After a bit of a hiatus where neither of us transferred or left for the NBA, we're back with 40+ minutes of Marquette podcasting. In this podcast episode, we talk about the first of the changing roster, who's leaving, who's staying, and who is both leaving and staying. We also breakdown whether Vander's decision was a good one, and what impact his leaving will have on the team next season.Download this episode (right click and save)
Monday, April 22, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jonathan Givony today about Vander Blue and other Marquette players and their perspective NBA draft status. Givony is the owner and founder of DraftExpress.com. The site has information on the top high school, college and international basketball players as well as the D-League. Part of what draws fans to their site is the mock drafts they do for the NBA. Though it is not an exact science, Givony and his team do their best to talk to agents, GMs, coaches and others to get a feel for where a player may be drafted.
Today we caught Givony on the phone in Portland where he is attending the Nike Hoops Summit and asked him some questions about Vander Blue and other Marquette related topics.
Q: Were you surprised to hear Vander Blue declare for the 2013 NBA Draft yesterday?
A: I was not totally surprised because I had numerous agents call me throughout the year and especially in the month of March asking my thoughts on where he might get drafted. They were telling me he really wanted to enter the draft and essentially didn't want to take no for an answer as he was determined to find someone to tell him he was a first round pick. Most of the people I spoke with believe he is probably a second round pick that could work his way up, but that he would be better off going back for his senior year because he is very young for his class...he is only 20 years old. Blue would be a young senior at 21 if he had returned.
Q: Is it your opinion that he is probably a second rounder?
A: Tough to say what every NBA team thinks. It's very possible 25 or 26 teams feel one way, but if one or two teams like him in the first round, they might take him. Or maybe some say they will take him early in the second round. He was very active early on getting information about the NBA so its possible that some discussions have been had that lead to an earlier pick based on those discussions. But my general projection is that he is a second round pick right now that could work his way up. Depends how he does in workouts, interviews. (EDITOR NOTE: as of today, DraftExpress has him going 26th in the second round, or the 56th overall player out of 60)
Q: What are his weaknesses or strengths? Is size a hindrance?
A: I don't think he has bad size for a shooting guard, he doesn't have great size but he's not too small for that position. He needs to improve his shooting. He's not a guy that can't shoot, he's made some 3's, but his shot selection isn't great, which he will have to work on. I don't think it's out of the question that he develops and improves his shooting. Wes Matthews, wasn't a great shooter at Marquette, but he developed into a good shooter in the NBA and is paid a lot of money as a result. You can't rule out that Blue won't improve in this area like Matthews, but it depends on his work ethic.
Q: When you put your mock draft together, do you only focus on players that are for sure coming out or do you speculate also on those you think might come out? Vander Blue wasn't listed in your mock draft for 2013, but is listed in 2014 as a first rounder for example.
A: We try to project who we think is going to come out based on what we are hearing. Also some educated speculation, for example, we had Phil Pressey in our draft all year long because he is older and we expected him to go to the draft. We also had Marcus Smart in our mock draft for 2013, but were surprised last night when he decided to go back to school so he is no longer on the board this year. Its not an exact science. I thought Vander Blue was going to go back to school from what we heard, but then he changed his mind and decided to enter so now he is in our mock draft.
Q: Your perception of the draft this year? Is it weak and driving people to enter early?
A: You need to separate different parts of the draft. If you are the Bobcats, Cavaliers, or Magic, for them it might be a weak draft because for them they probably won't get the return on their very high picks they would hope for. There aren't many sure fire superstars at the top. However, as you move
down the board there are a lot of good players, good depth. Teams in the mid first round or later, they are excited about this draft. They know there will a number of interesting prospects to choose from. There's a ton of big men, which you usually don't see, some good wing players, some depth at some positions. I think this is a pretty normal draft to be honest with you, but it depends really from where you are drafting.
Q: One final question, what are your thoughts of Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson of Marquette and their NBA draft prospects?
A: Both of them have very interesting attributes that will be interesting for the NBA. Wilson has great size and length for a 3, some decent versatility. Needs to be more consistent as he can fade in some games and you wonder if he needs a bit more toughness. I think he is someone that has a chance to help himself with a strong senior year. Gardner, if he has a really good off-season and loses some more weight, he can be a very interesting prospect. He is so productive, even with limited minutes. Great hands, great touch, great feet and he's pretty skilled player offensively and rebounds, too. If he has a good off-season and into play next year, he can creep up into some discussions. He led the Big East in PER (Player Efficiency Rating), which is pretty impressive.
Written by muwarrior92 at 10:42 PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Last year Marquette added Trent Lockett, who proved to be the Leatherman of basketball, chipping in a little bit in every aspect of the game. Lockett was a big addition, especially after losing do-it-all Jae Crowder to the NBA. With Jake Thomas, Jamal Ferguson, Juan Anderson, and Vander Blue all leaving Marquette, Buzz Williams finds himself with two open scholarships rather than the expected one-too-many. It seems Marquette may need a guy who is immediately eligible as all three guys leaving projected to play the 2/3 positions at MU. Here are the 5 most intriguing immediately eligible players:
1) Antonio Barton: When looking at Memphis transfers that can play next year, Barton won't be the first name most Marquette fans think of. But in terms of need, Barton fits more of a hole than #3 on this list. He is an excellent shooter from range and would fill an immediate need of providing minutes at the 1-2 positions. Also the brother of former Marquette target and current NBA player Will Barton.
2) Josh Davis: Davis is a beastly power forward that averaged a double-double at Tulane last year. While Marquette has a lot of talent in the front court Davis would allow Jamil and Taylor to play down a position. He has also shown some ability to shoot the three and has the frame to play on the wing. He would allow for some very big lineups at the BC.
3) Tarik Black: Like Davis, former Marquette recruit Black would allow guys to play down a position, but unlike Davis it's highly unlikely Black would be able to rotate out to the wing. Black would be a solid pickup, but would create more of a logjam at the 4/5 positions where MU already has Otule, Gardner, and McKay.
4) Jerron Granberry: He missed his senior season and elected to transfer instead of staying at UNF. The question would be can he contribute at the high-major level? Granberry is an efficient scorer, shoots the three well, rebounds, and makes his free throws. He might be worth a look.
5) Sheldon McClellan: Okay, I lied...McClellan isn't immediately available, but he is the most legitimate star available. The 6'4" Texas native can put up a lot of points, draws fouls, is reliable at the line, and can hit the three though isn't great from distance. Sound like someone we know? He would be well worth having on scholarship for 3 years in order to have a proven high-major player for two years after the 2013-14 season is done.
Written by Alan Bykowski at 12:07 PM
Are we done yet, or more to come? It's that time of year and roster movements are in full swing across the country and Marquette is no exception.
Last night Vander Blue decided to forego his senior season at Marquette and enter the NBA Draft. A risky move, but with a weak 2013 draft and a dream to pursue he felt the timing was now.
Few draft experts have Vander on their mock drafts for 2013, but many have him solidly selected in 2014.
Jeff Goodman of CBS sportsline calls the move a "head scratcher"
Other reactions can be found linked below
NBC: Blue to declare
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Michael Hunt reaction
SB Nation thinks he is a late first rounder
Juan Anderson announced yesterday he would transfer to a school closer to home, presumably in California or somewhere in the Pacific time zone.
Jake Thomas recently announced his intentions to transfer for his senior year after walking on at Marquette but playing with a scholarship the last two years.
Jamal Ferguson also announced he will transfer from Buzz Williams squad when school concludes in May.
It's that time of year. Marquette was projected to be a top 15 team next year before Anderson and Blue made their announcements. One would guess this will drop Marquette a bit, but Buzz Williams has done great things under many different circumstances.
Written by muwarrior92 at 11:46 AM
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Well, it ended with a bit of a splat, but it was a fun ride for Marquette basketball fans. In this episode of Scrambled Eggs, we discuss the Syracuse game, and why it was disappointing but not catastrophic. We also touch on coaching vs execution. We then frame that bad loss in the balance of a really unexpected Marquette season with a lot of positive take-aways, not to mention a very bright future.
We also keep the giggling to a minimum as we discuss a very good article from Michael Hunt at MJS about why in the world would Buzz leave anyway. The article is a good way to kick off the "Buzz to" season and familiarize any new fans to the Marquette band wagon. Lastly, we discuss the future of the podcast, what the off season holds for Scrambled Eggs and a call to our listens to give us ideas and feedback.
All in all, it's a pretty good effort.
Written by Phil Bush at 1:30 PM
Saturday, March 30, 2013
In Marquette's storied basketball history it has been to a number of Regional Finals with a chance to play for a Final Four. This will be the Warriors 7th Regional Final with a record of 3-3 in the previous six.
Thought I would do a little press digging into memory lane to share some of stories about MU in those games past.
1955 Regional Final: Marquette vs Iowa
Milwaukee Journal: Gallant Warriors silent in defeat
1968 Regional Final: Marquette vs Purdue
Owosso Argus Press Pre Game Story
Toledo Blade: Marquette gets revenge on Rupp. Purdue next
Toledo Blade: Purdue's King Dreams of Title
Schenectady Gazette: Marquette seen tough for Purdue
The News and Courier: Rick Mount paces Purdue to victory
1974 Regional Final: Marquette vs Michigan
Rochester Sentinel: McGuire thinks officials blowing whistles too early
Herald Journal: Michigan --Warriors tangle in Mideast
Gadsden Times: Marquette, Michigan in Mideast Finals
Herald Journal: Marquette edges Michigan
Times Daily: Marquette sneaks past Michigan
1976 Regional Final: Marquette vs Indiana
Bryan Times: Marquette, Indiana gain wins
Pittsburgh Press: Indiana, Marquette reach showdown
Lodi News Sentinel - Top Ranked Indiana to be Challenged by Marquette
Lawrence Journal World: NCAA Pairings second guessed
Eugene Register: The Top 2 in NCAA meet today
Toledo Blade: Knight, McGuire a study in contrast
Milwaukee Sentinel: Walton ailing for the big one
1977 Regional Final: Marquette vs Wake Forest
News and Courier: Toone keys Marquette
Daytona Beach Morning Journal: Not the same without UCLA
Michigan Daily: Marquette preys upon Deacons
Schenectady Gazette: Midwest Title to Marquette; Toone Excels
St. Petersburg Times: Marquette, Vegas vs. the Carolinas
Telegraph Herald: Sub Centers 3 point play gives Marquette win
2003 Regional Final: Marquette vs Kentucky
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Kentucky game brings back memories
GoMarquette.com; Marquette success conjures up memories
Herald Journal: Marquette's run feels like McGuire
USA Today: Wade, Marquette leave Kentucky in their wake
SI.com: Marquette's Jackson makes name for himself
SI.com: Wade too much
Chicago Tribune: Marquette - Kentucky was more than a game
NY Times: Wade and Marquette are picture of success
Cincinnati Enquirer: Eagles abruptly end UK hopes of national title
Written by muwarrior92 at 10:10 AM
Friday, March 29, 2013
Holy week of basketball, MU! Raise your hand if you saw that result coming for Marquette against Miami. Yeah I didn't think so, and neither did the national media (No I'm not bitter). With another big Marquette win the podcast symbol went up so we got together to talk being Elite. We talk the Miami game, and why it was Buzz's best coaching effort to date. We also address the national media's obsession with Marquette as a "all grit, no talent" narrative. Also, if you are disappointed that Indiana lost and MU doesn't get to face the tanned one, we are too, especially Phil. Lastly, we preview the Syracuse rematch, make wild speculation of adjustments Buzz might make, and how we think the game will play out. Enjoy!Download this episode (right click and save)
Written by Phil Bush at 11:02 PM
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The big news in the Marquette/Miami Sweet 16 matchup is that UM's hulking center Reggie Johnson needed surgery and will not be available for the Hurricanes. Both sides seem to be playing down the importance of Johnson, and the general consensus among Marquette fans seemed to be "that's five fewer fouls for Miami." But looking at the numbers, the loss of Johnson could be much bigger than just a few fouls.
Miami played 7 games against kenpom.com top-150 competition this year without Johnson. They went 5-2 in those games without Johnson. In such games with Johnson, the Hurricanes were 19-4. Most likely, Miami will try to replace Johnson's minutes with three players. Julian Gamble should play more than his 20.4 mpg average while both Erik Swoope and Tonye Jekiri will also have expanded roles.
Regarding Gamble, one number really jumped out. He has fouled out twice this season and had four fouls in four other games. Of those six games, four came when Johnson was out against top-150 teams. When forced to play more, Gamble seems to struggle with foul trouble. Against Davante Gardner, who is 12th in the nation in terms of fouls drawn per 40 minutes it seems likely Gamble could be put into foul trouble early. Gamble averages 4 fouls committed per 40 minutes, but in those 7 games without Johnson, that number jumped up to 5.2 fouls committed per 40 minutes.
Looking at the other two players, Jekiri and Swoope, the mathematics of John Pudner's Value-Add show a marked difference. While Johnson's VA score of 1.24 is only slightly above the "average player" and good enough for #1024 in the country, Jekiri (0.49, #1695) and Swoope (0.36, #1888) are a significant downgrade. During the 7 games Johnson was out against top-150 teams, the two combined for 11.1 mpg, 2.9 rpg, and 1.1 ppg. That's a far cry from the 21.3 mpg, 7.0 rpg, and 6.7 ppg Johnson gives to the Hurricanes. In addition, Johnson values out as a much better defender than either Jekiri or Swoope.
Miami already struggles with depth; 7 of their players account for 92.4% of their minutes played. Taking Johnson out shortens their rotation to 6 reliable players with no one else averaging more than 7 mpg on the season. Marquette's depth should be able to test Miami's endurance, while Gardner and to a lesser extent Otule in the paint can do severe damage to the 'Canes if they can get the Miami bigs in foul trouble.
While it's easy to downplay the loss of Johnson, it is very big for Miami, and probably even bigger than the 290 pounds Johnson carries on his frame.
Written by Alan Bykowski at 4:07 PM