BYU Basketball Ascends To Historic Heights In KenPom Ratings

Dec 2, 2023, 12:32 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU basketball is suddenly among the top programs in college hoops.

On Friday night, BYU defeated Fresno State handily, as expected. The Cougars rolled to an 85-56 victory.

After the win, the KenPom predictive metrics updated, and it sent BYU, which was already in the Top 10, to new heights. BYU is now No. 6 in the Ken Pom ratings through games completed through Friday, December 1, 2023.

BYU basketball climbs to No. 6 in KenPom predictive ratings

The highest BYU has been rated in the KenPom ratings since March 2, 2011, when they faced New Mexico in Provo during Jimmer Fredette’s senior season.

BYU’s climb to six puts them among the top programs in college basketball and the Big 12 Conference.

The win catapulted BYU in front of Kansas, who defeated UConn as a favorite on its home floor on Friday, and Baylor. BYU is now the second-highest-rated team in the Big 12 behind fellow newcomer Houston. The Coogs from Houston are KenPom’s No. 1 team right now.

BYU currently ranks in front of Kansas (7th) and Baylor (8th).

Remember, the preseason Big 12 Coaches poll had BYU finishing 13th out of 14 teams in the league. KenPom was never as low on BYU as the coaches in the league.

The expectations are quickly changing for this year’s BYU team that hosts Evansville on Tuesday night in the Marriott Center. Then, there will be a huge in-state showdown against Utah at the Huntsman Center.

BYU is near the top on both ends of the floor in efficiency metrics

A big reason for BYU’s ascent up the KenPom ratings is their adjusted efficiency rankings in offense and defense. BYU is 12th nationally on offense and 13th in defense.

Mark Pope’s team is the number one in the nation in scoring margin, beating their opponents by 32.2 points per game.

“Coach (Kahil) Fennell has taken over the reins of this defensive side of the ball,” Mark Pope said on Friday after the win over Fresno State. “We’ve done something that we haven’t done in our four years here and that’s kind of throw a bunch of changing defenses in there. I thought he did a masterful job tonight and our guys did a masterful job of responding to the changes.”

First installment of NET rankings comes out on Monday

Coming up on Monday, the NCAA’s releases the first installment of its NET rankings. The NET rankings are a key tool the Selection Committee uses in forming the NCAA Tournament field. It will be interesting to see if BYU comes close to the No. 6 spot that they currently reside in on KenPom.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Ascends To Historic Heights In KenPom Ratings