Prior to the season’s first game, we shared some quick thoughts. After a long layoff, Marquette is back in action tonight and sitting at 8-2. Below is rambling where we compare actual results thus far to our projections, including select player commentary.
We projected team experience to be in the mid-1.6x to low 1.7x, with a ranking in the high 100’s or very low 200’s. Currently, the team is at 1.60 and #205 – the slightly lower-than-projected experience is due primarily to senior Matt Heldt who has only played 14.6% of minutes available.
The majority of the ten scholarship players who have seen action this year(Koby McEwen is sitting his year-in-residence while Greg Elliott and Ike Eke have been sidelined with injuries) have posted a usage that is within 1 to 2% of our projection for the season. Only two players have an actual usage more than 5% different than our projection.
The first is Joseph Chartouny (15% actual; 22% projected). With a 10.4% %Shots so far this year, it’s clear Chartouny has been in defer mode and based on the roster and what he’s being asked to do, the lower-than-projected usage appears reasonable. We believe our projection was too high and won’t be reached.
The second is Joey Hauser. Fans of Marquette but also college basketball in general are starting to understand how good Joey can be and how good he already is. His usage sits at 18%, while we projected him to be#2 on the team at 23%. We believe this usage can and should tick upward as the season progresses.
SEASON AND INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS
Markus – Aftershooting just 3/15 3FG in the past two games, Howard’s 3FG% is 34.1% on theyear. We expect this to improve. We also talked about an opportunity to bebetter at getting to the line.
A year ago, he drew 4.2 fouls per 40 minutes per KenPom.com and had a free throw rate of 21.8%. This season those numbers have exploded to 6.8 (#61 in the nation) and 41.5% (top-400 nationally). The improvement has been significant.
Joey Hauser – His progression has been swift and, like his brother Sam, has proven to be a guy who transitioned well to the college game as compared to most freshmen. We saw this ability in the Hauser’s years ago and they have not disappointed. We continue to believe his usage will tick upward as the year goes on.
Sam Hauser – He’s sporting a 124.0 ORtg on 18.9% usage, despite a lower eFG% due to a weaker 3FG%. What we love is that he’s falling into our %Shots range of 22-24%(23.6%). Sam shooting is a very good thing.
Chartouny – Still a bit of a wildcard for this season, we’re seeing Chartouny comfortable deferring on offense and looking to set others up (28.0% assist rate). He’s had some great stretches and can be a valuable contributor to this year’s teams.The turnover rate of 34.9% has nowhere to go but down (right??).
Anim – In his first 7 games, Sacar had only one game of more than 6 points (8). In game 8, he came through against #12 Kansas State with 16 points over his 39 minutes played. He’ll continue to earn minutes due his defense, effort, and slashing ability. He has done his job.
John – Theo’s lofty 10.6% block rate is excellent (#34 in the nation), but fouls continue to be an issue (including offensive fouls) as he’s being whistled 8.6 times per 40 minutes – essentially flat with last season. Turnovers continue to be an issue (25.1%, down slightly from 27.7% a year ago), but some of this is due to aggressiveness on offense, which has been good at times and not so good at others.
In high school, we saw John with the ability to make strong passes from the block to spot up shooters and slashers and would like to see this for Marquette. His assist rate of 2.4% is the lowest among 63 Big East players who have averaged at least 16 minutes per game per KenPom.com. (By the way, Markus and Joseph are #2 and#3 in the Big East, respectively).
John brings needed physicality and having him on the court brings many positives. If he can clean up turnovers and fouls, while picking up his DR%, it’ll be a nice boost to the team.
Morrow – Like Theo, Ed’s had some great stretches of play and some not so great minutes. He’s only at 30.5% %Minutes on the season to date, but we believe he can be a bigger part of the rotation. If he can improve the obvious areas (e.g., turnover rate of 36.5%; FC/40 of 8.6) and start producing consistent performances, we see Ed as a potential game changer to push this team from very good to great.
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