"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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We break into your regularly scheduled football weekend to talk #MUBB schedule and recruits

It's fall so we're starting to shake off our summer vacation and more importantly, there is #MUBB news to report and comment on. First we lightly touch on the momentary freakout around Haanif's sling thanks to Instagram. Moving on from that silliness we get to the heart of the podcast, Marquette's newly released schedule. While we don't go game by game we do review the schedule overall and what it might mean for the team this season. We discuss what the non-conference schedule does for a young front court, how we owe apologizes to Mike Broeker after having seen Georgetown's non-con, and what the conference schedule looks like in terms of potential post season. We also send a lot of time talking about the intensifying recruitment of Quentin Grimes by #MUBB, mostly around what his recruitment means for Marquette's roster in 2018, coaching staff as recruiters and level setting expectations for actually landing Mr. Grimes. Enjoy the pod, we're only 4 weeks away from Marquette Madness. Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mid-summer #mubb check-in

Hope everyone is having a great summer. We wanted to have a quick check in to see where Marquette basketball stands during the summer lull. First we spend some time analyzing the almost fully released non-conference schedule. We're not picking wins and losses (way too early for that even for us) but do want to reflect on what the schedule could set-up for MU and how it compares to previous seasons. The next fun item from this summer was the Centennial Hoops Celebration, and we talk about what we heard from that event. We then transition to recruiting news, including yet more talk about Joey Hauser. Finally we talk about the summer fun that isn't Battle of the Network Stars, Marquette alumni competing in The Tournament. Enjoy the pod and enjoy the rest of the summer, hoops will be upon us before you know it! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

No NBA-ready Players Yet, but 3 MU Players stayed after being NBA-ready

Sam Hauser and Markus Howard both project to be worth 5.00-5.99 runs to Marquette this year. The good news is that is in that nice spot for college fans where it is an elite level but not enough to start the "they will not consider leaving early for the NBA are they?" Not that there is an NBA talk about these two great rising sophmores, but having just finished crunching the numbers they are about two points short of where a player needs to get to have a better than 50/50 chance of making the NBA.

I crunched the numbers for 20,767 players in the www.valueaddbasketball.com database, and found the Value Add at which a player has better than a 50/50 chance to make the NBA is 7.60. Here is the breakdown of a player's chance of making the NBA once they hit a certain range:

Best Value Add     Players   Made NBA% made it
0 to 0.9910,640100.1%
1 to 1.994142200.5%
2 to 2.992010311.5%
3 to 3.991353483.5%
4 to 4.9998210010.2%
5 to 5.9966412919.4%
6 to 6.9942812429.0%
7 to 7.9926812446.3%
8 to 8.9915711673.9%
9 or higher12310787.0%
All Players20,7678093.9%

When you dig deeper, freshmen can come in above 6.00 and be one-and-dones because NBA clubs know they have more upside at their young age.

Certainly several Marquette players made the NBA without ever hitting the 7.60 mark, and there are many other factors I cover in this study. However, the four players who have exceeded that mark at Marquette all made it and three of the four actually could have made the NBA a year earlier.

Jae Crowder's junior season he was still about a point short of NBA-level with a 6.54 Value Add. He easily passed the mark his final season at 12.43.

However, Dwyane Wade (11.59), Travis Diener (10.32) and Jimmy Butler (8.96) were all well beyond the Value Add that indicates a player is ready for the NBA in the year BEFORE they actually left.

The fact that I had Butler ranked well ahead of the great Lazar Hayward in Butler's JUNIOR year was was first compelled the Chicago Bulls to call and meet about Value Add, but how wonderful he was already adding his senior season in which he went  into UConn and beat Kemba Walker!

Fresh Run Gives MU 3 of Top 18 Big East Players; Ranks All Since 2001-02 Season

We did a pretty massive update of www.valueaddbasketball.com that entailed rating all players going back to 2001-02, but also fine tuning the projection adjustments for how much players should improve between seasons, and if they get on NBA prospect lists. If you are into the actual calculations, I have other links below this list, but for those of you who just want a quick look at where our players rank against the best of the Big East - here are the projected conference leaders.

Please don't hesitate to make any corrections. Tracking thousands of players through transfers, NBA declarations and returns to college etc., this was a massive run. We also ran over 61,000 players seasons, so correct away by calling me at 404.606.3163 or emailing pudnerjohn@gmail.com with any corrections. Here is the best of the Big East based on projections:

NatlBig East PlayerTeamValue Add
11Jalen Brunson 1Villanova9.16
15Mikal Bridges 25Villanova8.78
25Khyri Thomas 2Creighton8.21
27Trevon Bluiett 5Xavier8.17
28Shamorie Ponds 2St. John's8.13
44JP Macura 55Xavier7.38
67Khadeen Carrington 0Seton Hall6.9
78Angel DelgadoSeton Hall6.77
101Jalen Lindsey 21Providence6.49
108Emmitt Holt 15Providence6.35
109Kelan Martin 30Butler6.34
148Desi Rodriguez 20Seton Hall5.85
156Andrew Rowsey 30Marquette5.8
161Kamar Baldwin 3Butler5.75
162Rodney Bullock 5Providence5.75
189Donte DiVincenzo 10Villanova5.47
194Sam Hauser 10Marquette5.43
200Markus Howard 0Marquette5.36
228Marcus LoVett 15St. John's5.17
234Kyron Cartwright 24Providence5.13

After our massive update, the website now includes the projections for 3,291 players for the 2017-18 season (click here and type 2018 for year, or type 2019 to look at the 313 players who will next play in 2018-19). It also includes a total of 61,019 past player seasons (click here for all of those seasons going back to 2001-02, then search notes for "nba" to limit to only the 2,195 played by players who went onto the NBA).

If you are curious about how we project player values or likelihood of NBA stardom, you can check any of the following posts:

Value Add Group 1: Top 2017-18 Freshmen and How Many Points Each is Worth
Value Add Group 2: Top Returning 
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Value Add Group 3: Top-ranked 
Value Add Group 4: Top 
JUCO Transfers: Projected Value for 2018, and Best Since 2011
Value Add Group 5: 
NBA Prospects for Thursday's Draft

Now I would challenge everyone to look at the blind test of Pomeroy stats of two All-American players and tell me which is better:

ORtg   eFG%OR%  DR%  ARate  TORate Blk%Stl%FT2-Pt3-PtTeam Defense  52%  32%101st


I believe most would agree that the second player was better statistically. Pomeroy says the 2nd player gets his team about seven points more per 100 possessions, so statistically he is a better offensive player. Defense is tougher in a blind test, but the bottom player was part of a much better defense (the 14th best in the country compared to a very mediocre 101st best), and the second player is better at steals and defensive rebounds, while the first is better at blocked shots. 

Let me add that the second player faced much tougher competition up until the NCAA tournament.

I go through all this to avoid the pain of the next graph. Yes, the bottom line is Jae Crowder's final season and statistically he was slightly better than Dwyane Wade, the top line. I wanted to show these stats before listing Marquette's all-time Value Add leaders below because Crowder has a slight edge after all the fine tuning as we ran through the 60,000+ seasons.

It doesn't mean I would rank him higher subjectively. When I wrote The Ultimate Hoops Guide: Marquette Basketball, I ranked Wade first and I still would based on his tournament run to the Final Four, what he has done in the NBA etc. But from a pure statistical perspective over the entire season Crowder was slightly more valuable. If I updated the book today, I would nudge Crowder ahead of the great Bo Ellis as the No. 2 player.

Wade beating two of the top three teams in the country to take Marquette to the Final Four gets him the No. 1 all-time nod subjectively, but statistically over the course of the season Crowder was slightly better at the college level and that is reflected in the all-time Value Add ratings in which they both made Marquette about 12 points better per game than if they were replaced by a mediocre replacement player. 

With all that defense in place, the 2018 projections give three current Marquette players a spot among the Top 30 players to play at Marquette since Wade's two seasons. Click here for all 61,019 player seasons, and which 2,195 made the NBA.

RnkPlayerVA Pts/GameYearConfHtClass
1Jae Crowder12.432012BE6'64 Sr
2Dwyane Wade11.592003CUSA   6'42 So
3Travis Diener10.322004    BE6'13 Jr
4Travis Diener9.742005BE6'14 Sr
5Jimmy Butler8.962010BE6'63 Jr
6Dwyane Wade8.532002CUSA6'41 Fr
7Steve Novak8.272006BE6'104 Sr
8Lazar Hayward7.462010BE6'64 Sr
9Jimmy Butler7.152011BE6'74 Sr
10Wesley Matthews6.852009BE6'54 Sr
11Davante Gardner6.72013BE6'83 Jr
12Jae Crowder6.542011BE6'63 Jr
13Travis Diener6.42003CUSA6'12 So
14Robert Jackson6.322003CUSA6'10   4 Sr
15Dominic James6.312006BE5'111 Fr
16Cordell Henry6.272002CUSA5'104 Sr
17Jerel McNeal6.262009BE6'34 Sr
18Jerel McNeal6.212008BE6'33 Jr
19Dominic James6.112008BE5'113 Jr
20Lazar Hayward6.112009BE6'63 Jr
21Darius Johnson-Odom5.882012BE6'24 Sr
22Maurice Acker5.842010BE5'84 Sr
23Andrew Rowsey 305.82018BE5'104 Sr
24Travis Diener5.72002CUSA6'11 Fr
25Lazar Hayward5.622008BE6'62 So
26Matt Carlino 135.62015BE6'24 Sr
27Luke Fischer 405.52017BE6'114 Sr
28Davante Gardner5.462014BE6'84 Sr
29Sam Hauser 105.432018BE6'62 So
30Markus Howard 05.362018BE5'112 So
31Steve Novak5.082005BE6'103 Jr
32Dominic James4.852007BE5'112 So
33Andrew Rowsey 304.82017BE5'103 Jr
34Henry Ellenson 134.82016BE6'111 Fr
35Jamil Wilson4.592013BE6'73 Jr
36Wesley Matthews4.442007BE6'52 So
37Sam Hauser 104.432017BE6'61 Fr
38Scott Merritt4.422003CUSA6'103 Jr
39Wesley Matthews4.412008BE6'53 Jr
40Vander Blue4.42013BE6'43 Jr
41Markus Howard 04.362017BE5'111 Fr
42Luke Fischer 404.362016BE6'113 Jr
43Dominic James4.122009BE5'114 Sr
44JaJuan Johnson 234.12017BE6'54 Sr
45Joe Chapman4.12006BE6'71 Fr
46Jerel McNeal3.972007BE6'32 So
47Davante Gardner3.962012BE6'82 So
48David Cubillan3.92007BE6'11 Fr
49Darius Johnson-Odom3.882011BE6'23 Jr
50Steve Novak3.872004BE6'102 So

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Quick off-season check-in with #mubb

It's been a couple of months so we thought it'd be good to pull together a pod to make sure we don't get too rusty. Plus there has been some roster news in the past couple of weeks so we should probably talk about that. We talk about Greg Elliot first and his potential impact on the upcoming season. We then discuss Ed Morrow at length(pardon the pun), what his transfer to MU means for the roster in 2018 anf does that mean good or bad things for the Joey Hauser recruitment. We also talk about the recruits that MU is looking at for 2018 and what THAT means for the roster. We also talk about the concerns about the point guard position in 2018 given the roster make-up. After we get done wildly speculating about a whole bunch of stuff, we then move on to the really fun stuff TBT (The Basketball Tournament). We walk through the roster as we currently understand it and talk about alumni we'd love to see play on the team this summer. We've included a link below for you to get out and vote for MU's alumni team to be able to be in the tournament. As always, enjoy the pod and the off-season Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Howard and Hauser Project as MU's 1st Top 100 Players in 5 Years

Based on the average improvement between freshmen and sophomore seasons, Sam Hauser and Markus Howard project to be among the top 100 players in the country next year, which would make them the first to break the top 100 since Devante Gardner finished 55th in 2013.

Marquette's Team Value Add was 30.83 in 2017, the 35th best total in the season, but they lost more than a third of that total with the departures of Luke Fischer, JaJuan Johnson, Katin Reinhardt and Duane Wilson (see 2017 values below).

Project Improvement of Returning Players Outweighs Losses

Andrew Rowsey ranked as the 300th best player in the country with a value of an additional 4.80 points per game, according to www.valueaddbasketball.com. He projects to improve to 5.25 for his senior campaign. However, most of a players improvement typically occurs between a player's freshman and sophomore season, and an average jump for Hauser and Howard would place them in the top 100 players, part of 31.60 of projected Team Value Add for Marquette that makes the team already one point better than last year, which would make MU the 32nd best team in the country even if they failed to fill the final roster spots.

2017 RnkPlayerHt2017 Team2017 Actual      2018 Projected
347Sam Hauser #106'6"Marquette4.436.77
358Markus Howard #05'11"Marquette4.366.25
300Andrew Rowsey #305'10"Marquette4.805.25
962Haanif Cheatham #256'5"Marquette2.323.51
NRHarry Froling6'11"SMU if all season1.092.59
NRJamal Cain6'7"High School01.92
1467Matt Heldt #126'10"Marquette1.301.90
NRGreg Elliott6'3"High School01.62
NRTheo John6'8"High School01.27
NRIkechukwu Eke6'9"High School00.52
NRSacar Anim6'5"Marquette 20160.000.00
202Luke Fischer #406'11"Marquette5.500.00
413JaJuan Johnson #236'5"Marquette4.100.00
867Katin Reinhardt #226'6"Marquette2.550.00
1557Duane Wilson #16'2"Marquette1.160.00
2427Traci Carter #216'0Marquette0.310.00
35Team Total (35th to 32nd)Marquette30.8331.60

During the first decade of Value Add Historic Rankings MU had 18 top 100 players in just 10 seasons.

YearSeason RankPlayer
20033Wade, Dwyane
200339Diener, Travis
20047Diener, Travis
200511Diener, Travis
200617Novak, Steve
200676James, Dominic
200890McNeal, Jerel
200896James, Dominic
200950Matthews, Wesley
200980McNeal, Jerel
200989Hayward, Lazar
20105Butler, Jimmy
201034Hayward, Lazar
201148Butler, Jimmy
201169Crowder, Jae
20122Crowder, Jae
201291Johnson-Odom, Darius
201355Gardner, Davante

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wrapping up the season

After giving it a week to breathe, we're ready to talk about the season ending loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. We spend some time breaking down the game and understanding how it went so bad. Then the really disappointing news in that Duane Wilson has decided to seek a grad transfer and leave Marquette after 4 up and down years. We then talk about the season as a whole and whether it was a success or not. That discussion leads to some talk about next year's team and what we can expect from them. Any talk of the future would not be complete without a debate about what Marquette should do with the 3 open scholarships for next year, so we get into it. Then to cleanse the palette and try to have some fun, we discuss the firing of Tom Crean and the opening at Georgetown. Thanks for another fun season, we'll be back when the off-season bat signal goes up but until then, enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Howard falls three 3-pointers short of all-time record percentage

Before the game I joked with Steve Novak that I never thought I'd question if he was the greatest 3-point shooter in Marquette history until this year - and he was humble in agreeing. I talked with Andrew Rowsey on the way up the elevator at 3 a.m. and was happy he had seen my 6-second amateur phone video of him sinking the half court step back.

During the game one of the top sports reporters in the country texted me with a simple, "Markus Howard is just a lovely basketball player." Later when Howard ripped the pass to Sam Hauser for a late bucket, the guy behind me yelled, "That is the future, and bring along baby Hauser too! (referring to 5-star Joey Hauser, who I believe was sitting in front of me, but I could be wrong).

The fact is people were either upset or surprised when I sent out my mass email and posted by bracket and picked South Carolina tonight, but with South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell the top ranked player in the country at www.valueaddbasketball.com and their defense being one of the best at denying the 3-pointer (which we need to win) and stealing the ball (where we are week) in a near home game, I just didn't see it tonight.

However, the future is bright. If Howard hit all six of his 3-pointers tonight he would have set the all-time record for 3-point percentage for a season. Going three of six, he finishes with the second greatest season in the history of college basketball in only his second season. No player has even shot 50 percent for a career. Here is where he finishes - the future is bright, but thank you seniors for getting the team back to March Madness in your final year to help build:

RankBest 3pt seasons ever3ptM3ptA3P%SchoolSeason
1Micah Mason6511656.03%Duquesne2013-14
2Markus Howard8215054.67%Marquette2015-16
3Roosevelt Moore5011953.28%Saint Peter's1992-93
4Nick Masterson7814753.06%Kenneshaw St.2015-16
5Travis Ford10119152.88%Kentucky1992-93
6Royce Olney8015651.28%New Mexico1997-98
7Troy Hudson13426251.15%Southern Illinois1996-97
8Brad Lechtenberg7113951.08%San Diego2003-04
9Ross Land8316350.92%Northern Arizona1998-99
10Ross Land6412650.79%Northern Arizona1996-97

Here is the bracket based on the Value Add bracket which takes the www.kenpom.com rating and adjusts it by any returning or missing players, as explained here. A win in South Carolina just wasn't in the cards.