Offensive efficiency is the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions. Defensive efficiency is the exact opposite, the number of points a team gives up per 100 possessions.
OK, so I've spent my morning going back and researching a lot of numbers in regards to IU and its opponents so far this season. Here are some interesting things to know ahead of tonight's game with Oakland:
1. This stat might surprise you: Indiana ranks 17th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Who would have guessed? The Hoosiers have struggled at times on the defensive end, but 17th is a pretty good spot to be nationally. Notable teams ranked behind them include Kansas, VCU and Oklahoma State.
2. Oakland will be the fourth best offensive team the Hoosiers have seen this year. The Golden Grizzlies have an offensive efficiency rating that ranks 84th nationally. Only Syracuse (8th), Connecticut (32nd) and Washington (55th) are better.
3. I saw a column in the Indiana Daily Student today saying the Hoosiers should run over Oakland's porous defense. So I went back and looked at the Grizzlies' defensive numbers compared to IU's other opponents thus far. Actually, five of IU's opponents thus far have been worse defensively than Oakland.
Oakland's defensive efficiency ranks 259th nationally, which is certainly not good. But Washington (275th), North Florida (291st), Chicago State (324th), LIU-Brooklyn (342nd) and Samford (341st) have all been worse.
4. While we're on the topic, let's talk about LIU-Brooklyn. Man, that would have been a bad loss. The Hoosiers escaped that one with a one-point win, and it's a good thing they did. LIU-Brooklyn is now 2-6, and it lost to Eastern Washington by 32 points.