With Big Ten season upon us, a look at the numbers

  • 12/27/2011 6:40 pm in

Twelve non-conference games in the books. And twelve victories for Indiana.

With an assist from KenPom, here’s a look at where the Hoosiers’ strong start stacks up with their conference foes as the Big Ten season kicks off this evening:


No team in the conference boasts a more efficient offense than the Hoosiers heading into Big Ten play. KenPom currently ranks them as the No. 7 offensive in the nation in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency (115.8), though Ohio State (11th, 114.3) and Wisconsin’s slow-tempo-look-for-the-best-shot offense (12th, 114.0) aren’t far behind. (Adjusted offensive efficiency is the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions, which KenPom adjusts for level of competition.) From there, Northwestern (20th), Michigan (30th), Michigan State (33rd), Minnesota (38th) and Purdue (40th) round out the top 40. Though Illinois has played somewhat well and has spent time in the Top 25, the Illini’s offense (108th) has held them back.

Indiana sports the second-highest eFG% (57.7, 6th in the nation) in the conference behind Michigan (58.2, fourth in the nation) and its 3-point percentage (45.9 percent) is tops in the conference and good for second in the nation. The Hoosiers’ free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 50.5 also tops the conference.

As we’ve seen, the offense has been a multi-pronged attack: easy buckets in transition, efficient scoring from Cody Zeller down low, slashing and mid-range work from Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, lots of free throws and deadly 3-point accuracy no matter what the situation. Add in an offensive rebounding percentage of 36.7 percent (57th in the nation) and Indiana is getting second-chance opportunities as well.

But conference play will test all this, as several Big Ten teams sport some of the best defenses in the country.


Indiana has cut down its fouling issues from last season. Zeller has provided a strong presence on the backline. The Hoosiers are playing a nice brand of team defense and are trusting each other. (For an excellent, detailed look at Indiana’s help defense, check out Sebastian Pruiti’s breakdown over at Grantland).

Add it all up, and the Hoosiers currently sport one of the better defenses in the country in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency (89.0, 18th in the country). (Adjusted defensive efficiency is the number of points a team allows per 100 possessions, which KenPom adjusts for level of competition.) Indiana is also holding opponents to an eFG% 42.9 percent (22nd in the country). Its steal percentage of 13.3 percent is 15th in the nation. This bodes well come Big Ten play, a conference traditionally known for grind-it-out defensive battles. But even still, Indiana finds itself behind three conference opponents in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency with others right around its mark.

KenPom currently has Wisconsin as the top team in the country in that department with Ohio State (2nd) and Michigan State (11th) also highly ranked — which also happen to be Indiana’s first two conference opponents. Purdue (19th) and Illinois (22nd) fall in right behind the Hoosiers.


As noted around these parts before, if there’s a weakness to pick out about this Indiana team, it’s the Hoosiers giving up a bit too much to opponents on their offensive glass. Through 12 games, opponents have sported an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.2 percent, which slots Indiana at 160th in the nation and 11th in the conference — with only Northwestern (191st, 33.1 percent) behind them.

Indiana is also surrendering a defensive free throw rate of 35.0, which ranks 143rd in the country and 9th in the Big Ten. But this is offset some by the Hoosiers getting to the line at a strong rate (free throw rate of 50.5) themselves.

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  • cooper

    I never thought IU would have the 7th ranked offense. My only real concern on offense is if IU can keep it up. On D the rebounding has to improve and stopping penetration is still a weakness. Still haven’t seen a game where foul trouble is an issue either, hopefully, that continues.

  • Steve FIscher or SteveNTexas

    These stats mean absolutely nothing  as most of our competition has been vs cupcakes.  Let’s hope they are still as good after the next 4 Big Ten games

  • nakedsamurai

    Every other team has played cupcakes, too, so the stats are somewhat helpful by way of comparison.  But I agree, they will not really show what’s going on until several B1G games are in the past.

  • Anonymous

    The Big Ten is a different beast, but these stats are impressive. Every team plays cupcakes. Which to me is more impressive, as IU is killing these teams. 25.1 margin of victory I think. Ask Pitt about playing cupcakes. IU is a good team. We will see if they are a great team.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, these stats do mean something after the past 3 years. Dont forget, it makes it more special.

  • rusty scott

    Who has said that? I can recall maybe 2 writers saying something along that line, and they were clueless.

  • rusty scott

    Who has said that? I can recall maybe 2 writers saying something along that line, and they were clueless.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t say they mean nothing.  Although against weak competition, past games have shown that Indiana can execute at an extremely high level in a real-game situation.  They just have to carry it over to B10 play.

  • MikeinNC

    What do you all think is likely for their Big Ten record this year? At the start of the year I would have said 9-9 with 10-8 being optimistic, but now it is easy to start getting carried away thinking about visions of grandeur….

  • WALT

    28-0  Da Hoosiers

  • I think IU can go 10-8, 11-7 easy in the B1G, depending on the health of Jones and Sheehey.  They go 10-8 (which like you said now seems on the low end for wins) and that puts them at 22-8 at Big Ten tourney time with wins over UK, ND, and NC State.. seem like a tourney lock if they can even go .500 in league play..  

     Will be interesting to see today what the absence of Jones means, though I wish we had Sheehey healthy for a truer representation.  

  • Mister Slippery

    13-5 in B1G

  • Anonymous

    Each poster has had an interesting point of view on our chances in tonight’s game with MSU. I would add two other factors which I feel are imperative, especially when playing on the road.
    1. Don’t panic if and when MSU makes a run.
    2. Remain focused and composed when the calls aren’t going our way.
    From all the games I’ve watched, I think they have done very well in these areas.