Cat Scratches
Interactive Twitter Facebook

SI.com's Winn: UK the most balanced title team of modern era

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Not that you need any reminding, but Kentucky won the national championship just over three months ago. It may have been over 90 days since the Wildcat cut down the nets in New Orleans, La., but experts are not done dissecting just how special John Calipari's 2011-12 UK team was.

The lion's share of such attention has been focused on the combination of youth and sheer talent the Cats' possessed, but on Thursday, Luke Winn of SI.com looked elsewhere. He wanted to know whether this year's team was the most balanced title winner of its era.

The verdict? Yes indeed.

1. Kentucky 2011-12

Top Six in Rotation (Poss%): Marquis Teague (21.1), Anthony Davis (19.2), Doron Lamb (18.2), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (21.4), Terrence Jones (22.3), Darius Miller (18.7)

So there you have it: Kentucky '12 is the most balanced title team of the past 16 years -- and potentially much longer than that, if the data were available to prove it. To have top-two draft picks using just 19.2 and 21.4 percent of possessions is not in any way normal. This is what's more typical: The No. 1 pick in 2011, Kyrie Irving, used 27.2 percent of Duke's possessions, and the No. 2 pick Derrick Williams, used 28.7 percent of Arizona's. The No. 1 pick in 2010, Kentucky's John Wall, had a usage rage of 27.3, and the No. 2 pick, Ohio State's Evan Turner, used 34.3.

Taking things a step further, the second-place team happened to be UK's last national champion:

2. Kentucky 1997-98

Top Six in Rotation (Poss%): Wayne Turner (19.2), Scott Padgett (20.1), Jeff Sheppard (21.7), Allen Edwards (19.4), Nazr Mohammed (24.1), Heshimu Evans (20.5)

Tubby Smith's first Wildcats team was a classic, no-star crew, lacking a Lottery Pick or a first-team All-America rep. The only champs since to fit the same, unsung profile are 2009-10 Duke, whose best player, Jon Scheyer, was a second-team All-American and a second-round pick in the NBA draft.

LINK: Evaluating the offensive balance of title winners


No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/35349

Leave a comment




Recent Comments