If you’re not familiar with KenPom then here’s a brief overview. The ranking is based on Adjusted Efficiency Margin. The offensive ranking is based on Adjusted Offense (points scored per 100 possessions) while the defensive ranking is based on Adjusted Defense (points allowed per 100 possessions). The offense and defense is adjusted based upon opponents so you can’t raise your rankings based on beating up weaker opponents.
These rankings provide a solid look at how the Orange have fared since the rankings began back in 2002:
Syracuse MBB Final Ken Pom Rankings
It’s probably not surprising to Syracuse fans that the Orange have finished in the Top-10 on four occasions: 2003, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Four is also the number of years that Syracuse has finished outside the top 50: 2002, 2015, 2017, 2020. Syracuse is also on a run of five years of finishing outside the top 35 at the end of the season.
When you dig into the offensive and defensive numbers you’ll see a lot more variation over the 20 years. The 2010 team had the most-efficient offense (6th) while the 2018 team had the most-efficient defense (5th) and unfortunately for that squad they ended up as the least-efficient offense (135th). The 2018 being so good defensively is shocking when you realize the 2017 squad was the worst defense ranking 119th.
Balance has been escaping the Orange in recent years. The last team to finish ranked in the 50 in both metrics was 2016 and the last group to finish ranked in the top 30 in both was 2014 and that was the end of a five-year run of Syracuse being that good on both ends of the floor. I’m not sure we all realized just how well the team played during that stretch even if it only resulted in one Final Four appearance.
Any of these rankings surprise or stand out to you? What do they suggest? Are things still fine? And if not, what’s the biggest change that needs to happen ASAP?