Big Ten Geeks on IU’s rim defense

  • 12/27/2013 2:54 pm in

Big Ten Geeks: Getting Defensive

Indiana is allowing a ton of looks at the rim, but the Hoosiers rank ninth in the nation in defensive effective field goal percentage. How can that be? You guessed it–shot-blocking.

Indiana is tops in the conference when it comes to blocking shots at the rim, which is part of how the Hoosiers have allowed a ridiculously low 46 percent field goal percentage at the rim. Still, even taking out the blocks, Indiana opponents have shot only 55 percent on unblocked shots at the rim, which is also the lowest figure in the conference.

That can be partially explained by Indiana’s shot-blocking prowess–after all, good shot blockers alter shots even when they don’t block them–but there also seems to be some good fortune and/or strength-of-schedule effects at work. It will be interesting going forward to see if Indiana can continue to stop opponents while allowing them so many dunk and layup attempts.

Given these numbers and the low 27.8 percent three-point shooting of Hoosier opponents, I’m not completely sold that this is a top 25 defense like KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency says it is. It seems that reversion to the mean could be biting Indiana’s defense in the near future. On a team that will have to rely on defense to grind out an NCAA tournament bid, that’s troubling.

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