Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Classic OVC Standings

Western Kentucky has now won six games in a row, but they have yet to catch Morehead.  Still, it seems clear that for this season, the Classic OVC is down to a two-team race:

143.  Morehead St:  9-4
156.  W. Kentucky:  10-3
230.  Murray St:  3-9
233.  E. Tenn. St:  7-5
241.  Austin Peay:  7-7
263.  E. Kentucky:  4-8
267.  Mid. Tenn. St:  5-8
322.  Tennessee Tech:  5-8

Morehead leads both the current OVC and the Classic OVC, which shows how little everyone else accomplished by leaving the OVC behind.

Meanwhile, here's the Classic Metro:

32.  Memphis St:  10-2
40.  Cincinnati:  10-2
49.  Virginia Tech:  9-3
67.  S. Carolina:  11-1
97.  Florida St:  6-5
108.  Tulane:  8-3
188.  Louisville:  5-7
236.  So. Mississippi:  6-6

Speaking of Louisville, let's check in on all the former Big East schools who thought it would be a good idea to join the ACC.  Right now, according to Ken Pom, none of those teams is ranked in the top 40, and only three of them are in the top 80:

44.  Pittsburgh:  9-3
49.  Virginia Tech:  9-3
64.  Miami (Fla.):  9-2
86.  Syracuse:  9-3
87.  Boston Coll:  9-3
97.  Florida St:  6-5
188.  Louisville:  5-7
224.  Notre Dame:  5-7


  1. Here's the deal with Kentucky right now. Right now, the Cats have an offensive rating of 117.8, which is 13th in the country. That's enough offense to have a really good team. For example, the 2019 team had an offensive rating of 117.6, and was ranked 14th in the country, and it went to the Elite Eight. But the Cats have a defensive rating of 97.0, which is 47th in the country. That's not good enough. Here is the defensive rating of Cal's teams that went to the Elite Eight:

    2010: 88.3 (6th)
    2011: 92.0 (16th)
    2012: 89.6 (7th)
    2014: 95.8 (32d)
    2015: 84.4 (1st)
    2017: 91.4 (7th)
    2019: 90.1 (8th)

  2. Right now, the gap between UK's offensive rating and its defensive rating is 20.8. To make a big run in the tournament, you usually need that difference to be over 25. To be a major powerhouse, you usually need it to be over 30. Now UK's offense can't get much better -- the 2012 team, which was the best offensive team Cal has ever had at Kentucky, had an offensive rating of 122.2. UK's already at 117.8, so there's not a lot of room for improvement there.

  3. If this team is going to get at lot better, we have to see an improvement on the defensive side. Now UK's block percentage has gotten better with the return of the big men, and is now up to number 11 in the country. That's a good side -- Cal's good defenses usually have a lot of blocks. But teams are still shooting 49.9 percent from 2-point range, and a good defensive team will hold that percentage below 44 percent. That's the figure to watch.

  4. By the way, as of today there are only 5 teams where the gap between their offensive and defensive efficiency is greater than 25. Here they are:

    1. Houston: 32.3
    2. Purdue: 30.4
    3. Arizona: 29.9
    4. B.Y.U.: 26.1
    5. Connecticut: 25.4

  5. UK has the fourth-best efficiency ranking in the SEC. Here are the top four teams in the conference, according to Ken Pom:

    Tennessee: (114.2 offense, 90.1 defense, difference of 24.1)
    Alabama: (123.5 offense, 100.3 defense, difference of 23.1)
    Auburn: (116.8 offense, 93.8 defense, difference of 23.0)
    Kentucky: (117.8 offense, 97.0 defense, difference of 20.8)

    Again, the evidence is overwhelming: that defense for Kentucky needs to get a lot better.