"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, February 10, 2008

Notre Dame Numbers Recap - Game 2

Let's jump right into the numbers.

Four Factors Recap

The way that the majority of these numbers play out show how close the game was. This was clearly a game where offense ruled. Similar to the last game, Marquette was able to win the battle of effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) and turnovers, but lost on Offensive Rebounding and Free Throw Rate (more on that in a second). Thanks to shooting 12-25 from three, Marquette had a good showing on eFG%. The Turnover Rate for Marquette was outstanding, but Notre Dame did a much better job protecting the ball this game than last time (31% at the BC). As a reminder, 20% is considered average, so ND was better than average. ND won the battle of offensive rebounding again, but the difference was not all that great. No, the big difference in this game was the free throw line.

Is there a legitimate gripe about free throws or not?

The answer is actually somewhat murky. By now, we all know the numbers. Thirty one free throws for Notre Dame as opposed to Marquette's eight free throws. On the one hand, Notre Dame is the number two team in the country at limiting teams to Free Throw Rate. Their opponents average a Free Throw Rate of 20.7%, so our rate of 11% for this game was half of that. Seven of Notre Dame's Opponents have ended up with a Free Throw Rate under 15%. Furthermore, in our last game, we had a FTR of 20.6% and ND still had a FTR of 43.1%.

On the other hand, Marquette averages a per-game Free Throw Rate of 35.5%. Our standard deviation for this FTR is 10.7%. Therefore, 95% of our Free Throw Rates should be between 14% and 57%. In other words, the Free Throw Rate for this game was in the bottom 2.5% of all expected results. Of course, we are dealing with a sample size of twenty-two games too. Also, as reported by AC016097 at the MarquetteHoops.com board, Marquette didn't shoot any free throws in the last fifteen minutes of the game, while ND shot 17. There would seem to be some semblance of a legitimate beef.

But what's done is done, and if Marquette hits a few more of those bunnies, it's all a moot point.

Big East Projected Finish

Pomeroy predicts us with a record of 22-8 (11-7), which would mean finishing 6-2 in our final eight games. Based on our Big East season stats, we predict to a conference record of 9.5-8.5. That would mean finishing 4-4 or 3-5. Based on how we've been playing the last five games, we predict to a conference record of 11.6 - 6.4. That would mean finishing 7-1 or 6-2. I'll take either the Pomeroy or last five games predictions, please!

Individual Player Ratings

There's a few good things about the Individual Player Ratings. First, it's nice to see Dominic James break out of his slump. It's also great to see Lazar bounce back from his rough game against Louisville. Hayward is clearly the most valuable (statistical) player on the team, especially when we consider conference play.

However, there were some rough games for McNeal, Matthews, and Barro. Matthews has been one of the best players on the team during conference play, but this was a poor game. It was nice to see Barro contribute on the Defensive End, but his offensive outing was hard to watch. I do believe that if he gets 2-3 more field goals to drop, we're talking about what a great game he had. McNeal was average on defense, but poor on offense. Frankly, for as harsh as people have been on the team thus far, McNeal seems to get a pass, but he's probably having the least impact on the team out of our top four players. That's not good for the 06-07 team MVP.

Later on this week, we'll have more on DJ, McNeal, Matthews, and Lazar, looking at year-to-date stats, conference stats, and individual Win-Loss Records. For now, let's move on to Seton Hall, where we'll hopefully start that final season run of 7-1.


jce said...

I don't think the free throws are a legitimate gripe. ND pounded it inside against a weaker Marquette interior...you are going to get a lot of free throws that way. Furthermore, I think the stats are off a little because of the large number of FTs at the end of the game. (BTW, ND did a great job hitting all of theirs at the end.)

Henry Sugar said...

I should have made it more clear... I don't think that the ND free throw number is out of line.

What I think is up for discussion is the free throw numbers for Marquette.

Patrick said...

Is it just me, or are there really FIVE factors in your recap?

Anonymous said...

McNeal gets no pass from me. I question why he starts. His defense is too aggressive, he has no three and his drives to the hoop are every bit as out of control as when he was a freshman Start Cubby (Not Fitz). Coaching!

Gene Frenkle said...

Give me a break. As much as McNeal is struggling and many are piling on this team and coach, I think you are crazy to start Cubi over McNeal.

As badly as he's playing, Cubi is a 6th man at tops. A solid one, but not a starting 2-guard. Not with McNeal. McNeal does too many other positive things.

But..he'd definitely not having a great Big East season.

Anonymous said...

Marquette remained ranked 25 in the ESPN poll, over UL despite being swept be UL. At least someone likes this team!

Anonymous said...

We have to put it together. Now or never.

Henry Sugar said...

Is it just me, or are there really FIVE factors in your recap?
Patrick, the four factors are eFG%, OR%, TO Rate, and FT Rate.

For Efficiency, whichever team has the higher score wins the game 100% of the time. That's not the case for the four factors, where a team could win in some areas but lose in another.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who are so quick to rag on Crean and his players should be stripped of your right to cheer for the team when they do well. You may as well give up watching the games. According to you it's a forgone conclusion, they will be failures unless they win every game. Why call yourself a fan. If they lose, THEY are not good enough. If they win, WE are great. I feel sorry for you who have such negative outlooks. We are lucky to be in the situation we are and to have such a quality coach and a quality individual leading the squad. Marquette puts a quality team on the floor every game AND graduates its players. MU is competitive year in and year out, even in spite of injuries (Trevor, James, etc.). You may say you remember the Deane era, but you really don't. Crean's teams are so much more competitive than Deane's teams its laughable. And Deane was (and still is) a total lose cannon without any scruples (see his embarassing drunkeness at Hegarty's, afterbars, etc.). He was an embarrasment to our Jesuit University.

Crean is a great coach and I hope he stays along time.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with you about Deane be a total discredit to Marquette. HOWEVER, I've maintained since Crean was not able to recruit a quality big man the year following "the three amigos" and his coaching carousel that he was overrated and over paid. No apologies!

A True Marquette Fan( which means more than cheering for men's basketball.)

Anonymous said...

Lazar and Trevor I believe are two I would call high quality. Next year is Otule and Fulce and the following already Eric Williams. Quit crying and look forward to the future big Marquette fan.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the poster who things Lazar and Trevor are "quality" bigs. Lazar is playing out of position -- he should be a 3, and Trevor hasn't even played. Might as well put Acker at center and call him quality.

I agree with an earlier poster who criticized McNeal. His play has been pathetic. How many times does he drive to the basket out of control and bounce the ball off his foot before he figures it out? If he can't, sit his butt next to the walk-ons.

Anonymous said...

Calling Jerel as having the same talent level as a walk on is about as insane as saying Acker could play center. Do you get your enjoyment out of complaining?

Anonymous said...

A. Whoever cited Otule as a quality incoming recruit may not be aware that he's, at best, a total project.

B. The poster that claims we're "lucky" to have zero NCAA tournament wins in the past 5 years is delusional and clearly satisfied with complete mediocrity.

C. History tells us that Jesuits are not at all embarrassed by over indulgence. Deane was a character!

Anonymous said...

A. So you know for a fact Otule won't contribute and we wasted a scholarship?

B. At least we are going to the NCAA. How did you favorite coach Deane do?

C. Deane is no more.