Note: This article was written before a major overhaul of the ratings system on the website. These numbers are out of date.
The Baylor Bears finished the season ranked 6th in our national team rankings at EvanMiya.com after a big season. They were also 2nd behind Kansas in the Big 12, splitting a pair of games with the Jayhawks. Baylor’s defense led the way, as they had the 4th best defensive rating, to go with their 27th ranked offense.
All five of Baylor’s starters were ranked in the top 40 players in the nation in our player ratings, as they carried the team night in and night out. MaCio Teague was ranked 20th, Freddie Gillespie 24th, Davion Mitchell 26th, Jared Butler 37th, and Mark Vital 38th.
Although all five starters compared similarly in Off-Def Rating, which measures their overall value to the team, it was MaCio Teague who rated the highest for Baylor. Teague, second on the team in points with 13.9 a game, was known for his outside scoring as he shot 35.5% from three on the season. However, our analysis shows that his defense was of even greater value to the team when he was on the court, as he ranked only behind Mark Vital in defensive rating, even ahead of defensive stopper Davion Mitchell. Teague even cracked the top 10 for national defensive rating.
Here is some explanation for Teague’s high defensive and overall rating:
- He was second for Baylor in team defensive efficiency, which measures Baylor’s points per possession conceded when a player was on the floor.
- He had the highest plus-minus of any Baylor player for the season.
- When looking at most effective teammate pairs for Baylor, MaCio is listed five times in the top nine best pairs.
- Every teammate in Baylor’s normal rotation performed better than his normal average when on the court with Teague, besides Devonte Bandoo, as indicated by the Above/Below Average metric. Teague and Bandoo had similar roles in the offense, so Bandoo and Teague’s subpar play together could be attributed to that.
As of June 9th, Teague has declared for the NBA draft but still has the ability to come back to school, which would be a massive boost for Baylor.
It’s not a surprise that Mark Vital is in the top 5 in the nation for defensive rating. He was an absolute force on the defensive end, and could seemingly guard anybody. He was second in the nation in team defensive efficiency, which directly measures how many points per possession Baylor gave up when he was on the court. Though this metric does not account for the strength of other players on the court with Vital, it shows that he had a massive defensive influence, which is reflected in his defensive rating.
One other player worth mentioning is senior Baylor guard Devonte Bandoo, who rated surprisingly low in his overall rating, just 8th on the team. There are several reasons for this:
- The team was considerably worse on defense when Bandoo was playing. His team defensive efficiency was 0.918, which is considerably higher than all the other rotation players. All five starters had TDE’s of less than 0.86.
- Bandoo ranked 8th on the team in Average Opponent Rating, meaning that Bandoo usually played against weaker opponents than his teammates did.
- All seven other rotation players played worse than their normal averages when on the court with Bandoo, some dramatically so, as seen in the Above/Below Averages with each of his teammates.