Marquette’s Dramatic 3FG% & 3FGA/FGA Improvement

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%.

Also before the year began, we noted that “Freshman Haanif Cheatham posted an eFG% of 54.3%; Luke Fisher was at 60.8%; Jajuan Johnson 56.4%… is it reasonable to project significant improvement in 2016-17? Probably not.”

As a group, those three had an eFG% of 57.1% last season. Their mark in 2016-17 is down to 54.9%.

Nonetheless, Marquette’s shooting has been considerably better this season.

One final quote from our pre-season article highlights one of the reasons why: “3-point shooting is where things could change dramatically. First, as a percent of total field goal attempts, Marquette’s 3FGA’s should see one of the largest increases in all of college basketball. The Warriors were ranked #286 at 30.3% 3FGA/FGA a year ago.”

Through Wednesday’s games, there were only 12 (of 351) teams whose 3FGA/FGA has risen by a double-digit percentage. Marquette is one of two Power Six teams among that group (UCLA being the other), with an increase from 30.3% to 40.3%.

What makes this a great success is that the Warriors have also boosted their 3FG% by 8.0%, which is the fifth largest increase in the nation.

In summary, Marquette’s tendency change in 3-point attempts has been very important, especially because of their significant improvement in accuracy from long-range.

This is an incredible stat, but Marquette has shot worse than 35.7% 3FG% only two times this year (losses to Michigan and Pittsburgh). Yes, MU has the third-best 3FG% in the country, but they’ve enjoyed unusual consistency in shooting the trey.

That said, no games are “gimmes”. If MU loses a game even though, on paper, they should win, the first place to look will be their 3FG% (and 3FGA/FGA).

We haven’t seen the volatility in 3-point shooting that we’d expect and a couple of rough games are due. UCLA, the country’s second-best 3FG% team in the nation, has eight games under 35.7% this season. A loss to a lesser team may not indicate the sky is falling or Wojo has failed the program. Rather, high-volume 3FGA teams sometimes have off nights. For Marquette, those nights have been rare… thus far.

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