Monday, January 30, 2006

Team Offensive & Defensive Efficiency In Conference Play

Now that we're nearing the halfway point of conference play, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the respective offenses and defenses of each ACC team. Expansion has seen to it that conference schedules will never be as balanced as they once were, but they'll still provide good bases for comparison, especially as more games are played. As the numbers in this post span conference games only, you might be interested in comparing these stats to each team's full-season stats (note: numbers below are unadjusted).

First up, a look at each team's offensive and defensive efficiency, sorted by efficiency margin. ExpW-L is expected win-loss record, which I computed using the pythagorean formula. ActW-L is each team's actual conference win-loss record; numbers in red indicate the team has more wins than expected and may be considered a bit lucky. Numbers in green indicate the opposite.

Keeping schedule-related caveats in mind...

Conference Games Only
Rank TeamGamesOFF EFFDEF EFFEFF MarginExpW-LActW-L
1 Duke7115.595.520.06.1-0.97-0
2 NC State7115.9108.87.14.6-2.45-2
3 Miami7106.4103.33.14-34-3
4 Virginia7100.8991.83.8-3.24-3
5Florida State7109.9109.50.43.6-3.43-4
6 UNC6104.3105.7-1.42.8-3.23-3
7 Boston College7108.2110-1.83.2-3.84-3
8 Maryland6100.6103-2.42.6-3.44-2
9Virginia Tech798.1104.5-6.42.4-4.61-6
10Wake Forest7106.2112.8-6.62.5-4.51-6
11 Georgia Tech797.9105-7.12.3-4.72-5

Conference Averages: 104.9 (OFF EFF), 104.9 (DEF EFF)

To the surprise of no one, Duke is the clear-cut #1, though their pythagorean says they should've lost a game by now. They say it's better to be lucky than good; Duke is both.

NC State has had the most efficient offense in the conference, but the Pack's defense ranks 9th in conference play. Two reasons: State doesn't force turnovers, and its eFG% defense has been lacking. Bear in mind, however, that NC State has played 4 of the ACC's 6 top offenses (based on the above table)--Duke, Wake, Miami, Boston College. Duke and BC both rank in the top ten nationally in OFF EFF.

Florida State: underachieving thanks to poor defense. I still think they're an NCAA tourney team.

I can smell Wake's defense all the way from Raleigh. Whew.

Miami's rank is surprising, though they look better than they are thanks largely to Clemson's ugly outlier of a performance against them (38 pts on 60.9 possessions, for an OFF EFF of 62.4), which really gave their defensive efficiency--and, thus, efficiency margin--a boost. Clemson's brickfest in Coral Gables put a similarly large dent in its OFF EFF, making the Tigers look worse than they are.

Maryland looks like the biggest overachiever so far this season because all the games the Terps have won have been close and they've been beaten badly in their two losses. In particular, their performance in Cameron (67.4 OFF EFF) was damaging.

Virginia's defense looks nice, but it's going to start inflating once they play the better offenses in the league.

I also like to look at how each school's offense fares at home and on the road. The following table lists each team's home/road OFF EFF, again sorted by margin.

Home/Road OFF EFF Differential
Rank TeamGamesHome OFF EFFRoad OFF EFFHome-Road Margin
1 Virginia711187.223.8
2 Maryland6109.491.817.6
3 Clemson7101.685.216.4
4 NC State7123.811013.8
6 Boston College7110.9106.14.8
7 Wake Forest7107.4104.72.7
8 FSU7110.1109.80.3
10Georgia Tech794.2102.9-8.7
11 Duke7110.1122.7-12.6
12Virginia Tech788.8105.1-16.3

Florida State is the most consistent team so far this season, as their home/road differential is just 0.3. That they are consistently good both home and away is a good omen for future prospects...if they play better defense.

Like they did in 2005, the Terps are struggling on the road. They've got plenty of time to reverse the trend, but I'll be surprised if they do.