"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, December 08, 2008

UW-Madison Numbers Recap

Good win on Saturday. How did the numbers look?

In our game preview, we expected both teams to be worse than their season average on efficiency. This definitely happened, but the game was very much so a defensive battle. For Marquette, this was their worst Offensive Efficiency of the season. However, it was also their third best defensive efficiency of the season as well, behind only Houston Baptist (80.7) and UNI (70.3). The defense stepped up on Saturday.

Marquette lost again on eFG%, but won on the other three factors. What was a surprise to me (and has already been covered frequently), was the advantage enjoyed by MU at Free Throw Rate and Offensive Rebounding percentage.

How did things shake out against the key recommendations from the game?

#1 - Wisconsin's Turnover Rate - Marquette needs to force UW-Madison into a higher TO% than predicted
Results - Advantage Marquette

#2 - UW-Madison's eFG% - UW-Madison makes a high percentage of threes. Marquette is showing signs of being the perimeter defensive team they were last year.
Results - Advantage Wisconsin

#3 - Marquette's OR% - Marquette needs to grab as many offensive rebounds as possible.
Results - Advantage Marquette

Therefore, in two of the top three keys to the game, Marquette came out ahead, including the most important key (forcing turnovers).

Finally, no individual player ratings this game. McNeal obviously ended up with the best "net" contributions, and the only other net positive players were Acker and James. However, this is clearly an area where the current set of information that's available makes it difficult to quantify a player's impact on the game. We need look no further than Dwight Burke. Going straight from the box score, Burke had the worst line of the night. But that's because the box score doesn't capture the defense that he played on Landry the entire night. As much as a stat-head as I am, I will be honest on the shortcomings of the current available data and tools for analysis.

Again, good win on Saturday. Good for the team, fans, and coaching staff. Best of luck to all students, especially the players, on finals this week.

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