Marquette’s Recent Efficiency

March 16, 2013
Marquette’s Recent Efficiency

After reading through Cracked Sidewalk’s Deconstructing the Season So Far article which commented on Marquette’s recent trends in actual offensive and defensive efficiencies, we decided to take a quick look at Marquette’s adjusted efficiencies (adjusted based on opponents’ Adj OE & DE).

The resulting visual of adjusted efficiencies doesn’t appear quite as ugly as the unadjusted chart:

Five-game moving averages – Actual efficiencies  [source:]
O&D eff 5G MA

Five-game moving averages – Adjusted Efficiencies
Adj Eff 5G MA

CrackedSidewalks (“CS”) makes some points about individual factors and their related concerns. The commentary is good and valid, but we’ll throw out some additional food for thought.

♦ The last 5 games included 3 against tough competition (Syracuse; Notre Dame twice) and the other two were on the road.

Marquette’s eFG% hasn’t been consistently great (although the 64.9% eFG vs. Notre Dame in Milwaukee was a Big East season best), but it’s been solid. Their worst performance in the past 11 games was at St. John’s. While not a good team overall, the kids from Queens are very good defensively and have the nation’s top shot blocker (block %) in Chris Obekpa. MU made 22/45 2FG for 48.9% despite being blocked 11 times, including 7 alone courtesy of Obekpa.

♦ Turnovers are ugly, there’s no denying that.

♦ CS notes that the OR% differential has narrowed recently and that, “since the Villanova game, defensive rebounding has been worse and worse and now no longer masks the turnover deficiencies.”

While that’s how the 5-game trend calculates out, the reality is that Marquette’s DR% has improved sequentially in its past 4 games (Opponent’s OR% starting 5 games ago to most recent: 45.5%, 43.6%, 40.0%, 36.2%, 31.6%). It’s worth noting that the 45.5% belongs to Syracuse, one of the best OR% teams in the nation.

♦ Finally, a subject we don’t like to give much time to because it’s so far down on the list of factors important to winning a basketball game: Free throws. CS comments that they are “leaving out FTR, because it’s irrelevant (repeat after me: FTR is irrelevant).” Normally, we’d love this comment and often make similar statements.

However, getting to the line may be more important for Marquette than it is for their peers.
Marquette’s 2012-13 record when their free throw rate is better/same/worse than the other team:

MU’s FTR is… Win – Loss
Better 20-2
Same 0-1
Worse 3-5
  TOTAL 23-8

In terms of correlation of FTR to OE, for all Big East teams combined excluding MU the average is +.005 over the last two seasons. The Warriors sit above +.040.

Free throws aren’t a big deal at the end of the day. However, for a team like Marquette that isn’t a dominant squad, the FTR differential can become more of a factor in games than it might for others.

This team earned its 14-4 conference record, but it’s still a bit surprising/impressive that they were able to do it. Despite an ugly turnover rate in conference, MU’s offense still had the Big East’s top efficiency. Were eFG% and OR% more important than FTR? Absolutely. But to call FTR irrelevant to this Marquette team is something we can’t quite do.

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Some cut & pasted data is included below, should anyone want it. Adj OE, Adj DE for each Big East game is shown, as is the 5 game differential and the specific, one game differential.

Adj OE Adj DE 5G avg Diff Game Diff
Connecticut 110.7405 94.68134 16.05912456 23.81317
Georgetown 108.9579 93.33936 15.61854156 25.20559
Pittsburgh 117.37 93.76949 23.60054642 40.38621
Seton Hall 115.708 91.44983 24.25813039 16.21000
Cincinnati 115.1463 91.13241 24.01388347 14.45446
Providence 118.1078 92.80057 25.30719308 30.27972
South Florida 118.3791 93.37838 25.00072103 23.67323
Louisville 113.3161 95.90145 17.41467184 2.455961
South Florida 115.6749 93.35303 22.32189016 40.74609
DePaul 119.8825 97.15278 22.72967526 16.49338
Georgetown 113.3329 94.44453 18.88835112 11.07310
Pittsburgh 120.6765 96.85236 23.82409691 48.35196
Seton Hall 122.4754 91.19187 31.28351566 39.75305
Villanova 118.1994 93.38285 24.81658038 8.411410
Syracuse 118.8345 90.47177 28.36268801 34.22392
Notre Dame 121.2129 89.09054 32.12233605 29.87134
Rutgers 113.4167 87.64597 25.77076047 16.59408
St. John’s 111.6409 91.94839 19.69255654 9.362035
Notre Dame 113.2028 93.77409 19.42866233 7.091939


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