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Boston College Basketball's Offense-Defense Bipolarity

On the heels of John Ezekowitz's look at the disparity between BC hoops offense and defense, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the last nine years of results for the Eagles in the tempo-free era (from 2003-04 onward). The difference between this year's Eagles O and D is stark, but  have we ever seen anything like this during the Al Skinner era?

In a word, nope.

In all but one of those years under Skinner, the offense ranked higher in adjusted offensive efficiency (AdjOE) than adjusted defensive efficiency (AdjDE). So that's nothing new.

What is remarkable is how efficient the Eagles' offense has been over the last nine seasons. In two of the past eight seasons, the offense has ranked in the top 10 nationally twice in adjusted offensive efficiency -- 4th in 2003 and 7th in 2006. In two other years -- 2005 and 2007 -- the offense ranked in the Top 25, and all but one of those years has been ranked in the top 50. For all the moaning and groaning about how boring Skinner's Flex offenses were, BC has been a model of offensive efficiency for several years now.

The defense, however, is a completely different story. The 2004 season was the only one in which the Eagles defense came close to finishing in the top 25. The last five years adjusted defensive efficiency numbers aren't anything to write home about -- 82, 139, 113, 93, 84. 

The difference between this year's AdjOE (5) and AdjDE (229) is, going away, the highest of any Eagles team of the past nine seasons. In only two other seasons has the difference between AdjOE and AdjDE exceeded 100.

In 2003, BC finished with an AdjOE rank of 4 and an AdjDE rank of 169, for a difference of 165. That year's team finished the season 18-11. Even though BC finished as the Big East East Division co-champs that year, they missed out on the NCAA Tournament and got bounced from the second round of the NIT.

In 2009, BC finished with a delta of 105 (AdjOE rank of 34, AdjDE rank of 139). That team capitalized on a favorable ACC schedule (two games against Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Miami and Wake) to finish 22-12 and make the NCAA Tournament.

BC has shown that it can win when the offense is (much) more efficient than the defense, but with such a stark difference in the two efficiency statistics this year, all bets are off?

Team Year ADJOE Rank ADJDE Rank Delta Wins Losses
Boston College 2011 119.7 5 104.7 229 -224 14 6
Boston College 2010 110.2 49 95.8 82 -33 15 16
Boston College 2009 112.9 34 99.8 139 -105 22 12
Boston College 2008 109.3 76 98.3 113 -37 14 17
Boston College 2007 119.1 11 97.0 93 -82 21 12
Boston College 2006 117.5 7 96.2 84 -77 28 8
Boston College 2005 115.9 20 92.8 46 -26 25 5
Boston College 2004 111.5 45 91.0 26 19 24 10
Boston College 2003 118.1 4 101.5 169 -165 18 11