The Big Ten season starts in less than a month. Every men’s basketball team has played at least six games; seven have played either seven or eight games. That puts more than half the conference at or near the quarter turn of the regular season.
With this in mind, a look at where Indiana is stacking up in a host of statistical categories vs. its Big Ten foes through Sunday’s games. It’s a little early to draw any grand conclusions just yet from all this, but from available non-conference data at present, here’s a look:
|Team||Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
Despite a 5-3 record, Wisconsin sports the 10th best offense in the country and the 23rd best defense (see below). The Kohl Center is never an easy place to play — although one of the Badgers’ losses does come at home already this season (Virginia) — so it’ll be interesting to see what the team is able to do come conference time. And if you needed any further proof that the Big Ten is good, look no further than it having five of the top 13 offenses in the country.
|Team||Adjusted Defensive Efficiency||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
Michigan State’s defense — which finished third nationally last season — is back, just behind Indiana’s and good for sixth in the country. With a 13th ranked offense and 19th ranked defense, Minnesota is looking like it could make some noise once Big Ten season hits. Michigan is getting a lot of deserved buzz of late for their strong start after some thought they were ranked a bit too high to start the year. While their offense has been crazy efficient (third in the nation), a 30th ranked defense has room to improve. Penn State and Nebraska? Well, neither team is very good.
|Team||Adjusted Tempo||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
We know Indiana is getting out and going on offense whenever possible, but Iowa is playing a touch faster pace right now. (Well, actually: Both teams are at an adjusted tempo of 68.6 possessions per game. Wondering if Iowa is given a higher ranking here because of some decimals after “.6”.) Wisconsin is playing at its normal plodding pace, and Michigan — which has played pretty slow in the John Beilein era — is back among the slowest-paced teams in the nation as well.
|Team||eFG%||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
The Wolverines are just eclipsing the Hoosiers in eFG%, no doubt helped along by freshman Nik Stauskas — who’s shooting the lights out so far. The Illini’s 8-0 start has been helped along by some strong shooting from distance. Some of Purdue’s early struggles so far this season can be traced to poor shooting.
|Team||Free throw rate (FTA/FGA)||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
Indiana continues to get to the line at a strong rate, but Minnesota and Iowa are excelling in this facet of the game as well.
Some other numbers of note: Michigan is doing a good job at keeping opponents off the line; their defensive free throw rate of 17.1 is tops in the nation. Michigan State’s had some issues with the ball. Its turnover percentage of 22.7% is 240th in the nation. Opponents are stealing the ball from them on 14.5% of its possessions — a dismal 338th in the country. The Spartans are also seeing 10.7% of their shots blocked per game, which ranks 234th. Minnesota weaknesses are similar — a turnover percentage of 22.7% (243rd) and an offensive steal percentage of 13.0% (312th). The Gophers are also weak at controlling the defensive boards. Opponents are gobbling up 39.2% of available offense rebounds against them, good for just 327th nationally.
All stats from KenPom.com as of the afternoon of Monday, December 3.