Big Ten Pace Part II

[Bumped. One negative note I'd add: All three of our losses have come in 72+ possession games. Still, faster is probably better. -KJ]

Since we've (more or less) arrived at the break between the non-conference and conference portions of the schedule in the Big Ten, I thought it might be interesting to revisit a topic brought up by John Gasaway earlier this year and referenced here. Below are the current adjusted tempo stats for the Big Ten through games of Dec. 27, measured in possessions/40 minutes. All stats courtesy of Ken Pomeroy.

2009 Adjusted Tempo (to Dec. 27)
School Adj. Tempo Nat'l Rank % Above/Below Nat'l Average
Indiana 73.5 30 6.99%
Minnesota 72.7 43 5.82%
Michigan St. 70.5 95 2.62%
Illinois 70.4 100 2.47%
Purdue 70.2 108 2.18%
Ohio St. 67.7 216 -1.46%
Michigan 65.5 287 -4.66%
Penn St. 65.2 296 -5.09%
Northwestern 65.0 300 -5.39%
Iowa 63.7 321 -7.28%
Wisconsin 62.5 332 -9.02%

National Average = 68.7

Gasaway has frequently noted (here, for example) that the problem is not slow pace, per se, but the entire conference playing at the SAME pace (which in the case of the Big Ten has been historically about the pace at which paint dries). Here are the numbers for all of last season:

2008-09 Adjusted Tempo
School Adj. Tempo Nat'l Rank % Above/Below Nat'l Average
Michigan St. 67.3 126 1.20%
Purdue 66.9 146 0.60%
Indiana 66.5 164 0.00%
Minnesota 65.5 214 -1.50%
Illinois 64.0 270 -3.76%
Michigan 63.7 279 -4.21%
Ohio St. 63.3 290 -4.81%
Penn St. 62.5 310 -6.02%
Northwestern 60.9 329 -8.42%
Wisconsin 59.9 334 -9.92%
Iowa 58.5 341 -12.03%

National Average = 66.5

I'm not ready to draw any big conclusions from this, for the primary reason that the conference schedule and its likely regression to the mean has not yet started. There are some interesting things to note, however. So far this year, there are five Big Ten teams playing a decidedly up-tempo game (2% or more above the national average) as opposed to, well, zero from last year. Also, this year there is a clear line of demarcation between those fast-paced teams and everyone else. Last year there was a somewhat more gradual slide from slow to slowest.

Hard to know what to make of this, but it could help the conference's national perception and, more importantly, result in less unwatchable basketball.

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.