-up teams, and the 2002-03 national champions to see how they lined up with the 2011-12 squad. Little did I know, that the comparisons would be made to the 2009-10 team before the tournament even started.
Still, there are some interesting items to be learned, and it's really easy to spot what makes this team special. Statistically, it really demonstrates how special this team is(and by extension, how special 2009-10 was). I'll get in to some of the nitty-gritty after I reveal the identities of the season.
(This is your last chance to read the original column if you're in to that kind of thing)
Out of the teams profiled here, this year ranks highest in Defensive Efficency, Efficiency Margin, Block %, Steal %, Turnover % (in a good way), Opp. Turnover % (also in a good way), and A/TO ratio.
It ranks the worst in Rebounding Margin, DReb% and... that's it. And you know what other teams were bad at defensive rebounding? Almost every SU team I looked at (and remember, this list contains arguably the five best teams in the last 30 years). The only other thing that correlates with the not-so-good teams is the number of threes we launch. Our 31.29% lands only behind 96-97 and 06-07 (and with a lower 3FG% than both).
The other notable difference between this and previous years is the extraordinarily low number of possessions per game, the lowest of all the seasons profiled. Despite our taking the ball away from the other team one out of every five trips down the court, we still play a low possession game.
In any case, the only stat that really matters is 31-2, our season record. Whether it ends up 32-3 or 37-2 or somewhere in between, we'll find out in the next couple of weeks.