"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

Monday, February 25, 2008

Big Monday, bigger opportunity

Marquette visits the Villanova Wildcats on Monday night, the Golden Eagles' second appearance on the Big East's weekly ESPN showcase. The Golden Eagles (20-6, 10-5), winners of four straight, will have to notch another conference road win to keep pace with the upper echelon of the Big East in hopes of sneaking in for a first round bye in the Big East tournament.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm CST on ESPN.

Like Marquette, Villanova (17-9, 7-7) is one of the hottest teams in the Big East as the winners of three in a row and four of their last five. On Saturday, the Wildcats upset UConn 67-65 behind 18 points from Scottie Reynolds and Corey Stokes. Villanova is paced by Reynolds, the 2006-2007 Big East freshman of the year, at better than 16 points per game. Freshman Corey Fisher and senior Dante Cunningham each clock in with 10 points per game.

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

  • 72% - Pomeroy forecasts a 72% chance of Marquette victory
    • Be very cautious about this one... and just remember that we were predicted as favorites to beat UConn and Louisville (both times)
  • 63 - Villanova's ranking for Defensive Efficiency according to Pomeroy
    • Contrast that with Marquette's rank of 9
  • 89.7 - Villanova's Defensive Efficiency averaged over the last five games
    • This means that opponents are scoring less than 0.90 points / possession
    • The defense has really picked up for the Cats in their recent surge
    • Skeptical? It also includes wins against WVU, UConn, and the near-win against Georgetown (who was held to 0.87 points / possession)
  • 19.4% - The Turnover Rate for Villanova's offense
    • This TO Rate is slightly better than average, and if Marquette is able to force them above 20% turnover rate, then we should be okay
  • 330 - Villanova's national rank at Free Throw Rate defense
    • And we thought Marquette (rank of 266) did a poor job of this
    • Let's all hope that the refs let the team play a little bit, or we're all in for a long night
Honestly, we really struggled with the numeric preview for Villanova. It's not like they have an overwhelming set of information that helps predict when they do well. In addition, the Pomeroy Scouting report doesn't really point to any significant strength. Finally, their team has been fairly inconsistent at both offensive and defensive efficiency, which is a good indicator of such a young team. If Marquette manages to play as they have been playing, which is through turnovers and pushing the pace, then we should be okay. That will lead to easy baskets and opportunities to get to the line.

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Anonymous said...

SC is a stud in my opinion. In the Rutgers games, he looked quick on his feet and confident. We appreciate Scott biding his time and working hard. I know it will pay off with playing time and contributions to the team. Scott we appreciate you. Hang tough!

Gene Frenkle said...

By SC, you mean "Scottie C" as the Wisconsin faithful in our section call him when he comes in?

Look, I think some of you Wisconsinites need to take off your beer goggles just because he's from this state. The kid's no Diener or Novak. Could he become a big contributor? Sure, I really hope so too. But right now, I'd say he has the looks of a Fitzgerald, a full-time roll player. Unless he gets quicker feet, plays defense and learns to shorten a release that's ungodly slow, that's all he'll be.

Hope I'm wrong, but I don't understand the infatuation w/"Scottie C", other than the fact he's from Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Well, you might have a keen eye to evaluate talent. But the fact that Crean offered SC a scholarship when we was a sophmore makes me think Crean sees an aweful lot of talent and potential in the kid. The jump from HS to a top tier Division I program is huge. Give SC time. He might turn out excellent. We know he is no quitter. Playing against DJ, Jerel, Wes, Cub & Acker can only help him.

Anonymous said...

The kids' a freshman, was slowed by a knee injury at the start of the season and is 7th on the depth chart for gaurds.

Lets just hold off condeming the kid until he has a chance to play some more. Let's not forget SC was instrumental in MU's first road victory this year against Cinncy, he three really put MU over the hump in that game.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where "Gene Frenkle" got his scouting credentials, but SC is easily "as" quick as Diener and much quicker than Novak will ever be. And you haven't seen enough of him to judge his defense. I'm not from Wisconsin and I like the kid.

For some reason, this GF poster thinks he has some credibility on this site. Here's a newsflash -- you don't.

Anonymous said...

The jury will be out on him until next year.

I will say he had some realhesitation in there in the first half v Rutgers. Not going to earn him extra minutes. On other hand he was an iceman v Cincy.

Gene Frenkle said...

Not condemning the kid. Sorry to come off that way. Again, I want him to turn out great. But based on the limited times I've seen him and comparing him to his competition, that's what I've seen. I'm usually wrong. Hopefully that's the case now.

Anonymous said...

On pace for 120-70 win after four minutes!

Anonymous said...

Gene Frenkle has the keenest eye for bball talent in the land!

Anonymous said...

SC looks a bit lost at times, and is slow to react. I think it's due to the knee injury. I recall the video of his high school highlights, and think he will come around to being that kind of player once he trusts his rehabbed knee.