Category Archives: College Basketball

Quick, Random Preseason Thoughts on Marquette

State of the Program

The team needed shooting and scorers. The staff added it. Juniors Sam Hauser and Markus Howard are both sensational shooters, but there are several others capable of having exceptional shooting seasons.

The team needed length and athleticism. The staff added it. We saw an influx last year with Jamal Cain and Greg Elliott. This year you add in 21-year old freshman Brendan Bailey and there are numerous options for guarding long wings.

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Two Keys for Minnesota in 2018-19

Overall, the Big Ten’s composition is such that a couple of teams that look to be bottom-half teams could sneak up and snag a top half (and tournament) spot, especially with some consensus top-half teams we have concerns about, such as Nebraska. We see Minnesota as a bottom half team (around 10th), but there are several areas where, if they perform well, they can elevate their standing. Two of those are discussed below: 2-point field goal percentage and Amir Coffey’s usage.

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Projecting Marquette’s 2018-19 Usage

We recently commented on the difficulty in projecting minutes for Marquette’s stacked 2018-19 roster. Today, we look at projecting usage play-by-player, which is (or at least feels like) a much easier task.

Before getting to our projections, we also looked at how many games each player posted a single-game usage greater than 25% thus far in their career (using KenPom.com data; minimum of 10 minutes playing time in a game).

Only three 2018-19 eligible Warriors have had more than five >25% usage games in their career, led by Markus Howard’s 34 over two seasons.

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Source? Be Careful With Your Nike EYBL Stats

Source? Be Careful With Your Nike EYBL Stats

The D1Circuit.com website looks nice and has some good information within it. However, when it comes to statistics, they’ve quickly proven to have major issues again in 2017.

In the past, we’ve approached D1Circuit with comments, but have been unable to find a willing ear.

Simply put, we’d recommend you double-check them as a primary source for statistics unless they put in some basic logic and controls for identifying bad data.

The latest example relates to Howard Pulley and their opening night game. Several in the Twin Cities media have stated 3-point shooting statistics for 2018 Gabe Kalscheur that don’t jibe with the NikeEYB.com site or Gamechanger.com.

Let’s take a look:

 

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Markus Howard Compared to Rivals’ Top Freshmen List

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 Defensive Rebounding Remains Strong Despite Size

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

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

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.

Large Buyout

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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