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Wednesday January 23, 2013 Gators' efficiency rating through the roof

Scottie D ATHENS, Ga. -- John Gasaway is a college basketball numbers cruncher -- and, boy, did he crunch some digits in favor of the Florida Gators in his weekly version of “Tuesday Truths.”

The trendy metric in roundball these days is points per possession. It’s broken down on both offense and defense. The difference between the two -- points-for minus points-against -- is what Gasaway calls “Efficiency Margin.”

The No. 8 Gators (14-2, 4-0) are at Georgia (7-10, 1-3) tonight. They’re PPP against Southeastern Conference opponents is a very high 1.19 and their opponent’s PPP is an absurd 0.77.

For context, 1.10 is a good, sound baseline for offense and 0.90 is a solid score for defense.

At first glance, UF’s +0.42 “EM” probably won’t do anything for you.

But here’s what it does for Gasaway, according to his latest post on BasketballProspectus.com.

“Yes, ‘+0.42’ is indeed the most ridiculous number in Tuesday Truths history, and I’ve been the traffic cop at this particular corner now for six seasons. Who knows, maybe Florida will go the way of the 2010-11 Texas defense and flame out after having posted some early metric that defied gravity. But right now all I have is what’s already happened, and based on that I voted Billy Donovan’s team No. 1 in the nation” in ESPN’s weekly power rankings. ... Here is how preposterous Florida has been in SEC play. The Gators have hit 59 percent of their twos and 40 percent of their threes -- and their offense is actually their weak link. The defense has been even better, relative to the conference averages. ... I certainly don’t expect UF to continue to hold SEC offenses to less than 0.80 points per trip, if for no other reason that part of that numbers from opponents’ 24 percent three-point shooting. ... But Florida’s performance on both sides of the ball can ‘regress’ a long way and still be indicative of a Final Four trajectory.”

You can find Gasaway’s story here. In the meantime, I borrowed from his data to re-rank the Associated Press Top 25 in order of his EM, with the numbers reflecting games played through Monday.

Rk    Team                        EM         PPP        OPPP        AP
1       Florida                    +0.42       1.19         0.77          8th
2       Michigan                 +0.23      1.21          0.98          2nd
3       Louisville                +0.22       1.09          0.87         5th
4       Creighton               +0.21       1.22          0.97         17th
5       Duke                      +0.20       1.08          0.88         1st
         Gonzaga                +0.20       1.24          1.04        10th
7       Ole Miss                 +0.19       1.10          0.91        23rd
         VCU                       +0.19       1.16          0.97        19th
9       New Mexico           +0.17       1.00          0.83        15th
10     Kansas                   +0.16       1.03          0.87        T-3rd
11     Syracuse                +0.15       1.09          0.94        T-3rd
         Butler                     +0.15        0.99          0.15        9th
13    Wichita State          +0.13        1.10          0.97        20th
14    Kansas State          +0.12        1.09          0.97       11th
        Miami                      +0.12        0.97          0.85        25th
16    Arizona                   +0.11        1.09           0.98        6th
        Indiana                    +0.11       1.08           0.97        7th
18    Minnesota               +0.10       1.16           1.06        12th
19    Michigan State        +0.09       1.04           0.95        13th
        Oregon                    +0.09       1.07           0.98        16th
        North Carolina St    +0.09       1.08            0.88        18th
22    Ohio State               +0.05       0.96           0.91        14th
23    Cincinnati                +0.04       1.03           0.99        21st
        Missouri                   +0.04       0.98          1.02        22nd
25    Notre Dame             +0.01       1.09          0.01        24th


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