For those who celebrate, KenPom Day is a big deal.
KenPom Day of course refers to the day KenPom.com, the gold standard in college basketball analytics and projections, updates for the upcoming season. There’s no specific date or time Ken Pomeroy, the mind behind the algorithm, releases his updated schedule. You just keep checking and then one day... There it is!
A couple notes before we get going, but KenPom.com is a College Basketball analytics site first and foremost. It is not a prediction site, it is a projection site. Projections are more based upon likely outcomes versus an estimate of what WILL happen. KenPom basically reverse engineered what Las Vegas gambling houses were already doing. It’s also Ken Pomeroy’s algorithm and not Ken Pomeroy himself making these “picks”. The same way Bill C. doesn’t hate your team, it’s just that Bill C’s SP+ algorithm does hate your team!
I encourage everyone who loves and cares about Mizzou Basketball and College Basketball at large to pay the $25 it costs to subscribe to the site for a year. It’s a wonderful resource.
With that said, KenPom.com was updated today and the Missouri Tigers came in ranked 41st overall, and tied for 7th at 8-10 in the SEC with Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and LSU. But they were the 8th highest SEC Team in the rankings.
Projected to have the 39th in Offensive Efficiency (AdjOE) and 50th in Defensive Efficiency (AdjDE), with an Efficiency Margin (AdjEM) of +16.09. Basically AdjOE — AdjDE == AdjEM. The Adjusted part is for opponent. Raw numbers tell a story, but scoring with efficiency against Kentucky (preseason #1 in KenPom) and against IUPUI (preseason #363 in KenPom) is different. Thus the numbers are adjusted for opponent. The Adjusted Efficiency Margin is a predicted score should your team face an average D1 opponent. The average being between 166 (Mercer at +0.01 AdjEM) and 167 (Longwood at -0.14 ADjEM).
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the projection, something Matt Harris already pointed out on Twitter:
Last point: KP's projections back up the idea that we have good sense of who the top six teams and bottom three teams will be in the SEC. After that, it's a dogfight among LSU, #Mizzou, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State.— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) October 16, 2022
To give you a preview of our preseason picks, our top 6 matches KenPom’s top 6 in the SEC. Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Florida. As I publish the first SEC preview tomorrow, I’m a little surprised with who ended up 14th, but for the most part we agree with the bottom of KenPom’s ratings, Georgia, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Then there’s the middle, I’m lower on Mississippi State versus the rest of the middle of the pack, but that middle seems to be pretty agreed upon as well.
Missouri, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU. I think it’s fair to lump Florida in with that pack, and maybe even Alabama. Florida sits at 35th (AdjEM of +17.35), Mississippi State sits at 53rd (+14.69), so the difference between the top of the middle and the bottom of the middle is 2.66, or less than a made three point shot. Even Vanderbilt sits at +12.15, or 66th. And all 14 teams are currently in the top 100.
Some historical context, the “KenPom era” dates back to 2002, and since then the SEC has only had one season where there were no teams that fell outside of the top 100. Last season 3 teams fell outside the top 100, in 2021 it was the same. Chances are there should at least be a couple teams who fall into that range. My prediction is South Carolina and Georgia.
I’d also predict Kentucky doesn’t finish the season with the top overall rating, although as long as Oscar Tshiebwe is healthy I think they finish in the top 5. And I also think Tennessee finishes outside of the top 10, mostly due to some offensive struggles.
With KenPom in the mix, Mizzou's average predicted finish is tied with Mississippi State for 10th in the SEC. Ole Miss is also in close proximity. Any prediction that has MU between 8th and 12th is reasonable right now. pic.twitter.com/a2m0XWR8Gm— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) October 16, 2022
So we have at least a baseline of expectations for Missouri this season. Not the worst, with some chances to move up in a soft middle of the SEC. Sound familiar?
Some other historical context around Missouri:
Missouri KenPom Preseason vs Finish