BOZICH: Who's Number One? IU (offense), U of L (defense) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Who's Number One? IU (offense), U of L (defense)

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Comparing IU and U of L and Rick Pitino visits his son, Richard in Florida. Comparing IU and U of L and Rick Pitino visits his son, Richard in Florida.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Written While Defending the Claim That Offense, Not Defense, Wins Championships: 

There is no need to ignite another debate among the local college basketball fan bases, but sometimes I cannot resist:

Indiana is the best team in the game. No, Louisville deserves top billing.

The correct answer is that both teams are Number One in different measurements of statistical superiority using the advanced basketball metrics developed by Ken Pomeroy.

The Hoosiers are first in offensive efficiency. The Cardinals are first in defensive efficiency. According to Pomeroy, IU would score better than 122 points per 100 possessions, 2 more than Duke.

But Tom Crean's team would not score 122 against Rick Pitino's squad. The Cardinals are only allowing 79.7 points per 100 possessions, 2.4 better than runner-up Syracuse.

Which is the more impressive number?

I examined the last 10 seasons of Pomeroy's data. Eight of the last 10 national champs ranked higher in offense efficiency than they did on defense.

And make a note of this: Seven of the last 10 NCAA champs ranked first or second in offensive efficiency.

*Louisville's win over Missouri-Kansas City Saturday wasn't the only game Rick Pitino coached this weekend. Pitino was in Deland, Fla., Sunday nearly coaching from the bleachers as only a proud Dad can while he watched a Florida International team directed by his son, Richard, defeat Stetson, 82-79.

"Rick was having a hard time as a fan," Stetson media relations director Ricky Hazel said in a message. "I think he was even calling a few plays from the stands a couple of times … He tried to keep a low profile. Most folks left him alone."

FIU (3-3) visits the KFC Yum! Center Dec. 19.

*Only 14 unbeaten teams remain in Division I college basketball: Three (IU, Michigan, Illinois) from the Big Ten, two (Syracuse, Cincinnati) from the Big East and two (Florida, Louisiana State) from the Southeastern Conference.

Duke leads the group with five wins against teams ranked in the Top 50, according to the Pomeroy rankings. Cincinnati and Florida have three Top 50 wins. Indiana has a pair.

*File this under the definition of a driving college spirit: Indiana point guard Jordan Hulls got in his car and drove eight hours from Bloomington to Hoover, Ala., to watch Indiana's 1-0 College Cup soccer national championship victory over Georgetown Sunday.

"My trip was well worth it," Hulls wrote on Twitter.

Hulls was a high school teammate of IU senior Caleb Konstanski at Bloomington South. If you've ever watched Hulls pick up a basketball with his sneakers, it's obvious Hulls has a soccer background.

*Eastern Kentucky is one of those 14 unbeatens. The Colonels have won their first nine games, five by double figures.

But ... Ken Pomeroy questions the Colonels and only ranks them Number 189.

This is why: EKU has not beaten an opponent ranked higher than 204. That changes Sunday when EKU visits unbeaten Illinois.

*Make plans to be at Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School Tuesday night. The Red Devils will play host to Ballard.

Louisville commitment Quentin Snider is off to a rousing start for the Bruins. Snider, a junior, scored 28 points at the Marshall County Hoopfest against Andrew and Aaron Harrison, the twin senior guards from suburban Houston who have committed to Kentucky.

Jeff guard Darryl Baker put up 38 against Top 2014 prospect JaQuan Lyle of Evansville Bosse earlier this month. Baker, a senior, is not committed. He's considered a three-star prospect but is no longer ranked among the Top 100 players in his class.

Baker told Greg Mengelt of the News-Tribune newspaper in Jeffersonville that he is looking at junior colleges, but would love the opportunity to play for Billy Donovan at Florida.

*Excuse the recruiting gurus if they went silent when Johnny Football became Johnny Heisman Saturday night. I checked the 2011 recruiting rankings on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, a three-star prospect out of Kerrville, Texas.

The news is not good.

Rivals ranked Manziel the nation's 14th best quarterback. That's better than Scout, which had Manziel No. 22. Both services placed him behind Louisville recruit Teddy Bridgewater and former Seneca High School star DeMarcus Smith, who has yet to take his first college snap.

I'm currently accepting explanations.

*Chris Huston is known as the Heisman Pundit. He writes a blog for CBS Sports. Perhaps he hasn't had time to watch much video of Louisville's comeback victory over Rutgers or he isn't a fan of Big East football.

You decide. But Huston listed 20 names as candidates for the 2013 Heisman.

No Bridgewater. No players from the Big East.


Of course, Huston also dismissed Manziel for 2013.

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