"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

Friday, December 02, 2011

Wisconsin: Point-Counterpoint

Welcome to Point-Counterpoint, featuring Rob Lowe and Dr. Blackheart.

Doc, you Pompous Ass.  We Are Doomed.  

Marquette is screwed on Saturday.  Here's why:
  • Wisconsin will dictate tempo - Marquette likes to run, but consider this.  North Carolina is the fifth fastest team in the nation at 75 possessions per game.  However, on the road, UW shut down the Tarheel's transition game to a snail's pace of 61 possessions. 
  • The Badgers don't foul or turn the ball over - Marquette has been making a living by forcing turnovers and getting out in transition, where the end result is either a high percentage two-pointer (MU is #2) or a foul (MU is #28).  Too bad Wisconsin never turns the ball over (#4) and doesn't foul (#28), which will also shut down the fast-paced attack offense.
  • They are the #1 defensive eFG% team in the nation - And since we all know by now that defensive eFG% is (at least) two times more important than any of the other four factors, that's important.  MU's offense is going to be 2H Norfolk State ugly.
  • UW's bigs are mobile and play away from the basket - marginalizing DG/CO.  How good are the postup players that get pulled away from the basket on the most important end of the court? 
  • It's at the Kohl Center - UW@Madison literally uses a different ball at the Kohl Center.  Think about that.  Then think about handcheck fouls being called quick and early on Marquette players, or non-calls against our guys when they are seemingly mauled headed to the basket.  UNC beat Wisconsin the other night thanks to a second half free throw rate advantage of 82% to 12% (hello home cooking)!  Does anyone really think MU is going to get that kind of advantage at the Kohl Center?
I'd love to be wrong, but my big fear is that this game will never really be close.  I expect some ticky tack fouls that limit MU's aggressiveness, while UW's defense makes Marquette look stagnant.  UW leads by 10+ points most of the game.  In other news, I'll have to buy a new TV to replace the one that will shatter tomorrow, and the kids will have learned some new words.  -Rob

    Rob, you Ignorant Slut.  You underrate Marquette.

    I don't see anyone asking how UW matches up to MU.  You have scared yourself into looking into how good UW is, how they are playing at home (with the officials' calls), how great of a system coach Bo is--which are all true.  However...

      • Who is going to stop DJO and Crowder?  Harrison Barnes burned Evans; will Evans be able to stop Jae?  Junior is a distributor PG who can find CO or DG in spells...so who stops a post-up?  And, if they do with their pack defense, who is left open on the perimeter.  DJO? Todd? Jamil can play the 5 and can guard the perimeter, and his rebounding rate is very good.  UW has no depth and UNC got them into foul trouble with their depth and quickness, just like MU.
      • Any points off or on the board against the Slo-Mo –O matter (Despite Rob’s proclamations that Free Throw Rate is meaningless).  Bucky has the second lowest FTR in the nation, averaging only nine charity tosses per game.  Compare this to the 33 and 25 attempts per game the last two MU trips to Madison.  According to Pomeroy, opponent FTR is the second highest correlate to MU’s Defensive Efficiency rating. 
      • The Swingers love the menage a trois this season being #1 in the nation in the percent of their points from “America’s Treyland” with 46.1% on 24 attempts per game.  Interestingly, UNC opted to keep the ball in Taylor Jordan’s hands, which severely restricted the ball movement to the long-range shooters and forced their worst shooter (39% on FG) to launch late.  Bucky only had 6 assists vs. UNC as a result. 
      • MU fits a zone footprint according to Pomeroy, which plays into three important factors for MU.  Zone the perimeter to restrict Taylor’s penetration and the ball movement to the trey shooters, and limit the precious number of possessions via long rebounds that the overreliance on treys results in.  An opportunistic zone press also helps speed up the tempo of the game.  Will Buzz play more zone?
      • Patience is a virtue.  Wisconsin is #1 in the nation in eFG% defense and #2 in Opponent Offensive Rebounding Rate with their pack the line defensive scheme.  I think MU’s high powered offense and shooters can conquer the day on eFG%.  I also think Jamil Wilson comes of age in this game to limit Evans on the boards.  Unlike, UNC, MU needs to be very patient on half-court offense to win.
      This is not last year's MU team...nor is it Bucky's.  Fast forward to tip-off.  -Doc

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