Texas Longhorns Basketball: Defense On Historic Pace

It's no secret to anyone paying attention that Texas is playing incredibly tough defense. As I wrote in the Texas Basketball Report two weeks ago:

We weren't great offensively against Oklahoma State (merely solid) and we would have been great offensively against Missouri had we converted a healthy percentage of our free throw attempts. But we still won easily on the road at OSU and only have ourselves to blame for not beating Missouri by 20 at home. The reason? Our team defense is outrageously good. Literally: outrageous.

Heading into Saturday's game, Texas was leading the nation with an Adjusted Defensive Efficiency rating of 83.7. That number won't rise after tonight's smothering performance against Missouri, in which the Tigers hit just 19 of their 56 field goals, including just 4 of 18 from downtown. (To put that in perspective, last year's national title winner, Duke, finished fourth in the nation with an 85.9 rating.)

After tonight, through six games Big 12 opponents have hit just 36% of their field goal attempts and an obscenely low 21% of their threes. If Texas continues on this pace, we're not just talking about the best defensive team of the Rick Barnes era, but one of the best defensive teams of the last decade.

I wasn't kidding, and the four games since have only strengthened that position, something which Ken Pomeroy and John Gasaway of Basketball Prospectus both took time to write about today. Here's Gasaway:

Of course the final measure of any defense is simply how many points it allows. This season Texas is allowing Big 12 opponents just 0.84 points per possession, which is far better than what any defense from this group has recorded over the past five seasons. The only other defense to allow less than 0.90 points per trip in major-conference play was Kansas in 2007 (0.89).

Lastly, note that the Longhorns look good even in relative terms. Their D is 2.7 standard deviations better than this season's Big 12 average, a degree of domination which is unheard of for a stat as fundamental as overall defense. No other major-conference defense from the past five seasons has been this much better than its league. Suffice it to say Barnes and his team are doing something right. If it keeps up, it will be record-setting.

Read both of the articles. This team gets it done on defense. Like no team we've seen in recent years.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Burnt Orange Nation

You must be a member of Burnt Orange Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Burnt Orange Nation. You should read them.

Join Burnt Orange Nation

You must be a member of Burnt Orange Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Burnt Orange Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker