Markus Howard Off to a Strong, But Different, Start
As a freshman, Markus Howard shot a nation-leading 54.7% from 3-point range. As we projected his sophomore campaign, expecting him to best or even match that percentage was not reasonable. We expect his 3-point shooting percentage to decline in 2017-18.
How, then, could he improve this year? The answer includes turnover rate and 2-point field goal percentage. So far, so good. We should note that in Marquette’s first four games they’ve played our preseason pick for second place in the Big Ten (Purdue), the nation’s #6 ranked team (Wichita State) and a pesky VCU squad. It’s not as if he’s faced a long string of weak opponents.
Continue reading Markus Howard Off to a Strong, But Different, Start
A year ago, Minnesota’s RPI (20 on Selection Sunday) benefitted from their strong strength of schedule (as defined by the RPI – not as any rational human would define it). Their opponents’ strength of schedule (“SOS”), worth 50% of the RPI, was .5953 as the NCAA tourney field was being finalized.
The Gophers enjoyed a well-constructed schedule under which they faced a number of relative easy games against beatable competition who happened to finish the year with good win-loss records.
For example, no one was concerned about hosting Mount St. Mary’s. Minnesota won 80-56. But, for purposes of Minnesota’s Selection Sunday SOS, Mount St. Mary’s had a record of 19-14 (.5758).
Last year’s lid lifter vs. Lafayette wasn’t scary, but the Ragin’ Cajuns were 19-11 (.6333) on Selection Sunday for purposes of Minnesota’s SOS calc.
Things will not be the same in 2017-18. The Gophers SOS will be considerably weaker.
Late Night Hoops projects an SOS on Selection Sunday of just .5520, or .0433 less than 2016-17. If we adjust last year’s RPI of .6109 for only the impact of the lower SOS (e.g., 50% of .0433), the Gophers would have had a Selection Sunday RPI of 39 instead of 20.
Continue reading Minnesota’s RPI Faces SOS Challenge in 2017-18
Marquette Again Improves Schedule in 2017-18
As they did a year ago, Marquette has improved their scheduling and projected RPI “strength of schedule”.
Last year MU’s SOS, worth 50% of RPI, was .5621. Late Night Hoops projects an SOS of .5882 in 2017-18. That equals an RPI improvement in the SOS component of .0131.
Had MU’s RPI been .0131 better in 2016-17, their Selection Sunday RPI ranking of 61 would have moved up to 50.
Marquette’s scheduling still has room for improvement, but it’s encouraging that it has improved yet again in 2017-18.
The Warriors begin their season on Friday vs. Mount St. Mary’s.
First, a tip of the hat to Open Look Analytics (Openlookanalytics.com and @OLAnalytics on Twitter) for their great data which was used for this article. College programs should be subscribing to their services.
From 2014 through 2017, how many adidas Uprising players have posted an Offensive Rating (“ORtg”) of more than 125, a usage rate of more than 25% and played at least 200 minutes? The answer is two.
In 2016, 2018 Romeo Langford had an ORtg of 126.4 and a usage of 27.0%. Langford is currently ranked as the sixth best prospect in the 2018 class by Rivals, 24/7, ESPN and Scout.
The other player is 2018 Marquette commit Joey Hauser. Joey’s ORtg this year was 127.7 and his usage was 29.1%.
It’s important to understand how a player got to their ORtg and usage. In Hauser’s case, his eFG% of 57.7% isn’t earth shattering, but includes good indicators for the future.
His 3FG% of 46.3% was excellent, but only 32% of his field goal attempts were from deep. Scoring a variety of different ways, his 2FG% was a solid 52.2%.
Continue reading Joey Hauser: Advanced Stats at adidas Uprising
(Photo credit: TBT staff at thetournament.com)
Marquette Alumni TBT Advanced Statistics
The #1 seed in the Midwest, Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni) started off a bit slow, but ran away for a 103-89 victory over the Midwest Dream Squad.
The traditional box score can be found on the The Tournament’s website HERE.
Below, you can find advanced statistics for the team and individual players.
Continue reading Marquette Alumni TBT Advanced Statistics
Revisiting Marquette’s 2016-17 Preseason Projections
Before last season began, we shared thoughts on Marquette’s projected four factor differentials for the 2016-17 season, comparing them to 2015-16. The key in reaching the NCAA tournament for the Warriors was going to be effective field goal percentage differential.
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 Selection Sunday, Marquette’s actual eFG% differential was 5.7% (57.6% on offense, 51.9% on defense) and they were selected to the tourney’s field.
MU simply had to shoot the ball better than their opponents to have a chance at being a tourney team. Our target mark of 5.8% proved to be a reasonable estimate of the differential needed to make the tournament. Continue reading Revisiting Marquette’s 2016-17 Preseason Projections
Improved Scheduling Helped Marquette Reach 2016-17 Tourney
On Selection Sunday, Marquette had an RPI of 61. If the largest component of RPI – opponents’ win-loss performance against all D-I teams except MU – would have been the same as 2015-16, Marquette would have had an RPI that was .0224 lower, slotting them at 82 in the RPI and likely out of the NCAA tournament.
The Warriors’ strength of schedule ranked them 219 of 351 teams as of Selection Sunday this season. This was a sizable improvement from 326 in 2015-16.
Continue reading Improved Scheduling Helped Marquette Reach 2016-17 Tourney
Just prior to the start of the 2016-17 basketball season last November, we stated that Richard Pitino was not on the hot seat. There were three reasons for this: the team’s outlook, his large buyout, and the program’s APR.
Our claims that most people were underestimating the team and that they projected to be set for a strong 2017-18 were proven to be true. From here, things could continue to go well (e.g., a strong 2017-18 season, great success on the recruiting trail), or they could become more challenging.
However, due to the other two issues, the seat still probably won’t get hot soon even if team performance and recruiting go south.
Continue reading Minnesota Men’s Basketball APR Remains a Concern