Although there have already been some giant upheavals, it’s still early in Big East conference play. As the matchups heat up and the body blows add up, here are some numbers you need to know:
7.06% | The percentage of an opponent’s offensive possessions on which Louisville’s Russ Smith records a steal. Nation-wide, only Briante Weber from Virigina Commonwealth steals the ball more often. Rick Pitino and his pressure defense always create chaos, but this year they’ve been exceptionally disruptive; thanks in large part to Smith, the Cardinals are turning opponents over on 25.6% of their possessions, the 14th best mark in the nation. That’s pushed them to an Adjusted Defensive Rating of 84.6, which stands for 5th in the country. Also appearing on the list of the nation’s top ten individual thieves are Dion Waiters of Syracuse, Fuquan Edwin of Seton Hall and Anthony Collins of South Florida. It is not a good year to be bringing the ball up the court in the Big East.
15.59% | This is Fab Melo’s blk%, or the percentage of an opponent’s two point field goal attempts he blocks. It’s the 2nd highest in the nation, higher even than that of highly touted Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis. Melo’s defensive presence on the interior has helped Syracuse post some of their best defensive numbers ever. Ken Pomeroy has them ranked as the 9th best defense in the country and they’re holding opponents to just 42.0% on two-pointers. Those are scary credentials to be bringing into the heart of their conference schedule.
- 9.79 | This is how many fewer points per 100 possessions the Pitt Panthers are averaging without Tray Woodall. If you disregard the 18 ineffectual minutes he played last week against Notre Dame before re-aggravating his injury, the number becomes