College basketball season must be right around the corner…the new KenPom ratings are here.
In case you missed the post on the Rutgers KenPom numbers last season, you can catch up here.
Now on to the key Rutgers takeaways from this year’s first release…
- No longer the worst KenPom rating among all Power 7 schools – Rutgers was way behind the P7 pack last year, finishing at 279. However, this year, we’ve jumped one P7 team and have closed the gap significantly on the rest of the group. KenPom has RU rated at 191, while Saint Louis (lowest P7) is at 224. The second-lowest Big Ten school is Penn State at 98.
- We’re projected to improve offensively – I know what you’re thinking…how could we not? After finishing last season ranked 303 out of 351, we are expected to take some positive steps forward. According to KenPom, our Adjusted Offensive Efficiency is 99.1 (up from 96.3), which puts us at #192. Still not where we want to be, but leaps and bounds ahead of last year.
- We’re also projected to improve defensively – Last year, RU was rated 235 with an Adjusted Defensive Efficiency of 106.9. The hiring of a defensive-minded coach seems to have made an impact though, as we enter this year at 184 (and an ADE of 100.6). I personally think this is even a little too low. We’re going to surprise a lot of people with our toughness and effort on the defensive end. More importantly, we also now have the size to control the defensive glass.
- Slow and steady wins the race – One of the most eye-popping differences between this year and last year will be our pace. Last season, we were the 53rd ranked team in the country in terms of how fast we played. This season? We’re projected at 241. Again, this is a direct reflection of Steve Pikiell’s philosophy. Play in the halfcourt, limit turnovers, control the tempo, and keep the game close deep into the 2nd half. It may not be the most exhilarating thing to watch, but in our case, slower is definitely better.
To find out more details, including how other teams were rated, check out the full 2017 KenPom ratings.