I love shots like this where you can see the real time reactions of the people in the crowd.
I’m a big fan of Luke Winn, but I think he might be stretching a bit this time. For those of you unfamiliar, Luke Winn looks like the smartest kid in your fourth grade class and is a college basketball writer for Sports Illustrated who puts out a weekly power ranking heavy on numerical analysis. It’s cool stuff. This week he used defensive statistics compiled by Jonathon Leverenz of A Sea of Blue to analyze UK’s defensive efficiency with freshman phenom Anthony Davis on and off the court. Anyone who watched the Indiana game could tell you that UK is not as good a defensive team when Davis is sitting than when he is out there swatting everything in his vicinity. However, the numbers show that’s not the case. Let’s look at the chart:
This chart shows the point allowed per possession by Kentucky in each game of the season with the number of defensive possessions Anthony Davis spent in and out of the game. If the margin is less than zero then it means that the defense allowed less points when Davis was off the court. As you can see, the chart shows that in three games (Marist, Penn State and North Carolina) UK allowed less points with Davis on the bench and the total is also barely less than zero. This is where we can easily call BS on this numerical analysis. Marist and Penn State were ridiculous blow outs and the numbers in the North Carolina game are skewed because the Heels damage was done beyond the three point line. They only scored 14 points in the paint. Winn also acknowledges that in the games against top-25 competition, UK’s defense was an impressive +0.394 with Davis on the court. The numbers against Indiana and Kansas are especially impressive. In those two games, the team was an unbelievable 0.517 points better with Davis on the floor.
While the overall defensive numbers show that UK allows slightly less points with Davis on the bench, I think we can all agree that it’s a much better thing when Davis is out there going for triple-doubles. Once we get into SEC play, look for the defensive efficiency numbers to shift very much in the favor of when Davis is on the court.