I was looking at our KenPom ratings yesterday and was curious how it compared to a few years ago, so I jumped to 2018 which was our most successful tournament team under Painter. I thought you might find it interesting.
It's interesting that our adjusted efficiency margin is at 26.27 with this year's team being slightly worse offensively and slightly better defensively, but still very close overall. I thought I'd point out a few observations:
Both teams are extremely similar in that they have bought into Painter's gameplan and know their roles extremely well. The 2018 team had guys like Nojel who was almost exclusively a defensive player, Grady Eifert who was the epitome of a glue guy who took what he was given within the offense and bought in on defense, and a guy like Ryan Cline who was a great second option in the offense.
This year's team has different roles, but it's' been well documented how guys like Mason, Caleb, and David have bought into roles that are different than they've had in the past or different than other players of their caliber would often be willing to do.
The most noticeable difference is how our team goes through our big man while the 2018 team had an electric scoring guard who could go off in the blink of an eye. While it seems to hold true that guards win in March, I think Edey is different enough than most bigs that we have a good shot at changing the narrative.
Regardless, I think that the incoming recruits in the next few years are the product of Painter taking different guys and molding them into TEAMS and being able to show recruits a few things:
1) If you're good enough, you'll play
2) If you buy in, the team will succeed and play at a high level
3) It doesn't matter what position you are, Painter can play to the strengths of the team and make good things happen.
With Colvin, Catchings, and Benter coming in the next few years along with Heide coming off the RS, I think we may see Painter work his magic with some superbly talented wings in the next few years.
Here's to cheering this team on to an even better finish than the 2018 team. The present and future are extremely bright for the boilers, and I couldn't be prouder to be an alum or happier as a fan.