Ken Pomeroy (KenPom) is a statistics guru who provides an “advanced analysis of college basketball.” He is widely considered to be a brilliant basketball mind and his statistical equations are often compared to the work of Bill James.
Throughout each season, KenPom’s college basketball ratings are updated to determine the best teams based on his detailed algorithm. With that in mind, I thought it would be wise to look at some advanced Rutgers statistics from the end of last season to see if there were any numbers that stood out.
Here are the key takeaways (WARNING- they’re not pretty):
- Worst KenPom rating among all Power 7 schools – This probably goes without saying after our brutal 2015-16 season, but overall, Rutgers was ranked 279th by KenPom. For some perspective, the next lowest P7 school was LaSalle at 266. In addition, there were only two other P7 schools rated 200 or below (St. John’s and Saint Louis). The next lowest Big Ten school was Minnesota at 192. That’s quite a significant gap.
- Ranked 303rd (out of 351) in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency – The Adjusted Offensive Efficiency statistic measures the points scored per 100 possessions and is calibrated based on opponents. Using this metric, Rutgers scored only 96.3 points per 100 possessions.
- Ranked 235th (out of 351) in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency – This stat measures the points allowed per 100 possessions, and is also calibrated based on opponents. Rutgers wasn’t much better on this end of the floor, giving up 106.9 points per 100 possessions.
- Luck was not on our side – KenPom even has an algorithm to determine how much “luck” a team had over the course of the season. This can often be useful to tell you whether a team actually earned their high seed in the NCAA tournament, or whether they were the beneficiary of some breaks and are primed for an upset. Last season, Rutgers ranked 271st in luck, meaning that 270 teams caught more breaks.
- League schedule was a gauntlet – As you could probably guess, as a Big Ten member, Rutgers conference schedule was not easy. In fact, they played the 66th toughest schedule in the nation. This may not seem too bad on the surface, but it takes into account their light non-conference slate as well (which was ranked 216th).
Remember, these numbers are not a reflection of this year’s team and shouldn’t be analyzed as such. With the coaching change, the incoming recruits/transfers, and the players who left the program or graduated, there has been significant roster turnover entering 2016-17.
However, it’s interesting to see exactly how we measured up to other D-1 programs, as well as some of the intangible factors like the luck rating. I expect our efficiency numbers to improve across the board under Coach Pikiell (especially on the defensive end). Hopefully, that will also translate to a few more wins.