The Most Mind-Boggling Stats in College Basketball This Season

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2020

The Most Mind-Boggling Stats in College Basketball This Season

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Markus Howard is a critical piece of Marquette's offense. Dayton's scoring attack is efficient. Kansas plays great defense. If you've watched men's college basketball regularly in 2019-20, you know these things.

    Quantifying the excellence around the nation, however, can provide a few eye-opening statistical facts.

    While we could explore some glaring negatives, we're sticking to the positive stats emerging in 2019-20. In addition to the topics involving Howard, Dayton and Kansas, a few other individual and team performances are worth highlighting.

    Specific stats don't always tell a complete story, but they typically offer an interesting explanation for what's happening on the court.

Kansas' Defensive Efficiency

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Kansas ranks ninth nationally in defensive rating, holding its opponents to the ninth-lowest two-point percentage and the 39th-worst three-point clip while surrendering only 60.7 points per game.

    That's really, really good. However, it gets better.

    According to KenPom.com, the Jayhawks boast the best adjusted defensive efficiency rating in the 19-year history of the stat. Texas Tech broke the record last season with an 84.1 AdjD rating, and Kansas currently sits at 83.9.

    While the 2008 Kansas defense has a claim to the greatest in program history, the 2019-20 squad's is undeniably one of the best.

Dru Kuxhausen's 3-Point Shooting

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    Chris Covatta/Getty Images

    High-volume perimeter shooters are no longer rare, but only a small number of those players also connect at an elite rate. McNeese State found a junior college gem in Dru Kuxhausen.

    Not only is Kuxhausen leading the country with 101 triples made, the junior ranks second nationally with a 48.3 three-point rate. Kuxhausen knocked down 50.9 percent of his three-point attempts last season at Western Nebraska Community College.

    Kuxhausen is nearing the McNeese (107) and Southland Conference (115) records for three-pointers in a season.

Auburn's Overtime Record

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    Thomas Graning/Associated Press

    Overtime is random.

    Auburn coach Bruce Pearl acknowledged as much, noting a couple of recent games could've ended with a different result, per Josh Vitale of the Montgomery Advertiser.

    Yet the Tigers have enjoyed a 5-0 record in overtime while edging four SEC opponents, including two teams that were ranked at the time in Kentucky and LSU. During the last decade, only 2011-12 Temple (5-0) and 2017-18 Wyoming (6-0) have managed at least five overtime victories with no losses.

    Auburn is in rare territory with this success in extra sessions.

Overall Records for Penn State and Rutgers

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Penn State is 20-6 and second in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have climbed to ninth in the AP poll, matching the program's highest-ever ranking—achieved both 66 and 24 seasons ago.

    Rutgers already has more victories (18) than in any of the past 13 seasons. Not since 2003-04 has the program touched 20 wins, but the Scarlet Knights are almost at the mark. They could be headed to March Madness for the first time in 29 years.

    Just as we all predicted, right?

    Look, a record isn't totally a stat. We acknowledge that. But this combination of success will never not be strange to see.

Markus Howard's Usage Rate

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Since 2009-10, only three players have appeared in 15-plus games and posted a usage rate of 40 percent or higher. The statistic is an estimate of the percentage of team playsspecifically shots, free throws and turnoversused by a player when on the floor.

    Of the three, however, Markus Howard is clearly the most productive.

    Marquette's star had played 23 games prior to Tuesday night's loss to Creighton, whereas Dundrecous Massey (2012-13 Jackson State) and DeAndre Harris (2016-17 Nicholls State) appeared in 18 and 16, respectively. Howard also has 94 threes compared to 42 combined for Massey and Harris.

    It's safe to suggest the Golden Eagles will go as far as Howard can carry them in the NCAA tournament.

Dayton's 2-Point Efficiency

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Fueled by a likely NBA lottery pick in Obi Toppin, Dayton has soared to a top-five national ranking while enjoying a 24-2 start to the season. Toppin has provided 19.4 points per game, and three other players average double figures.

    That success is largely because the Flyers rarely miss inside the arc.

    In the last decade, per Sports Reference, only 2015-16 Belmont (62.7) has registered a higher two-point percentage than Dayton's 61.9 percent clip. This season, the next-closest teams are Furman at 58.6 and both Gonzaga and Belmont at 57.5.

    This high-efficiency offense has Dayton trending toward the eighth Sweet 16 appearance in program historyand only the second since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Bowling Green's Perfect Record in 1-Score Games

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    Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

    Bowling Green is seeking its first March Madness appearance in 52 years, and the MAC leaders have a not-so-secret weapon.

    En route to a 19-7 record, the Falcons are a perfect 8-0 in one-possession games with a 6-0 mark in conference play. While that's not necessarily a sustainable approach, Bowling Green has consistently found a way to survive a tight finish.

    Granted, the Falcons have a pair of five-point losses that happened in December. To some degree, the three-point cutoff can be considered arbitrarylosses by three and five are ultimately no different; both are losses.

    But it's truly remarkable Bowling Green has found itself on the winning side of all games decided by a single possession.

               

    Statistics courtesy of KenPom.com or Sports Reference, unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

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