"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Two tough loses but not all is lost

Another week of #mubb product and another week of two loses with silver linings. In this episode of the podcast we discuss the Seton Hall and Xavier games and what we took away from them. We do spend some time on negativity island especially around turnovers and why they keep happening at such an alarming rate. We then take a ferry to things aren't too bad harbor where we talk about the offensive success of the team and Jajuan Johnson turning into good Jajuan Johnson. We then look ahead to the rest of the conference season but especially the next three games and what it'll take for Marquette to get some wins. Two home games this week including a rare night game against an unexpectedly decent Creighton, gotta come away with at least one win. Do they have it in them? Download this episode (right click and save)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Fischer, JJJ or Cheatham Could Join Ellenson in NBA to keep MU in Top 15 NBA Factories

Value Add updated the chance of players making the NBA last night, and the odds are that at least one of three players - Luke Fischer (35%), JuJuan Johnson (21%) and/or Haanif Cheatham (16%) will join Henry Ellenson in the NBA one day. Since 2003, MU has averaged having 2.5 future NBA players on each roster - the 15th best total in the country.

In the days ahead we will be updating the historic database to indicate the last year each player appeared in the NBA. One interesting note in building this database is that steals were not as big a predictor as in the past, while rebounding, blocked shots, two-point shots and the ability to get to the line all separate future NBA players from the very good college players that do NOT make the NBA:

Average Player Performance 2003-2016OR%DR%Blk%Stl%FTRate2-pt %
1500 top players who did not make NBA3.4611.100.862.2336.3547%
Possible players6.9714.833.171.8242.3751%
Future NBA average7.0814.743.082.1742.0951%
NBA Center11.6219.816.861.6151.6555%
NBA PF9.6017.953.991.8344.1153%
NBA PG2.809.570.762.7639.4248%
NBA SF7.0114.802.662.0938.9051%
NBA SG4.6811.911.362.5436.9149%

The 1500 seasons in which a player was on the court a bit more than 80% of the time but did NOT ultimately make the NBA, resulted in the average percentages on the top line.

MU is credited for 1.63 future NBA players on the current roster (adding the percent chance each player makes it), while last year's team is credited for 0.56 with Fischer and Johnson on that team as well. If Matt Carlino were to make the jump it would add a player to 2015.

As we go back earlier, we see that MU's 2011 team had FIVE future NBA players, though only Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler played more than a few games. The first year in the database, the 2003 Final Four team, featured only three future NBA players, but all three had extended careers.

College YrNBA Last Year or %
Ellenson, Henry 13201691%
Fischer, Luke 40201635%
Johnson, JaJuan 23201621%
Cheatham, Haanif 25201616%
Total estimated 2016 team1.63
Fischer, Luke 40201535%
Johnson, JaJuan 23201521%
Total estimated 2015 team0.56
Crowder, Jae 3220122016
Butler, Jimmy 3320112016
Crowder, Jae 3220112016
Butler, Jimmy 3320102016
Butler, Jimmy 3320092016
Matthews, Wesley 2320092016
Matthews, Wesley 2320082016
Matthews, Wesley 2320072016
Novak, Steve20062016
Matthews, Wesley20062016
Novak, Steve20052016
Novak, Steve20042016
Wade, Dwyane20032016
Novak, Steve20032016
Blue, Vander 1320132015
Blue, Vander 220122015
Blue, Vander 220112015
Buycks, Dwight 2320112015
Buycks, Dwight 2320102015
McNeal, Jerel 2220092015
McNeal, Jerel 2220082015
McNeal, Jerel 2220072015
McNeal, Jerel20062015
Johnson-Odom, Darius 120122014
Johnson-Odom, Darius 120112014
Johnson-Odom, Darius 120102014
Hayward, Lazar 3220102013
Hayward, Lazar 3220092013
Hayward, Lazar 3220082013
Hayward, Lazar 3220072013
Diener, Travis20052010
Diener, Travis20042010
Diener, Travis20032010
Estimated 2.5 future NBA/season

Over those seasons MU had 33 players on the roster who made the NBA - understanding that a four-year player like Lazar Hayward counts as four. The current players add a total of 2.2 anticipated spots based on adding the percentages from last year.

While some teams have many more one-and-dones, the fact that MU has had so many players stay through their senior year and then make it to the NBA has led to a roster that averages 2.5 future NBA players each season.

The Blue Bloods are higher - led by an incredible average of 5.1 per Duke roster - but the vast majority of schools do not see the number of future NBA players on the court as we see at the Bradley Center.

RnkSchool since 2003Future NBA/YearTotal
3North Carolina4.766.4
10Michigan St.2.940.7
13Notre Dame2.535.5
21Georgia Tech1.926.8
23Oklahoma St.1.825.3
25Florida St.1.824.6
28Iowa St.1.622.0
38North Carolina St.1.419.0
40Texas A and M1.318.1
44New Mexico1.217.0
45Miami FL1.216.9
49Wake Forest1.115.4
50Ohio St.1.115.3

Monday, February 01, 2016

That week feels a whole lot better than the week before.

Well, we can all breathe just a touch easier, as we now know Marquette can put together a quality game against a quality opponent in Big East play. We spend a fair amount of time on the pod this week, discussing what the impact of the Butler win is on the season, and just what it was that allowed Marquette to put on such a good showing. We walk through some of the individual performances and discuss whether they are sustainable through the rest of the season or not. We also give a shout out to the crowd who put in yeoman's work on Saturday. We then transition to "well that's nice but can we win more?" and "OK but we still can't make the tournament, right....right?". Lastly we journey down a Marquette tangent that maybe the internet masses can answer for us. This week is a big week for Marquette's post season hopes, two tough road games that will determine if they've turned the corner or if they are still just talented freshmen. Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Road Warriors Finally Add a Big Home Win

Butler was the 7th Top 200 team to visit the Bradley Center this season. The first times Marquette averaged doing 13 points WORSE than their projection at www.kenpom.com.

Toss-ups vs. Iowa and Seton Hall? 20-point losses. Eight-point favorites over Belmont and DePaul? Losses. Sixteen point favorite over IUPUI? It took overtime. Only Xavier met up to expectations - losing by exactly the eight point projection.

But Henry Ellenson looked like a guy expecting to be in the NBA next year rather than a freshman, scoring 32 points as Marquette beat favored Butler 75-69.

The reason this is so encouraging is that with the freshman experiencing what it is like to have a crowd behind you - rather than disappointed in you - this could help MU take care of business at home.

And if they do that they already played like a tournament team on the road, averaging 5.5 points a game better than projected - but more importantly winning four games in which they were underdogs.

A HUGE win. Here are all the results in home and then away/neutral games.

Home Games vs. Top 200ResultProjectionBetter
Seton Hall-201-21
Average Home Performance-9.34.0-13.3
Away Games vs. Top 200
Arizona State5-27
Average Away Performance-2.7-8.25.5

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ellenson 31st Best Defender; MU with 4 in top 15%

It sounds like I depressed fans with Henry Ellenson's Value Add Ranking, and it slipped even further to 405th after the Stetson game. However, in response to the question about why his blocked shots and rebounds do not push him higher - the new run tonight shows he is actually the 32nd best Defensive Player in the Value Add system for taking almost three points per hundred trips a game away from opponents (-2.69, average is 0.00).

RnkPlayer and NumberOffRDefRPts/Gm
100Fischer, Luke 407.29-0.86.2
405Ellenson, Henry 132.24-2.694.05
525Cohen, Sandy 53.33-0.93.57
539Wilson, Duane 13.31-0.663.51

Offensively, he is ranked only 1224th in the nation - improving the team by 2.24 points a game, due to low shooting percentages and turnovers offsetting his points. Duane Wilson and the very efficient Sandy Cohen are the two Marquette players with higher rankings because they miss so many fewer shots.

Luke Fischer has a nice balance, and snuck back into the top 100 overall.

He helps make Marquette be one of 55 teams with four players in the top 15% of players (top 600). Arizona and Iowa have the most complete rotations with 7 players each.

7 top 100 players (2 teams)

6 top 100 players (6 teams)
Miami FL
North Carolina
Southern California
Southern Methodist
West Virginia

5 top 100 players (25 total teams)
Iowa St.
Notre Dame
Seton Hall
South Carolina
St. Mary's
Texas A&M
Texas Tech

4 top 100 players (22 teams)
Arizona St.
Brigham Young
Florida St.
Georgia Tech
Michigan St.
Ohio St.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What's wrong with Henry?


He is just a super talented freshman that shoots more than any other major conference freshman except Jamal Murray of Kentucky.

An MU Scoop question asked how one of the top 10 NBA prospects could only be the 328th most valuable player at Value Add.

The one thing you do fault Henry with is shooting too much even though he is missing. Henry takes 23% of all Marquette shots game in and game out (this even includes all the shots taken when he is on the bench). Only 11 other power conference players shoot as much as Henry:

12 biggest shootersYr%MinORtg%Poss%Shots%sh/gmseFG%teamName
Barber+ Anthony 12Jr94.8115.128.92927%44.4North Carolina St.
Moody+ Stefan 42Sr87.1113.732.531.427%51.9Mississippi
Carter+ Eli 3Sr76.894.632.834.526%46.8Boston College
Hield+ Buddy 24Sr83.7124.528.730.926%63.9Oklahoma
Murray+ Jamal 23Fr8510825.72925%50.8Kentucky
Brogdon+ Malcolm 15Sr82.1114.826.83025%50.4Virginia
Whitehead+ Isaiah 15So74.198.130.83324%41.8Seton Hall
Canty+ Kareem 1Jr85114.227.128.724%55.1Auburn
Bentil+ Ben 0So82.1113.727.228.323%49.8Providence
Taylor+ Brandon 10Sr79.8102.82829.123%49.6Penn St.
Punter+ Kevin 0Sr86.8117.727.626.523%55.7Tennessee
Ellenson+ Henry 13Fr79.799.22628.323%46.6Marquette

I last ran these before the St. John's game, so they are not quite up to date.

On the question of Value Add not adjusting for double teams - it really does. Players who shoot more because they are the go-to guy usually rank higher in Value Add unless they keep shooting even when it means taking shots that they miss a big percentage of the time - and with an eFG% of 46.6, I just believe Henry is shooting too much. Against Top 100 teams his Offensive Rating at www.kenpom.com is just 87.

His blocked shots (while mostly coming against weak teams) and his rebounding put him in the top 10% of all players - a great mark for a freshman. If you note, Jamal Murray of Kentucky is the only other freshman who shoots as much as Henry.

The other things holding Henry back is that MU has played so many terrible teams, and just like RPI, Value Add is held down if you are putting up a lot of your numbers against awful teams.

But as I point out in a response:

The NBA indicators we give NBA teams measure how good the player should be in the pros - and they are completely different than the college Value Add.

For example, Andre Drummond was ranked 268th in Value Add in College and Jae Crowder was 2nd. It was no comparison. When they met Crowder scored 29 points, had 12 rebounds and finished fouling Drummond out by dunking on him for a 3-point play. Drummond sat with 7 points and 4 rebounds.

Crowder was a MUCH better college player than Drummond - no question. That's why Crowder was a second team All-American and Drummond was nothing. But no one ever doubted that Drummond would be be the better than Crowder in the NBA and be a lottery pick.

Monday, January 25, 2016

It was a tough week for Marquette, just how bad was it?

If you were to base it on twitter/fan forums, Marquette is done as a basketball school for the next 5-10 years. While certainly not that bad, this past week of Marquette basketball was pretty damaging for this season. We spend some time talking about specifics regarding the St Johns and DePaul game, but we really focus on where this team is on the growth curve. We also have some tough talk about the coaching staff and discuss why Henry Ellenson hasn't been the savior some fans thought he would be. Hopefully this pod will be a little cathartic for you. Download this episode (right click and save)