The Bruins’ S&P+ is telling but doesn’t tell the whole story (cont.)
One of the things that bring us to this conclusion is the fact that UCLA’s offensive was exponentially better by the end of 2018 than they were by the start. Connelly’s week-by-week S&P+ numbers show this (as they also show the decline in defensive numbers). With that in mind, we can’t fathom the Bruins’ offense plateauing heading into 2019.
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With the offensive line improving, Joshua Kelley continuing where he left off and Dorian-Thompson-Robinson elevating his game in his sophomore season, the offense should be closer to Connelly’s 2018 projected numbers.
As for the defense, Kelly and DC Jerry Azzinaro should do a lot better on that side of the ball for a myriad of reasons. Not only have they brought in the players that will give maximum effort and further develop the players that are already on their roster, but they have reloaded in all position groups as well as get back several key Bruins from injury.
Last week, former NBA player Jalen Rose had an interesting take on analytics. Though his concern was on its use in basketball, it holds true for every sport that uses analytics as a base for their projections. “I think analytics should be a tool in the box, not the actual toolbox, ” proclaimed the analyst and he is right. Numbers are useful to help you get a game plan going, but they do not reveal everything about a team and a team’s opponent.
With that in mind, Connelly’s numbers are a good jumping off point and in my opinion will be a springboard for UCLA who will use it to climb the S&P+ rankings and shock the world in Year 2.