Exactly two weeks ago, Basketball Prospectus and ESPN Insider's John Gasaway noted in his (totally indispensable) Tuesday Truths column that Kentucky, for all the understandable and warranted enthusiasm about Anthony Davis's incredible, athletic shot-blocking, was actually a much better offensive team than most people seemed to think. In fact, while UK's defense received almost all of the fevered accolades, its offense — which was at the time scoring 1.19 points per trip in SEC play, a silly number and one much higher than any of its league opponents — was doing most of this team's heavy lifting.
Two weeks later, the national conversation on Kentucky hasn't changed much. Whatever praise the Wildcats earn for their hyper-efficient offense feels constantly drowned out by the laurels being thrown at their defense. And look, that defense is really good. Don't get me wrong. But as John notes in today's Truths update, Kentucky's numbers are still more impressive on the offensive end. The Wildcats are still averaging 1.19 points per possession in SEC play, while their opponents points per trip has risen slightly in two weeks, from .92 to .94. Tennessee and Alabama are also holding opponents to .94 points per trip in SEC play. In other words: The Wildcats' total efficiency margin of .25 — and their dominant run through this helpless power-six league — is still utterly, quantifiably ridiculous. But for reasons most people seem to discount.
As John writes:
When I hear Kentucky discussed in 2012, all I hear about is defense. But take a gander at those numbers up there. Alabama and Tennessee (Tennessee!) have played effectively the same level of defense, and no one's doing wing-span posters of Nick Jacobs or Kenny Hall. Conversely no SEC team is even in the same hemisphere as UK when it comes to offense. Therefore, I am declaring March as National Kentucky's Offense is Even Better Than its Defense Month. There will be public-service announcements, K-12 outreach, and I understand First Lady Michelle Obama has shown some very serious interest in my Month. My agent also booked me for a gig on "Sesame Street," where I'll be doing a bit with Elmo, Tully, and Prairie Dawn on KOEBTDM. This is big. I think it's the extra day in February that's giving me the time to get this ball rolling, but I need your help. Spread the word!
Consider the word spread. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your girlfriends and boyfriends and wives and husbands. Together, we can raise awareness of this vital issue. Together, we can change American college hoops discourse. Together.
Next step: Picking a name for the Super PAC. "Americans For A Better Tempo-Free Tomorrow ... Tomorrow?"