Greg Elliott Posting Impressive Defensive Stats Early for Marquette
With the departure of Haanif Cheatham earlier this week, Marquette freshman Greg Elliott may need to play a bigger role than he otherwise would have. This may be a good thing.
Elliott (41.4% minutes played) has a block rate of 8.4% and a steal rate of 4.3%, both ranked in the top 70 players nationally per KenPom.com.
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Markus Howard Off to a Strong, But Different, Start
As a freshman, Markus Howard shot a nation-leading 54.7% from 3-point range. As we projected his sophomore campaign, expecting him to best or even match that percentage was not reasonable. We expect his 3-point shooting percentage to decline in 2017-18.
How, then, could he improve this year? The answer includes turnover rate and 2-point field goal percentage. So far, so good. We should note that in Marquette’s first four games they’ve played our preseason pick for second place in the Big Ten (Purdue), the nation’s #6 ranked team (Wichita State) and a pesky VCU squad. It’s not as if he’s faced a long string of weak opponents.
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Marquette Again Improves Schedule in 2017-18
As they did a year ago, Marquette has improved their scheduling and projected RPI “strength of schedule”.
Last year MU’s SOS, worth 50% of RPI, was .5621. Late Night Hoops projects an SOS of .5882 in 2017-18. That equals an RPI improvement in the SOS component of .0131.
Had MU’s RPI been .0131 better in 2016-17, their Selection Sunday RPI ranking of 61 would have moved up to 50.
Marquette’s scheduling still has room for improvement, but it’s encouraging that it has improved yet again in 2017-18.
The Warriors begin their season on Friday vs. Mount St. Mary’s.