"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, January 13, 2008

Notre Dame Numbers Recap

In our Notre Dame Preview, we said to watch for Offensive Rebounding Percentage for both squads, the Turnover Percentage for ND, and the Free Throw Rate that Marquette allows on Defense.

Turnovers and a high Field Goal Percentage overcome sup-par Offensive Rebounding and Free Throws

As has already been covered, Turnovers were the story of the game. Thanks to an excellent game plan, Marquette managed to harass Notre Dame into 24 turnovers. ND came into the game as one of the top 10% teams in protecting the ball, turning it over less than one in five possessions. For this game, however Notre Dame essentially turned the ball over one out of every three possessions, for their worst turnover rate of the year.

After two consecutive season worsts in both Efficiency and effective Field Goal percentage, Marquette was able to get back on track with strong outings in both areas. Shooting 12-24 from downtown will help a lot, so lets hope that the efficiency continues this Thursday.

In somewhat concerning news, Marquette had another sub-par outing at Offensive Rebounding %. Yet again, Marquette ended up well below their average (now 39.4%). In their last three games, MU has had three of their six worst results at Offensive Rebounding. At one point, our team was #7 in the country at Offensive Rebounding, but we are not getting it done in conference play.

Finally, thanks to Luke Harangody, Marquette ended up allowing higher than their season average on Free Throw Rate. ND took a free throw 43% of the time that they took a shot. Feel free to gripe about Harangody here at MUScoop.com.

When we match up with ND again, let's hope that MU is able to shore up that Offensive Rebounding and not commit as many fouls. We certainly can't expect to force ND into yet another season worst in turnovers.

Individual Ratings

In a 26-point victory, there is plenty of credit to go around. Interestingly enough, Dominic James is the statistical "stud of the game". Despite going 6-15 with 3 turnovers, James also chipped in with seven assists, three rebounds, four steals, and three 3-pointers. Unsurprisingly, Lazar Hayward and Jerel McNeal are right behind. After a few negative outings, it's good to see both Wesley Matthews and David Cubillan back in the positive column. Finally, despite the positive accolades for Lawrence "Trend" Blackledge, note that his impact to the overall game (energy and sick blocks notwithstanding), was actually about the same as Ousmane Barro's.

Additional Links

I'm sure that many of you have seen the following links, but in case there's something new, please enjoy.

South Bend Tribune
South Bend Tribune Commentary
Chicago Tribune Recap
Chicago Tribune's Commentary on the MU-ND Rivalry (by Dan McGrath)
Rosiak Wraps Up ND on his blog at jsonline.com

Let's move on to Louisville!

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