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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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).
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Three Freshmen Guards We Can’t Doubt
5’10”, 165 pounds…5’11”, 175 pounds…5’7″, 150 pounds… once you get past their freshman designation, height and weight, these are three guards who look great on paper.
Our statistical analysis says these guys will be very good college players. Our in person evaluations of the same guys over the years supports the stats. We’ll be monitoring their performance and progression throughout the year as they provide good tests for our evaluation methodology and beliefs.
Jared Harper, Auburn
Harper’s numbers with the Georgia Stars as a rising senior were phenomenal. When you first see him step on the court, there’s nothing physically that would indicate greatness. But, it becomes quickly apparent through his high usage, high efficiency game that he is a potential gem.
The Georgia Stars certainly were a talent team and Harper benefited from his supporting cast, including bruisers on the blocks, but the year prior with a different type of roster, Harper shined playing up for Southern Stampede.
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Marquette’s Free Throw “Defense”
Through February 6, Marquette’s opponents have shot 74.9% from the free throw line. There are only 7 teams in D-I college basketball whose opponents have shot better this season.
On average, D-I basketball teams are 69.6% from the charity stripe this year.
Free throw percentage matters very little in the grand scheme of basketball stats over the course of a season. In terms of importance, the great free throw shooting of Marquette’s opponents shouldn’t even show up on a top 50 list of concern for fans.
Nonetheless, our question was, “Why?” When it comes to free throw rate – far more important than free throw percentage, yet still way down the list of important factors – Marquette has been very good. Only ten teams have a defensive free throw rate better than Marquette’s 26.1%.
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Warriors Allowed to Shine at Marquette
December 23, 2015
File this one under “for what’s it worth,” but we find it interesting. It’s difficult to reach many conclusions based on this data, but at a minimum we feel safe suggesting that if you’re a player at Marquette under Wojo and you’re scoring the ball well on any given night, you will have the opportunity to put up big numbers.
In 2014-15, Marquette had six different players score 20 or more points in a game. Only three teams in all of D-I college basketball had more players reach the 20-point mark (Davidson , Louisiana-Lafayette and North Florida – each had seven).
Through December 21, the 2015-16 season had seen five different Warriors hit the 20-point mark. Only three teams had more players reach 20 points in a game (Colorado, Detroit Mercy and Northern Colorado – each with six). Marquette redshirt sophomore guard Duane Wilson is likely to join the group as he did in 2014-15, but thus far his high is 18 points. Wilson has scored double figures in nine of 11 games this season; he’s scored fewer than nine points in only one contest.
This year’s Marquette team features high-usage Henry Ellenson (27% usage, 30% %Shots), but when other guys are stepping up they have been allowed to keep firing. The other four of MU’s 20+ point scorers this year each have a sub-20% usage.
MU 20+ point scorers in 2014-15:
MU 20+ point scorers in 2015-16 (through game #11):
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Data sources included: http://www.basketball-reference.com
Marquette Travels to Our Big Ten #1 Ohio State
On Friday we released our predicted order of finish for Big Ten teams in 2014-15, with the Buckeyes as our #1.
Marquette travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State this Tuesday and so today we look a brief look at some of the individual players for the Buckeyes for the benefit of MU fans and other interested parties.
We believe this game breaks down simply to shooting. Ohio State should have an advantage in the areas of rebounding and turnovers. Marquette is going to need have an advantage in eFG%.
A fair line on this game in our view would be Ohio State -12. The Warriors need an off shooting night from the Buckeyes and a strong performance of their own.
This year’s Ohio State team is deeper and considerably more potent offensively than a year ago.
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Buzz’s Earnings at Marquette Peaked in 2010
May 21, 2014
“[A]ccording to a source with direct knowledge of the deal, [Marquette] would have been paying him [Buzz Williams] in excess of $4 million within the next two seasons. That is football coach money at a school with a major commitment to being good at basketball. If all of that sounds weird, that’s because it is.” — Sports Illustrated
A week ago we walked through some specifics on the contract between Buzz Williams and Virginia Tech. The traditional media might continue to dream up a fact pattern that concludes Buzz Williams took a gigantic pay cut to get out of Milwaukee. Reality doesn’t support such a claim.
Just this month, Marquette filed their annual Form 990 for the year ended June 30, 2013. Late Night Hoops compared their reporting of Buzz Williams’ pay each year over the past several years. The trends illustrated in this article give rise to the possibility that pay might have been a source of frustration for Williams.
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Marquette’s Shots Aren’t Adding Up
December 26, 2013
Marquette’s starting five are an unusual group in that the sum of their individual %Shots falls far short of 100%. We believe this starting lineup puts the team and senior Jamil Wilson at a considerable offensive disadvantage.
We’ll get to a suggestion to remedy the issue, but first some background information.
The following circle lists the year-to-date %Shots (per KenPom.com) for each of the starting MU players. The shortfall to 100% is labeled “BAD! – 10.6%”.
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