Contemplating a final four for a team that’s probably an 8-seed right now is obviously hopeful, and perimeter offense does seem to be a limiting factor for this team. But a few mitigating things are noteworthy.
Barttovik still rates the team the fifth best offense in conference play. Our best offensive performances of the year in terms of adjusted efficiency were MSU and PU, pretty recently, while MD and Rutgers were below, but not by much, our season average. Nebraska was the clunker. Fatigue could be a factor in the last 3 games. There are still 4 Big Ten teams that have played only 7 conference games, and Wiscy doesn’t play its 8th until Tuesday. Combine that with the team having to adjust to teams switching every screen, and a slight dip is not surprising.
Another factor is that Simpson and Matthews are both playing big minutes and as key offensive creators. Matthews in particular has been a high usage guy but really struggling with his shot - 1 for his last 9 from 3 and under 50% on 2s in three of his last four games. But he’s shown flashes of being pretty special this year.
In sum, there are reasons to hope that the offense isn’t as bad as it’s seemed the last couple games and could still improve. But the longer it doesn’t happen, the less likely it seems that it will happen. It’ll be interesting to see what we can do offensively in the next 3 games.