"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, December 11, 2016

3 Freshman in American have hit 20+ 3-pointers at 50% clip, and 2 of them are ...

Marquette is one of 14 teams with more than one freshman in the top 20% of all players according to Value Add Basketball. Kentucky has four, while Arizona, Auburn, Florida State, Maryland and Miami FL have three.

Sam Hauser (600th of 4000+) and Markus Howard (682nd and skyrocketing) let MU join UCLA, Michigan State, Virginia, Appalachian State, St. John's Penn State and Drexel with two elite freshman.

During Saturday's loss to Wisconsin, Sam Hauser was finally stopped, but the other incredible freshman three-point shooter was incredible again.

When it comes to hitting threes, Marquette's freshman lap the field. There are only three freshman in the country who have hit at least 20 three-pointers at a 50% clip - MUs two stars and Hofstra's Eli Pemberton.

Josh Hart is the top ranked player in any of the Power 6 Conferences in both Value Add and www.kenpom.com at this point.

Here are the top 10 freshman three-point shooters among those who have hit at least 20 this season.

Freshman with 20+ 3PM3PM-3PAPct
Eli Pemberton, No.5, Hofstra21-4151.2%
Sam Hauser, No.10, Marquette23-4551.1%
Markus Howard, No.0, Marquette21-4250.0%
Kari Jonsson, No.12, Drexel22-4647.8%
Lauri Markkanen, No.10, Arizona21-4447.7%
Isaiah Ross, No.2, UMKC20-4346.5%
Lonzo Ball, No.2, UCLA24-5345.3%
Marcus LoVett, No.15, St. John's20-4544.4%
Shamorie Ponds, No.2, St. John's31-7044.3%
Myles Powell, No.13, Seton Hall22-5341.5%

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The team delivered important wins, now we can focus on #BadgerHateWeek

The most hateful time of year is here and we're excited to talk about it. However, first we have to talk about the two wins Marquette got this week, on the road against Georgia and at home against a frisky Fresno State. We talk about the team's performance in both games, especially the freshman, Sam Hauser and Markus Howard. After spending time breaking down critical performances and concerns over Haanif Cheatham's slump, we jump into #BadgerHateWeek The discussion covers the ins and outs of Saturday's game against our hated rival, including keys to the games, player match ups, and predictions. We have a lot of fun hating on the red menace, we hope you enjoy it with us. Ring Out Ahoya! Download this episode (right click and save)

Current Forecast: Play-in Game in Dayton then Wisconsin in NCAA 1st Round

As Marquette gets ready for the Wisconsin Badgers, and interesting forecast played out on the RPI Forecast site. If bids were passed out exclusively by the projected final RPI for each school, with automatic bids accounted for, Marquette would be the third from final at-large bid.

The last four in play in Dayton in the opening week, and under this scenario if every favored team kept winning except for Marquette, the following would be Marquette's path:

Dayton: (12) Wake Forest vs. (12) Marquette

1st Round: Marquette vs. (5) Wisconsin again (the third best 5-seed on the s-curve)

2nd Round: Marquette vs. (4) Saint Mary's

Regional Semi: Marquette vs. (1) Kansas

Regional Championship: Marquette vs. (2) Baylor

Final Four: Marquette vs. (1) North Carolina

National Championship: Marquette vs. (overall No. 1) Villanova

The other Big East teams would be:

Butler (last 3-seed)
Xavier (1st 4-seed)
Creighton (last 5-seed)

With Marquette as the 5th and Final Big East Seed:

Providence (first 2-seed in NIT)

Seton Hall (top 4-seed in NIT)

And Georgetown missing the NIT by three spots though it would be more due to automatic bids for regular season winners that did not win their tournaments.

Obviously this projection could go way up or down based on Saturday against the Badgers.

Friday, December 02, 2016

All filled up on cupcakes, now things get intersting

We're back with a new podcast after we've all fattened up on cupcakes. We spend some time talking about the three games that MU most recently played to decide if there is anything we can gleam from the performance of the team after the sub-optimal performance in NYC. Then, we get into a few impromptu #ScrambledQs starting with a discussion of the starting line-up. That discussion turns to the hot #mubb social media question, what's up with Katin Reinhardt and is he salvageable. We also spend some more time talking about the point guard situation and how fluid it continues to be. That conversation leads to the topic of significance, the road game against Georgia, breaking down how Marquette could win and whether we think they will. We also talk about how important the Georgia game in the context of the season as prompted by Paint Touches. We also talk a little bit about the trap game, Fresno State, and what to be concerned about. We close out with a couple of fun #ScrambledQs: @MUBBNation wanted to know which one of us had the better jumper and @PaintTouches wants to know if we still hate Buzz and/or Crean and if so why? Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Georgia's Maten (6th best), Nova's Hart (12th) toughest MU Opponents

For the first time in four years, Marquette has three players in the 90th percentile (top 400) most valuable players in the country with Luke Fischer (189th), Haanif Cheatham (261st) and JuJuan Johnson (313th). MU fans were spoiled when MU did it from 2006 to 2013, and in 2003 all five MU starters made it including No. 3 Dwyane Wade and No. 39 Travis Diener being in the 99th percentile, or top 1% of all players.

Below is a list of the top 50 players at Value Add Basketball that you will see if you watch the rest of Marquette's games. While Villanova's Josh Hart is making his case for Player of the Year as the 12th most valuable to date, MU faces an even more valuable opponent Sunday in 6-foot-8 Yante Maten of Georgia. Maten scored 30 points against Kansas and could not miss in the first half, and he is ranked among national leaders in blocked shots and rebounds and actually leads the Bulldogs in steals.

The "Actual Value" shows how many points per 100 trips the player is worth to his team per 100 offensive and defensive trips (Value Add 3.0), while the "If Go To" shows how many they would project to be worth if they received the ball at least 16% of the time (Value Add 4.0).

Below I list players by their actual value, but right now www.valueaddbasketball.com ranks by the projected value:

RnkPlayerTeamHtActual ValIf GoTo
6Yante Maten, #1Georgia6'8"13.3413.34
12Josh Hart, #3Villanova6'5"12.5513.80
19Rodney Pryor, #23Georgetown6'5"12.1312.13
29Rodney Bullock, #5Providence6'8"11.7111.71
37Ethan Happ, #22Wisconsin6'10"11.1711.17
40JP Macura, #55Xavier6'5"10.9813.18
45Mikal Bridges, #25Villanova6'7"10.7513.95
51Eli Cain, #11DePaul6'6"10.6010.60
83Khadeen Carrington, #0Seton Hall6'4"9.6510.62
90Keenan Simmons, #45SIU Edwardsville6'6"9.5715.79
121Khyri Thomas, #2Creighton6'3"8.9111.92
140Jahmel Taylor, #5Fresno St.6'08.5513.27
153Josh Nebo, #32St. Francis PA6'8"8.329.34
181LJ Peak, #0Georgetown6'5"7.978.77
189Luke Fischer, #40Marquette6'11"7.8410.02
193Shamorie Ponds, #2St. John's6'1"7.788.56
215Kris Jenkins, #2Villanova6'6"7.577.57
220Trevon Bluiett, #5Xavier6'6"7.547.54
227JJ Frazier, #30Georgia5'10"7.428.90
246Andrew Chrabascz, #45Butler6'7"7.239.06
261Haanif Cheatham, #25Marquette6'5"7.118.33
275Justin Patton, #23Creighton7'07.0410.06
277Edmond Sumner, #4Xavier6'6"7.037.73
289Cullen Russo, #13Fresno St.6'9"6.958.17
298Keith Braxton, #13St. Francis PA6'4"6.876.87
305Bronson Koenig, #24Wisconsin6'3"6.817.49
313JaJuan Johnson, #23Marquette6'5"6.776.82
316Marcus LoVett, #15St. John's6'06.758.09
324Nigel Hayes, #10Wisconsin6'8"6.706.70
376Kamar Baldwin, #3Butler6'06.3710.32
392Emmitt Holt, #15Providence6'7"6.256.88
407Tre'Darius McCallum, #10DePaul6'7"6.146.66
433Jalen Brunson, #1Villanova6'2"6.007.20
434Myles Powell, #13Seton Hall6'2"6.007.81
486Tyler Lewis, #1Butler5'11"5.719.55
535Desi Rodriguez, #20Seton Hall6'6"5.455.45
603Jalen Lindsey, #21Providence6'7"5.138.31
612Avery Woodson, #0Butler6'2"5.069.30
613Donte DiVincenzo, #10Villanova6'5"5.067.78
633Marcus Foster, #0Creighton6'3"4.935.43
652Tyler Wideman, #4Butler6'8"4.847.23
659Sean O'Mara, #54Xavier6'10"4.818.13
660Darrick Wood, #1DePaul6'5"4.808.55
680Zak Showalter, #3Wisconsin6'3"4.729.04
716Darryl Reynolds, #45Villanova6'9"4.527.71
757Sam Hauser, #10Marquette6'7"4.337.81
762Kelan Martin, #30Butler6'7"4.324.32
792Angel Delgado, #31Seton Hall6'10"4.194.19
810Maurice Watson, #10Creighton5'10"4.124.94
826Michael Nzei, #1Seton Hall6'8"4.057.04

Friday, November 25, 2016

Value Add Rankings, Projected NCAA Bids and Impact Players Returning in December

Value Add ranks UNC No. 1, while remaining more skeptical of the AP No. 1 Kentucky. A UNC-Nova (#3) rematch for the national title is possible, but the Value Add dark horse is Utah. The Utes would rank 16th based on their players' Value Add to date, but Value Add projects that big man transfer David Collette in the coming weeks makes them the fifth best team in the country.

On the downside, Virginia's 50.77 is actually No. 1, but that includes 1.9 from Memphis transfer Austin Nichols, who has been kicked off the team. After subtracting out his value UVa falls three spots to No. 4 at 48.87.

ValueAddBasketball.com calculates Marquette with just enough talent to sneak into the last NCAA tournament spot, giving the Big East six teams. That ranks behind only the ACC (12), Big 12 (8) and Big Ten (7), and with a better ratio than the Big Ten. Value Add gives the Pac 12 five teams, but for some reason is particularly unkind to the SEC while giving only Kentucky and Florida a bid. However, a half dozen SEC teams are in the top 66, so that number could grow. The A10, American Athletic and West Coast Conference all have three bids. The other 23 conferences only get one bid.

Marquette will face Fresno State while Value Add calculates they have the 189th best team in the country. The week after that game Karachi Edo will take final exams to try to become eligible at which point Value Add calculates his impact (+5.0 Value Add) moves them up 89 spots to make them the 100th best team. Last year he went 7 of 9 shooting to keep close to Utah in the NCAA.

Here is the ranking of teams that either project to make the tournament, be in the last four out, or to have a player returning in the next few weeks (mid-season transfers or early season injuries) to give a significant Value Add boost in the second number - or in the case of UVa and UConn a big loss.

RnkTeamConBid?Value AddTrans/InjKey Transfers/Injuries changing 2nd number
1North CarolinaACCauto49.9849.98We don't project return value for long-term injuries like Theo Pinson - the players listed below should be back within a couple of weeks.
4VirginiaACCbid50.7748.87Austin Nichols -1.9 Memphis transfer dismissed after strong opener.
David Collette +8.0 Value Add's 18th best freshman in 2015 before Utah St. tried for months to block his transfer to Utah, where ex-NBA center Larry Krystkowiak could make him another NBA center.
8Wichita St.MVCauto46.6046.60
10KentuckySECauto46.5746.57AP No. 1
15Miami FLACCbid41.8641.86
16ClemsonACCbid39.4741.47Elijah Thomas +2.0 former top 50 prospect transferred from Texas A&M to play in December.
19Saint Mary'sWCCbid40.7140.71
20Iowa St.B12bid40.7040.70
21ArizonaP12bid40.1940.19AP No. 8
24West VirginiaB12bid39.4439.44
26OklahomaB12bid38.0039.00Dante Buford +1.0 coming off suspension after some action as a freshman.
29East Tennessee St.SCauto38.8138.81
32Seton HallBEbid38.3438.34
34Ohio St.B10bid37.9937.99
36Texas TechB12bid37.7137.71
37Notre DameACCbid37.6637.66
38Michigan St.B10bid37.4837.48
39Rhode IslandA10bid37.3437.34
40Virginia TechACCbid37.2337.23
41Kansas St.B12bid36.9136.91
42Florida St.ACCbid36.5236.52
43TCUB12bid32.3736.37Alex Robinson +4.0 a number of double digit outings at Texas A&M before transfer, enough to take them from 67th to 43rd and make the tournament.
45Wake ForestACCbid36.0836.08
48MarquetteBEbid35.2135.21 Yes the last bid, and no I did not fudge - just ran the numbers.
51North Carolina St.ACClast434.9634.96
54UNC WilmingtonCAAauto32.6634.16Names in italics below would make the tournament by winning their conference
Ambrose Mosley +2.5 at UNCW for senior year after being leading 3-point shooter for 27-8 ODU team.
57Cal St. FullertonBWauto26.3333.83Khalil Ahmad +7.0 conference freshman of the year missing semester for academics, Riley Dearring +1 hit a couple of shots for Wisconsin's tourney team two years ago.
60St. BonaventureA10gain32.4833.48Nelson Kaputo +1.0 some action as freshman and needs to pass exams to return Dec 17.
72San Diego St.MWCauto31.3631.36
78Incarnate WordSlndinelig30.5730.57new D1 not eligible yet, but otherwise could make tournament at-large or as conf champ
80North Dakota St.Sumauto29.9429.94
84CharlotteCUSAauto28.0929.59Austin Ajukwa +1.5 two seasons at Clemson and should contribute at Charlotte.
89Georgia TechACCgain27.8529.05Josh Heath +1.2 takes the court against Tulane Saturday after 4-game suspension.
100Fresno St.MWCgain23.2128.21Karachi Edo +5.0 capped 3 strong first years with 7 of 9 shooting to keep close to Utah in the NCAA, but must pass exams in mid-December.
103Stephen F. AustinSlndauto28.0628.06
107MissouriSECgain25.8427.84Jordan Barnett +2.0 returns to Missouri from Texas - former top 100 recruit.
116UT ArlingtonSBauto27.2027.20
118Florida Gulf CoastASunauto27.1027.10
126Texas SouthernSWACauto22.7426.24Tevon Saddler +3.5 led UNCG in scoring and assists before transfer.
128Boston UniversityPatauto26.1626.16
158New Mexico St.WACauto24.3624.36
167Cal St. BakersfieldWACgain23.6424.04
Following teams have significant player changes to their current Value Add
Fallou Ndoye +0.4 played in 30 games as a freshman at Mississippi St. then six more last year before transfer.
184DePaulBEgain22.4223.42Austin Grandstaff +0.2 hit some 3-pointers for Ohio State.
191Western KentuckyCUSAgain21.5023.00Jabari McGhee +1.5 hit 62% of his shots (23-37) at Tennessee.
192ConnecticutAmerlost27.4622.96Terry Larrier -4.5 off to a great start but season ending knee injury crushing for Uconn.
224Kent St.MACgain19.0821.08Taishaun Johnson +2.0 after averaging 12.5 points as a freshman at South Alabama, a nice addition.
235Norfolk St.MEACauto20.3420.34
236Tennessee TechOVCgain19.8020.30Curtis Phillips +0.5 eight points a game at Campbell.
239South FloridaAmergain14.6320.13Jahmal McMurray +4.5 all-freshman team hopes to return from suspension, Isaiah Manderson 1.0 Texas Tech transfer 4.4 ppg as freshman.
257Alabama St.SWACgain15.9518.95Demetrius Houston +3.0 returns home to Montgomery after showing promise his freshman year at Mississippi St.
263Florida AtlanticCUSAgain15.4218.42Justin Massey +3.0 solid player at Florida Atlantic as a freshman, then transferred to Brown for 9 games before coming back.
280PepperdineWCCgain16.8517.85Kameron Edwards +1.0 after scoring 7 points/gm as a freshman he will return from a jaw injury.
294HowardMEACgain13.1517.15James Daniel +4.0 quest for 2000 points resumes after early season ankle injury.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

JJJ 1st Team All-Big East Defense; Cheatham & Fischer 3rd Team All-Big East

Haanif Cheatham and Luke Fischer earn All-Big East 3rd Team Honors in the early going, based on Value Add Calculations. Cheatham improves MU by 6.94 points per 100 offensive trips, and takes 1.21 points off the opponents scoreboard during those trips for a total Version 3 Value Add of 6.94 points.

Version 4.0 (introduced this week) calculates that the average shooting guard is averaging almost 10% less value than other players, so between that adjustment and the calculation of how much value Cheatham could have with 16% of MU's possessions instead of his current 14%, Cheatham calculates to a  potential overall value of 9.48 if MU can get him the ball more.

Only three sophomores (Bridges, Thomas and Cain) and one freshman (LoVett) are more valuable than Cheatham.

Luke Fischer is just behind Cheatham at 9.38 and could definitely use more than 12% of all possessions as he hits over 70 percent of his shots. Both are in the 94th percentile of all players at 265th and 271st nationally of over 4000 players that can be pulled up at www.valueaddbasketball.com.

JuJuan Johnson's -2.76 defensive rating is the fourth best in the Big East, meaning he takes away three points per 100 trips away from opponents over a replacement player. Duane Wilson and Sam Hauser have been very valuable while having the ball 8 percent of the time for MU, indicating  they would both join Johnson as very valuable if they were given the ball a lot more often (16% instead of their current 8%).

These rankings are based on how valuable players would be if given the opportunity to be a major contributor for their team, so players like Baldwin and O'Mara have not truly been worth enough points to make the first two teams, but in theory are playing at that level while on the court and getting the ball.

Nat'l1st Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
23JP Macura #55Xavier14.7112.2519%11.42-0.83
24Mikal Bridges #25Villanova14.6711.1912%9.14-2.04
55Josh Hart #3Villanova12.9511.7820%9.41-2.36
56Kamar Baldwin #3Butler12.957.429%3.86-3.56
95Khyri Thomas #2Creighton11.888.1512%7.05-1.1
Nat'l2nd Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
111Rodney Pryor #23Georgetown11.5711.5717%9.69-1.88
175LJ Peak #0Georgetown10.649.6720%8.36-1.31
198Eli Cain #11DePaul10.3210.3221%10.770.44
219Marcus LoVett #15St. John's10.028.3524%8.410.06
235Sean O'Mara #54Xavier9.795.668%5.08-0.58
Nat'l3rd Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
243Tyler Lewis #1Butler9.75.039%4.99-0.05
265Haanif Cheatham #25Marquette9.488.1514%6.94-1.21
270Khadeen Carrington #0Seton Hall9.398.5319%8.24-0.29
271Luke Fischer #40Marquette9.387.1412%6.13-1.02
283Darrick Wood #1DePaul9.264.828%5.770.95
Nat'lOther High MU PlayersTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
499Duane Wilson #1Marquette7.644.28%3.36-0.84
666JaJuan Johnson #23Marquette6.676.4415%3.68-2.76
669Sam Hauser #10Marquette6.653.878%3.17-0.7

A piece in Breitbart Sports indicated former MU recruit
Marial Shayok was one of the top 10 Value Add players through Saturday, but he has dropped to 84th as of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves

Well, the tone of this podcast has changed rapidly, much like Marquette's performance on the court. No sugar coating it, we got a little over our skis after the first two games of the season with Michigan and Pitt bringing us all back to Earth. We spend time talking about the 2K Classic results and what it means for Marquette. We try to breakdown what went wrong and how it might be corrected. We also have a discussion around the coaching staff and whether or not there is reason to be concerned early in year 3 of the Wojo era. After finishing our moping about the NYC results we turn to some surprising news in the transfer of Sandy Cohen. We discuss what the news means, and how it may have come to this. Then, wrapping up the Eeyore episode of Scrambled Eggs, we look ahead to the rest of the non-conference schedule and look at how it may play out with the new, less rose colored viewpoint. Download this episode (right click and save)