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.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Let's jump right into the numbers.