What I'm hoping to see from MBB

We've gotten a great set of previews on each position by the guys here at AOG, and they've all been spot on.  But more than whether or not Ezeli can provide enough points in the paint, or whether our swing forwards can cover three positions effectively, or even if today's newest post hoping Taylor : Byars as Jenkins : Foster is prescient; I have a larger concern.  I want to know how efficient our defense will be.  I'm assuming most people are familiar with efficiency stats (made famous cheah!); if not, it essentially quantifies how many points per hundred possessions a team allows (or points per possession, as well). You calculate possessions, according to Ken Pomeroy's method, with FGA+TO-OR+.475(FTA).  Divide your opponent's total points by that number, and you've got your defensive efficiency.

Why does this metric concern me?  Luke Winn has pegged Defensive Efficiency outside of the top 60 or so teams, I believe, as the cutoff line for where teams can legitimately expect to get to the Sweet 16; we haven't gotten out of the first round in our last two tournaments.  I think our defensive efficiency is the reason why.

Since our 2003, here are our Defensive Efficiencies, and End of year results (again, courtesy of Ken Pomeroy).

Year    Def Eff (Rank)    Result
2003    95.3 (70)    Worst Season Since WWII
2004    91.3 (30)    Sweet 16
2005    91.8 (32)    3rd Round NIT
2006    98.7 (122)  1st Round NIT
2007    94.0 (56)    Sweet 16
2008    96.4 (81)    Nut Punched
2009    95.6 (68)    REBUILDING!
2010    93.8 (60)    Nut Punch: The Milder (?) Sequel

We haven't had a truly good defense since 2005.  We got by in 2007, as the post from Train Island noted, by having two SEC POYs on the same roster.  That team wasn't particularly adept at defense, but the combo of DB and Foster was difficult to stop; DB in particular was a caliber of playmaker we really haven't had very often (made his own shot, made shots for others, stepped up in crunch time...  I can't think of a player that was as complete as DB). 

But look at our recent DEs.  We shouldn't have been surprised, in hindsight, by the first Nut Punching; that team was content to try and outscore any and all.  Last year's team played better defense, but wasn't even as good the 2006-2007 squad.  We have been defensively inefficient, at least relative to our expectations of tournament performance.

If you're curious, here are our defensive performances from SEC time last year:

UF    126
Bama    96.9
SCar    106.2
Auburn    109.4
UT    104.7
UK    119.1
Miss St    106.1
UGA    104.4
UT    94.1
LSU    111.7
Ole Miss    107.4
UK    80.5
UGa    123.8
Arky    94.2
UF    96.9
SCa    106.8

Not good. This is what needs improving.

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