"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, January 08, 2008

Marquette looks to rebound against Seton Hall

After Sunday's disappointing defeat at West Virginia -- where MU gave up a whopping 50 points in the second half -- the Golden Eagles (11-2, 1-1) will look to right the ship in the friendly confines on 4th and State tonight at 8pm CST against Seton Hall (10 -4, 0-1).

Marquette is 8-0 at home this season. SHU hits the court tonight after defeating Morgan State 89-81 on Saturday. The Pirates lost their Big East opener at home to UConn, 98-86.

Like MU, the Pirates are led by their backcourt but rely on a combo forward to make them a more complete team -- in the case of SHU, that is talented senior Brian Laing. While sophomore PG Eugene Harvey tends to gain the headlines, the 6'5" Laing is this team's heart and soul. The senior plays 39 minutes per game and leads the Hall in scoring (19ppg) and rebounding (7 rpg).

Laing should be matched up with Lazar Hayward quite a bit tonight, which presents an enormous challenge for Tom Crean. With Hayward in the lineup, MU is a much more explosive and productive. With Dan Fitzgerald's injury and recent ineffectiveness, much is riding on Hayward's ability to stay on the floor.

Laing aside, SHU is a guard-dominated team but will go to battle tonight without standout guard Paul Gause. Gause, who average nearly 9 ppg and a miraculous three steals per game, is out with a broken knuckle. The Pirates will look to the group of Harvey, Jamar Nutter, super freshman shooter Jeremy Hazell, and Larry Davis to apply pressure to MU.

Led by its backcourt, the Pirates are second in the Big East in scoring offense, racking up 85 points per game. Still, as deep as SHU is in the backcourt and as much as the Pirates love to apply pressure to their opponents (they lead the league in steals), this team refuses to defend. Seton Hall is by far the league's worst defensive unit, surrendering more than 80 ppg, and allowing opponents to hit 45% from the field (also a league worst).

Expect a fast-paced game tonight...a pace that should play to MU's favor more than the Hall's if MU can run its offense effectively.

Here are the Top Five Numbers to Know for Seton Hall. As always, information for the Top Five Numbers comes from Pomeroy's Scouting Report and Game Plan.

7 - Seton Hall's National Rating at Turnover Percentage

  • Seton Hall only turns the ball over on 16.3% of all possessions
  • Marquette is forcing opponents into a turnover rate of 24.1%
25% - The Free Throw Rate that Seton Hall averages on offense
  • This means that for every FGA that Seton Hall takes, they make one free throw
  • However, every time that Seton Hall gets a FTR at 25% or less, they lose
  • Seton Hall has achieved a FTR of 34% or higher in all of their victories
  • In case you forgot, Marquette just allowed a Free Throw Rate of 58% to West Virginia
35% - The key number to hit for Marquette on Free Throw Rate
  • In all four of Seton Hall's losses, their opponent has managed a Free Throw Rate of 35% or greater
  • Marquette has managed greater than 35% in all but three of their games
  • Free Throws are the key matchup of the game, so look to see which team is able to get to the line more often and prevent the opponent from getting to the line
234 - Seton Hall's National Rating at effective Field Goal Defense (eFG%)
  • Seton Hall is allowing opponents to attain an average eFG% of 51.9%
  • Even after being held to only 49% by West Virginia, Marquette is still averaging an eFG% of 56% - that's good enough for 15 out of 341 Division 1 schools
  • Expect us to continue the trend and get healthy on good shot selection and easy baskets
73.9 - Number of possessions that Seton Hall averages per game
  • This is one of the faster paces in Division 1 (23 out of 341 schools)
  • I'm sure that Marquette will be happy to run up and down the Bradley Center with the Pirates
Seton Hall likes to push a quick pace to the game, but still manages to hold onto the ball fairly well. However, they allow opponents to score very efficiently against them, and Marquette should take advantage. Watch Free Throws to see which team is getting to the line and making their shots at a greater clip.

If you want some help feeling confident after the weekend loss, Pomeroy predicts a 98% chance of win and a 29-point victory margin.

Tonight's game will be broadcast on SNY and on ESPN Full Court, Directv Channel 695.

Preview Links

gomarquette.com Preview and Game Notes

Marquettehoops.com with another great preview by Eric Silver (aka Silver Warrior)

SetonHall Rivals preview

Newark Star-Ledger previews the game

Seton Hall preview and game notes

Rosiak's Preview Crean is still peeved.

*Above post is another joint contribution by one of our NJ-based correspondents, NYWarrior, and Henry Sugar


Anonymous said...

Great preview. I like the balance between narative and numbers. This should keep prior stat averse folks happy.

Lets get a win. I want some rebounds from Lazar as well.

Rj said...

Just FYI, the game will also be on MASN :)

Anonymous said...

If you are a comcast subscriber, you can get the game on ESPN Full Court free. This week is a free preview of the channel. However, sometimes the channels are not authorized. I live in boston, and it took me 2+ hours on Saturday to finally convince them they need to activate the package.

Anonymous said...

Time Warner Sports (Channel 32) will also broadcast the game (like usual, though some may not know about it yet). I know it's on for all Time Warner subscribers in the eastern half of Wisconsin.