Ken Pomeroy (kenpom.com) is not the Godfather of advanced statistics in basketball, but he is the guy who people know the most related to them in this day and age. His rankings are becoming more and more popular and a part of a basketball analyst’s vernacular.
Pomeroy keeps updating his rankings as the post season goes along and Iowa is ranked 21st in his rankings as of Sunday, March 31st. They got as high as 20th last Thursday, but Wichita State is now in the Final Four and jumped over Iowa. Pomeroy also has his historical rankings on his site, or at least dating back to 2004. Iowa’s best Pomeroy ranking to end a season is 19th back in 2005-2006.
When you analyze advanced statistics, understand these are based on efficiency, sometimes on a per possession or per minute basis. Devotees will tell you these are much more valuable metrics than the standard how many points you score per game or your overall field goal percentage. I am still trying to soak it all in myself so I can’t sit here and give you a poor man’s guide to understanding advanced statistics. You can learn more about them at this link.
Iowa’s offensive efficiency rating is 36th out of 347 and their defensive efficiency rank is 17th out of 347 teams. Both of those numbers are very good with the offensive rating being close to the Top 10 percent of all teams and the defensive rating the top five percent. It’s also the best overall ratings Iowa has had considering both categories since Pomeroy began publishing his data. Better than the 2005-2006 team who was #1 in the nation in defensive efficiency but 129th in offensive efficiency.
Simply put, this is the most efficient Iowa basketball team in the last decade.
While I would probably pick the 2005-2006 team to beat this year’s team six to seven times if they played 10 times, this year’s team has turned things around with their defense. Last year, Iowa ranked 34th in offensive efficiency, or nearly identical to where they rank right now. However the Hawkeyes were ranked 180th in defensive efficiency last year. The Hawks went 18-17 one year ago and are now 24-12 and could have very easily won 22 or 23 games in the regular season if they had done better in those Big Ten games decided by four points or less; Iowa was 2-7 in those games, losing three of them on late game shots.
Iowa will lose just one player off of this team, Eric May, which makes next year’s season exciting to think about. May is one of Iowa’s best defenders, if not the best, so that will be a loss to be sure.
The arrow is trending up with this program and it’s exciting to think about what next year will bring.
MARBLE MOVING UP: Devyn Marble is up to 1,107 points on his Iowa career. That puts him at #31 all time, just five points behind Kenny Arnold and 11 behind Michael Payne and Chris Kingsbury and 38 back of Bob Hansen. He has scored 527 points so far this year. If Marble averages 15 points per game next year and say Iowa plays 34 games that would put him at 1,617 points, or 18 behind Matt Gatens. Marble has at least one more game this year and who knows what next year may bring health wise, but people were starting to wonder about where he could wind up on the all time list if he keeps playing well. The answer is, if healthy, he’s headed for the Top 10 with a possible shot at #2 behind his dad. Acie Earl is #2 with 1,779. Devyn is 672 points away from that total. Say 34 games next year and one more this year, Dev would need to average 19.2 points per game to get to #2. I don’t see that happening and not because Dev isn’t capable, but the team he will be on will be too talented and deep. However, Marble is on quite a ride and the Big Apple awaits.
Here are some NIT & Iowa Hoops Notes:
Matchup from KenPom.com
Thank you to Iowa Sports Information for their work in providing useful facts and figures.
The post Hawkeyes Keep Climbing in Post Season appeared first on Hawkeye Nation.