"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

Monday, January 23, 2017

What a difference a quality win makes

Prepare yourselves, we thought this was going to be a relatively quick pod after a big Marquette win on Saturday against Creighton; turns out we have a lot to talk about. We talk about the big win, did it matter that Watson didn't play for Creighton, and how much the win impacts Marquette for the rest of the season. We also preview the Villanova game including debating the relative values of a win or a loss in the game. We also spend some time cajoling fans to show up at the Bradley Center on Tuesday. As always, enjoy the pod. Download this episode (right click and save)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Apparently hope isn't a strategy, but that doesn't stop us from trying

Every MU fan in the 2nd Half against Butler Marquette is where we thought they would be after the Seton Hall, DePaul and Butler games...the only problem is the way they got there. We start out with a quick review of the first two games played since our last pod and any impressions we took from them. Then we turn to the crater that is Marquette's defense after the Butler game. We talk about the "collapse" and where the blame lays (spoiler: a lot of places), put into context how bad the defense was, and ask what should change. We also have a discussion of Luke Fischer performance and whether it is time for a change in the 5 spot, or at least a significant modification of minute distribution. Next up is a Creighton match-up that has a different look to it now that their senior PG, Mo Watson, went down with an ACL tear. We discuss whether that gives us a better chance and how it impacts the game. We close out the pod with some light recruiting news. Enjoy and let's hope the team forgets to pack it's ole defense for this road trip. Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Howard Surging, MU 1st Four Out in Value Add

While Markus Howard continues to surge toward the top 5% (top 200) of all players at www.valueaddbasketball.com, the earlier departure of Traci Carter lowers Marquette's team Value Add just enough to classify as the "1st Four Out," the same status MU has with Jerry Palm. Meanwhile, RPI Forecast calculates MU in the "Next Four Out."

The basic rule is that if a player has to miss a game it will cost a team his Value Add, however it will be slightly lower if the 9th best player on the team is higher than zero. So if Luke Fischer misses a game, his 6.39 Value Add indicates Marquette is actually about 5.39 points worse off since Katin Reinhardt is in the 9th spot and worth 1.00. This is not due to Reinhardt "replacing" Fischer as it would be in baseball WAR where a backup shortstop replaces a short stop, but rather the "domino" effect outlined in this Big Apples piece on each player becoming a little less efficient as they are stretched to take on more minutes and tougher shots.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

That was a suboptimal performance from Marquette, let's see if they can bounce back

Two Marquette games and two bad outcomes for very different reasons. First we focus on the most recent game, the drubbing in Philadelphia by Villanova. The game was a reflection of the talent disparity between Marquette and Villanova, but we try and figure out how reflective the result is on how MU can perform the rest of the season. We also talk about the performance of Luke Fischer and Haanif Cheatham's offensive issues within Big East play. We shift the topic to the tough, last minute loss at Seton Hall. With much chagrin, we relive the last minutes of the game and discuss what that may tell us about the team going forward. Having talked about all that, we take stock of where the team is currently and what might happen over the next several weeks. We talk about the rematch with Seton Hall and the always unsettling match up with DePail. While the last week has been pretty dishearening for Marquette fans, we find reason to be positive about the upcoming week for Marquette. Last, we spend a little time talking about potential recruit Harry Froling. Enjoy the week and lets hope Marquette can take a couple of victories this week. Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Marquette shoots for second win over a No. 1 team

Marquette will try for a win over a No. 1 ranked team for the only time besides Dwyane Wade's win over Kentucky.

Kenpom gives Marquette a 14% chance of the upset in the toughest game of the year - at Villanova. Based on Value Add, Nova's offense beats out Creighton for best in the conference, and their defense beats out Xavier for best. Marquette still ranks ahead of Seton Hall despite the heartbreaking loss there.

RnkTeamOffDefValue Add
52Seton Hall24.5-7.5632.66
108St. John's22.75-2.6526.06

Nova has three of the top six players in the conference, while Marquette is very balanced, with five players in the top 500, however noone in the top 200 or top 15 in the Big East.

Season RankPlayerTeamValue
1Josh Hart^ 3Villanova16.11
11JP Macura^ 55Xavier11.21
34Jalen Brunson^ 1Villanova9.96
64Shamorie Ponds^ 2St. John's9.1
68Khyri Thomas^ 2Creighton8.95
76Mikal Bridges^ 25Villanova8.74
77Rodney Pryor^ 23Georgetown8.72
83Justin Patton^ 23Creighton8.58
84Andrew Chrabascz^ 45Butler8.56
88Edmond Sumner^ 4Xavier8.51
92Trevon Bluiett^ 5Xavier8.48
134Khadeen Carrington^ 0Seton Hall7.51
149LJ Peak^ 0Georgetown7.39
165Emmitt Holt^ 15Providence7.22
166Tyler Lewis^ 1Butler7.18
202Maurice Watson^ 10Creighton6.78
210Jalen Lindsey^ 21Providence6.67
223Luke Fischer^ 40Marquette6.59
232Angel Delgado^ 31Seton Hall6.53
239Kris Jenkins^ 2Villanova6.45
256Rodney Bullock^ 5Providence6.31
278Tyler Wideman^ 4Butler6.2
281Kelan Martin^ 30Butler6.17
295JaJuan Johnson^ 23Marquette6.06
373Desi Rodriguez^ 20Seton Hall5.44
384Sam Hauser^ 10Marquette5.32
403Kamar Baldwin^ 3Butler5.24
406Avery Woodson^ 0Butler5.22
422Jessie Govan^ 15Georgetown5.12
428Markus Howard^ 0Marquette5.1
431Tre'Darius McCallum^ 10DePaul5.09
441Marcus Foster^ 0Creighton5.05
490Haanif Cheatham^ 25Marquette4.79
492RaShid Gaston^ 35Xavier4.77

Saturday, December 31, 2016

First Big East win to get ready for the new year!

Podcast has been on a break for the holidays, somewhat unplanned but after the first big win of the Big East system, we're back to talk about Marquette basketball. We jump right in and talk about the victory over Georgetown this past Wednesday. As part of that discussion we highlight the outstanding performance of Markus Howard who, you may have heard, is only 17. We also chat about how the coaching staff seems to be finally getting the players into the roles they desire them so that the whole is greater than the parts. We also have to talk about JaJuan Johnson's post-game "observations" of Georgetown's defensive intensity and while we're having fun we talk about Wojo's interview of Markus Howard, which gave us a look into "fun" Wojo which we haven't really seen before (http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/college/marquette/2016/12/29/wojciechowski-has-fun-howard-after-win/95948696/). As we transition to the upcoming games, we talk about whether Seton Hall is the same match up this year as last year. Additionally, going to Philadelphia and taking on the number 1 team in the country is going to be a tall ask for anyone. We break down what has to happen in each game for Marquette to give themselves a chance to win. Bottom line, this next week is going to be very tough for Marquette but if they can win at least one of them that leaves them on schedule to a top 5 Big East finish. It's going to be an interesting week for Marquette, let's see how this plays out together. Download this episode (right click and save)

53% Chance at Bid; Updated Top 50; JJJ Closing on MVP

A year ago I wrote that Marquette needed 23 wins to make the NCAA tournament and had a 3.2% chance of making the tournament. I will not recreate the math here, but using the same combination of RPI Forecast, MU needs only 20 total wins this year (season and/or Big East tournament) and has a 54 percent chance at a bid.

I ran an extremely detailed effort today to review all player changes and other factors, and rank MU as having the 43rd best chance at making the tournament (see top 50 here).

The two impact performances vs. Georgetown resulted in Marquette becoming on of only eight teams with five players in the top 10% of all players, and JuJuan Johnson (worth 6.50 points per game) almost taking over first place from Luke Fischer (6.57).

Nat'l RnkTop 10% of all playersPt Value
225Luke Fischer #406.57
230JaJuan Johnson #236.50
384Haanif Cheatham #255.43
396Sam Hauser #105.36
411Markus Howard #05.25

There are now 4,123 players rated in www.valueaddbasketball.com, leaving Howard just in the top 10 percent - and keep in mind players get a ZERO when they miss a game.

The only other teams with that balance are Arizona, Clemson, Duke, Louisville, UNC, Purdue and SMU.

A 50% better chance of making the tournament than last year is a nice Christmas Present.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Georgetown's two All-Big East Players Next Up; MU one of Few Teams with 4 in Top 10%

The Georgetown Hoyas will be the first to visit after Christmas, and they bring two of the top six Big East players in Rodney Pryor and LJ Peak.

Marquette counters with balance. Markus Howard might be be in the top 10% of all Value Add players (top 400) if not for the concussion, and even without him Marquette is one of only 22 teams with four players in the top 10 percent at www.valueaddbasketball.com. MU joins fellow Big East teams Butler, Seton Hall and Villanova as well as the ACC's Clemson, Duke and North Carolina; the American's Cincinnati and SMU; the Big Ten's Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin; the Big 12s Baylor and Texas Tech; the MVC's Wichita St.; the Pac 12s Oregon, UCLA and USC; the SEC's Kentucky and South Carolina; and finally the WCC's Gonzaga.

While we will need to clean up the headers, Value Add also now indicates when an injured player will return (Gone if left team, Sea if out for season, or the month they will return) and how many games they have played. Remember that any time a player misses a game his Value Add ranking for that game is 0.0, so Bradley Hayes for Georgetown has a Value Add ranking of 1.50, but when you notice he has played only 8 games while his teammates have played 12, you realize he would be worth about 50% more (2.25 Value Add) if he has not had to sit out the first four games.

1Josh Hart, No.316.2VillanovaSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
17JP Macura, No.5510.9XavierPG*1.2*12Gms6' 5"Jr
28Rodney Pryor, No.2310.3GeorgetownC*1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
31Mikal Bridges, No.2510.2VillanovaSF*1*12Gms6' 7"So
43Trevon Bluiett, No.59.7XavierSF*1*12Gms6' 6"Jr
44LJ Peak, No.09.7GeorgetownSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"Jr
65Khyri Thomas, No.28.9CreightonSG*1.1*12Gms6' 3"So
69Shamorie Ponds, No.28.8St. John'sSG*1.1*13Gms6' 1"Fr
73Andrew Chrabascz, No.458.8ButlerSG*1.1*12Gms6' 7"Sr
92Jalen Brunson, No.18.3VillanovaPG*1.2*12Gms6' 2"So
95Emmitt Holt, No.158.2ProvidenceSG*1.1*11Gms6' 7"Jr
101Edmond Sumner, No.48.1XavierSG*1.1*12Gms6' 6"So
115Tyler Lewis, No.17.9ButlerPG*1.2*12Gms5' 11"Sr
124Justin Patton, No.237.7CreightonC*1*12Gms7' 0Fr
152Jalen Lindsey, No.217.3ProvidenceC*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
171Khadeen Carrington, No.07.1Seton HallSG*1.1*11Gms6' 4"Jr
191Rodney Bullock, No.56.8ProvidenceSF*1*12Gms6' 8"Jr
223Kris Jenkins, No.26.6VillanovaPF*1*12Gms6' 6"Sr
237Luke Fischer, No.406.4MarquetteC*1*12Gms6' 11"Sr
263Angel Delgado, No.316.2Seton HallC*1*11Gms6' 10"Jr
274Kelan Martin, No.306.2ButlerPF*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
287Haanif Cheatham, No.256.1MarquetteSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"So
298Jessie Govan, No.156GeorgetownPF*1*12Gms6' 10"So
302JaJuan Johnson, No.236MarquetteSF*1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
354Myles Powell, No.135.7Seton HallSG*1.1*11Gms6' 2"Fr
359Desi Rodriguez, No.205.6Seton HallSF*1*11Gms6' 6"Jr
381Tyler Wideman, No.45.5ButlerC*1*12Gms6' 8"Jr
382Maurice Watson, No.105.5CreightonPG*1.2*12Gms5' 10"Sr
392Sam Hauser, No.105.4MarquettePF*1*12Gms6' 6"Fr
415Marcus Foster, No.05.3CreightonSG*1.1*12Gms6' 3"Jr
479Eli Cain, No.114.9DePaulSF*1*12Gms6' 6"So
482Kamar Baldwin, No.34.9ButlerSG*1.1*12Gms6' 0Fr
527Darryl Reynolds, No.454.6VillanovaC*1*12Gms6' 9"Sr
528RaShid Gaston, No.354.6XavierC*1*12Gms6' 9"Sr
609Markus Howard, No.04.2MarquettePG*1.2*11Gms5' 11"Fr
616Avery Woodson, No.04.2ButlerPG*1.2*12Gms6' 2"Sr
621Donte DiVincenzo, No.104.2VillanovaSF*1*12Gms6' 5"So
672Kyron Cartwright, No.244ProvidencePG*1.2*12Gms5' 11"Jr
733Marcus LoVett, No.153.7St. John'sPG*1.2*10Gms6' 0Fr
742Tre'Darius McCallum, No.103.7DePaulPF*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
780Toby Hegner, No.323.5CreightonC*1*12Gms6' 10"Jr
817Nate Fowler, No.513.4ButlerPF*1*12Gms6' 10"So
846Tariq Owens, No.113.3St. John'sC*1*13Gms6' 11"So
847Madison Jones, No.303.3Seton HallPG*1.2*11Gms6' 2"Sr
894Cole Huff, No.133.1CreightonSF*1*12Gms6' 8"Sr
946Andrew Rowsey, No.303MarquettePG*1.2*12Gms5' 10"Jr
969Eric Paschall, No.42.9VillanovaC*1*12Gms6' 7"So
1034Michael Nzei, No.12.7Seton HallC*1*11Gms6' 8"So
1037Ryan Fazekas, No.352.7ProvidencePF*1*12Gms6' 8"So
1132Sean O'Mara, No.542.5XavierC*1*12Gms6' 10"Jr
1183Duane Wilson, No.12.3MarquetteSG*1.1*12Gms6' 2"Jr