Anybody up for a couple of lead pipe locks? Well, we have two for you, so ante up!
- First, take MU to win and cover when Pat Driscoll is officiating the game.
- Second, bet big on MU to lose outright if Reggie Greenwood is officiating the game.
With a tip of the cap to Pardner over at MUScoop, there's one common denominator in each of Marquette's five road wins this season - - - Pat Driscoll is one of the officials. While some MU fans were upset with Driscoll calling the Nova game, we'll show you why his presence is grrrrrrreat for the Golden Eagles. Borrowing shamelessly from Pardner, here are the numbers for Driscoll:
- This season Driscoll has officiated five MU games -- all road games -- and all wins. Again, that's every single road win for MU this season.
- Since MU joined the Big East, the Golden Eagles are 9-1 in games Driscoll worked, and 11-2 overall. The only losses were at DePaul last year and the Winthrop game.
- The kicker? Driscoll arrived late in the first half against Villanova. The result? MU turned a seven point deficit into a 10 point road win.
Not everything is lovey-dovey when Driscoll is the ref. After all, we did call the St. John's Free Throw Rate "garbage". There's no way that a team should get to the line over 90% of the time that they take a shot. Also, note that even in these games, Marquette lost on Free Throw Rate factor three out of the five times. Speaking frankly, we don't actually believe that Pat Driscoll is making any calls that influence the game in Marquette's favor. It's more likely just an interesting anomaly, but at least MU fans should lay off complaining when Driscoll works our next game.
Next up is official Reggie Greenwood. Marquette is a rotten 1-6 all-time in the Big East games he has officiated. This year, Marquette is 0-3 in the Big East games Greenwood has officiated. Here are some specifics:
- Greenwood's crew whistled us on average 26.7 fouls per game vs. 15.3 for our opponents in his Big East games with MU this year.
- MU averaged 13.6 FT's per game in these three losses vs. 33.3 for our opponents--a 19 FT gap per game!
- The only Big East game MU won with him was the inaugural Big East opener against UConn. Hey, it only took Steve Novak turning in the greatest individual performance in Big East history to overcome Greenwood's influence that night.
- Greenwood evens out somewhat in out-of-conference action where MU is 5-6 overall in his games. Of course, that also includes games against opponents like Sacramento State.
Look at the comparison of the Free Throw Rates for those three games. Although it doesn't particularly stand out, at the time of the WVU game, this was the highest Free Throw Rate an opponent had achieved against Marquette. We also said at the time that this was not a gripe about refs, although new information makes us less sure. While we did get crushed by UConn, and fouled a lot late, that is a startling discrepancy between the two teams. Finally, after the Notre Dame game, we wondered if there was a legitimate gripe about Free Throws. After all, Marquette shot zero free throws in the last 15 minutes of the game, and our FTR was in the bottom 2.5% of all expected results.
Do we think that Reggie Greenwood is conspiring against Marquette? Hardly. However, the patterns suggest he calls the game a particular way that does not favor our defense. For whatever reason, the team has not adjusted to account for his tendencies this year.
Pat Driscoll, your table is ready at Mader's this Saturday evening with our compliments. Reggie Greenwood, the city of Milwaukee is closed on Saturday, please try another locale.
**this post reflects content from Pardner, NYWarrior and Henry Sugar
**updated to further clarify our position regarding this post