Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
If you thought George Washington's defense was impressive, you're going to love Saint Louis. And if you love offense, do not watch those two teams play each other on February 22.
The Billikens have not allowed any of their 13 opponents to score more than 70 points in a game yet this season. According to Ken Pomeroy's defensive efficiency metric, Saint Louis has the fourth-best defense in the country—one spot behind Virginia and seven spots ahead of Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, this team is struggling to find its stroke on offense for a second consecutive season.
Last season, the Billikens shot 44.6 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from long range. This year, those numbers are even worse at 43.8 and 31.7, respectively.
As any pitcher or goalie will tell you, defense is great, but it's worthless without offense. Holding Wisconsin and Wichita State to 66.5 points per game isn't nearly as impressive when you're only scoring 61 points of your own.
From November 15 through December 15, the Billikens had a stretch of nine games in which they never scored more than 76 points. By comparison, Iowa State has scored at least 77 points in every game this season.
That's like comparing a tortoise and a hare, but the fact remains that you have to score to win games.
The talent is there. It's just a bit dormant right now. Jordair Jett shot 51.1 percent from the floor last season but is sitting at just 45.5 percent this season. Mike McCall Jr. shot 40 percent from three-point range last year but is hitting just 30 percent of his triples this year.
Rob Loe is the only key member of the team who isn't shooting considerably worse than last season.
Once those other players start waking up a bit on the offensive end of the court, we'll look back on this week and laugh at the fact that not a single one of the 65 AP voters thought Saint Louis was one of the 25 best teams in the country. (B/R's experts have Saint Louis at No. 23.)