Markus Howard Compared to Rivals’ Top Freshmen List
Rivals.com released their ‘top ten freshman’ to date and added another seven who they felt were in the conversation. Neither of Marquette’s freshmen were included, but both have enjoyed strong year one campaigns.
Sam Hauser, who sports a top-40 offensive rating, doesn’t make the cut because of his low usage. Markus Howard has a great argument for inclusion, but his minutes played are a bit low compared to the Rivals’ group.
Here’s the list, along with each player’s respective offensive rating and usage (per KenPom.com):
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Marquette’s Catch & Shoot Defense: Unlucky?
There is no denying that Marquette’s defense has been poor this season. One of the uglier stats has been 3FG% allowed, which is now at 38.4%, ranking the team at #315 is the nation.
In Big East play, things have only gotten worse as MU’s opponents are converting 40.1% of their 3-point attempts.
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Marquette’s Dramatic 3FG% & 3FGA/FGA Improvement
Prior to the season tipping off we explained that in order for Marquette to be good, they needed to improve their eFG% differential and that they had the potential to improve their turnover rate differential. So far, so good.
We said, “A net improvement of 2.5% in eFG% differential means a +5.8% and places Marquette in or around the top 35 of eFG% differential, by far the most important of the four factors. Do that, and they are in business even without improvement in rebounding.”
As of today, Marquette has 6.7% eFG% advantage over their opponents (57.9% to 51.2%).
Their offensive eFG% is fifth-best in the nation and 5.9% higher than last year’s respectable 52.0%.
Continue reading Marquette’s Dramatic 3FG% & 3FGA/FGA Improvement
Marquette’s Defensive Rebounding Remains Strong Despite Size
Entering the 2016-17 season, many were concerned with Marquette’s defensive rebounding and with good reason. A year ago, MU ranked just #225 in defensive rebounding percentage after allowing opponents to rebound 30.7% of their misses. The Warriors also lost their top defensive rebounder Henry Ellenson (24.1% DR%) to the NBA.
Marquette allowed nonconference opponents an OR% of greater than 30.0% eight times in 13 games last season. In 12 nonconference games this year, Marquette has done so only once (IUPUI – 33.3%). MU’s is allowing an opponent OR% of 25.5% – good for #43 in the nation. The two top OR% teams MU has faced were uw-madison (avg 38.9%; against MU had just 29.6%) and Georgia (33.2% avg; 22.9%).
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December Update on Gophers 2016-17
The following is a look at our preseason comments regarding the outlook for the Gophers in 2016-17,
We said: “It’s not unreasonable to set a goal of 9th or 10th place in the Big Ten.”
Most preseason prognosticators slotted Minnesota at #12 or #13 in the Big Ten. We continue to believe the Gophers can exceed those expectations. As of today, Minnesota is ranked #8 in the Big Ten per KenPom.
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Pitino Not On The “Hot Seat”; Gophers 2016-17 Outlook
Many preseason “coaches on the hot seat” articles list Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and state that a poor season on the court would spell trouble for Pitino. We believe the only way Pitino would be on the hot seat is if there are continued off the court issues for the program’s student-athletes. There are a few reasons why we don’t see Pitino being on the hot seat absent off the court issues. Those reasons are listed below.
Late last summer, Minnesota entered into an amendment with Pitino which effectively caused his buyout to skyrocket should he be fired without cause. If Minnesota were to terminate Pitino’s employment next March, the buyout would still be nearly $6 million.
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Four Factors Differentials in 2015-16; Marquette in 2016-17
This article serves two purposes: (1) it’s a reminder of what matters the most – effective field goal percentage; and, (2) it offers commentary on ways Marquette might improve compared to last season.
Let’s take a somewhat different-than-normal look at what matters to a team’s success. Below you’ll find a graph for each of the four factors that illustrate, by team, the differential in each of the factors vs. their overall KenPom team ranking (adjusted efficiency margin) for the 2015-16 season.
Free Throw Rate
Below shows each team’s free throw rate (“FTR”) differential (offensive FTR minus defensive FTR) on the y-axis and their KenPom ranking on the x-axis. You’ll see Marquette indicated by a red diamond (a 12.5 FTR differential and a 97 team ranking).
Continue reading Four Factors Differentials in 2015-16; Marquette in 2016-17