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After Three Games, KenPom Still Projects OSU to Finish Last in Big 12

An early look at the advanced metrics and how they project OSU’s season.



Before the season began, the Big 12 coaches placed Oklahoma State last in the conference’s preseason poll, and early in the season, KenPom’s projections support that claim.

KenPom, a top-tier college basketball analytics site, projects the Cowboys to finish with a 13-16 record, going 6-12 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys will play more than 29 games, but KenPom doesn’t account for the second and third game in the AdvoCare Invitational the Cowboys will play, as their opponent is still to be determined. Mr. Pomeroy’s analytics predict OSU will win its opening game in the AdvoCare Invitational against Memphis on Thursday.

Kansas is projected to win the Big 12, according to KenPom. The Jayhawks projected record is 25-5 with four of their losses coming in conference play. Along with the projected records, the site ranks teams by adjusted efficiency margin (AdjEM).

AdjEM is the difference between a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency. It’s simple subtraction. Even your dog can do it. It represents the number of points the team would be expected to outscore the average D-I team over 100 possessions and it has the advantage of being a linear measure. The difference between +31 and +28 is the same as the difference between +4 and +1. It’s three points per 100 possessions which is much easier to interpret. This measure also makes the SOS and average conference strength numbers less mysterious.

Here’s a look at the Big 12 based on this data.

Team Projected Conference Record AdjEM AdjEM National Rank
Kansas 14-4 +28.02 2
Kansas State 10-8 +19.85 14
Texas Tech 10-8 +19.23 20
Weset Virginia 10-8 +18.33 25
Texas Tech 9-9 +17.69 27
Iowa State 9-9 +17.66 29
TCU 8-10 +14.17 37
Oklahoma 7-11 +13.23 43
Baylor 7-11 +12.1 52
Oklahoma State 6-12 +10.74 63

An interesting note to take away from the conference’s AdjEMs is that the Big 12, though narrowly, can be split in three: Kansas, K-State through Iowa State, then TCU to OSU.

Another interesting tidbit is that all 10 Big 12 teams’ AdjEMs are in the Top 65 in the country. KenPom’s stats back up claims that the Big 12 is the best basketball conference in the country, as the conferences’ +16.91 average AdjEM is the top of all 32 conferences. The ACC (+16.35) and the Big Ten (+16.33) are close to the Big 12 in the category before the fourth-place SEC’s AdjEM drops to +13.47.


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