With the first release of the 1500 Most Valuable Players to date (see next post down), Jamil Wilson jumps out as Marquette's top player through the first few games. In the game that didn't happen, MU lined up against the only team with two top 10 players (Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas) in Ohio State.
While Monday's opponent Maryland-Baltimore County should be an easy win, guard Ryan Cook checks in as the 275th most Valuable player to date (top 400 players are top 10% of all D1 players). Staying within single digits on the trip to Florida will be a big test for MU. The Gators feature #20 Erik Murphy, #65 Kenny Boynton and #163 Mike Rosario who ran all over MU when with Rutgers. December 8 MU should have a slight edge vs. Wisconsin with Gasser out and playing in the Bradley Center, two Badgers have stepped up big time with Ben Brust coming in at #19 and Jared Berggren at #61.
Later in the month LSU brings #23 Anthony Hickey and #158 Charles Carmouche, and even North Carolina Central has two early stars in #332 Ray Willis and #462 Stanton Kidd. Here is a list of all top 500 players on MU's non-conference schedule. Below that, we will look at MU's players in the top 1500.
|7||Aaron Craft||Ohio St.||6' 2"||Jr||9.96||0.00||1.50||11.46|
|10||Deshaun Thomas||Ohio St.||6' 7"||Jr||10.52||-0.57||0.00||11.09|
|19||Ben Brust||Wisconsin||6' 1"||Jr||7.04||-2.13||1.00||10.17|
|20||Erik Murphy||Florida||6' 10"||Sr||8.48||-1.68||0.00||10.15|
|23||Anthony Hickey||Louisiana St.||5' 11"||So||4.83||-3.62||1.50||9.95|
|61||Jared Berggren||Wisconsin||6' 10"||Sr||6.18||-1.95||0.00||8.13|
|65||Kenny Boynton||Florida||6' 2"||Sr||6.55||-0.36||1.00||7.91|
|158||Charles Carmouche||Louisiana St.||6' 4"||Sr||3.92||-1.69||0.50||6.11|
|163||Mike Rosario||Florida||6' 3"||Sr||4.55||-0.54||1.00||6.09|
|197||Kellen Dunham||Butler||6' 6"||Fr||5.62||0.00||0.00||5.62|
|203||Eric Wise||Southern California||6' 6"||Sr||3.71||-1.87||0.00||5.58|
|209||Lenzelle Smith||Ohio St.||6' 4"||Jr||4.81||-0.21||0.50||5.52|
|264||Rotnei Clarke||Butler||6' 0||Sr||4.55||0.00||0.50||5.05|
|275||Ryan Cook||MD Baltimore County||6' 2"||Sr||6.48||2.00||0.50||4.98|
|322||Sam Dekker||Wisconsin||6' 7"||Fr||4.75||0.00||0.00||4.75|
|332||Ray Willis||North Carolina Central||6' 6"||Sr||3.23||-1.47||0.00||4.70|
|344||Shannon Scott||Ohio St.||6' 1"||So||1.95||-2.16||0.50||4.61|
|416||Pat Moore||Colgate||6' 5"||Jr||5.20||2.00||1.00||4.20|
|421||Khyle Marshall||Butler||6' 6"||Jr||4.19||0.00||0.00||4.19|
|462||Stanton Kidd||North Carolina Central||6' 7"||Jr||3.62||-0.37||0.00||3.99|
|464||Murphy Burnatowski||Colgate||6' 7"||Sr||3.88||-0.09||0.00||3.98|
|478||Shavon Coleman||Louisiana St.||6' 5"||Jr||3.43||-0.49||0.00||3.92|
|495||Brandon Fortenberry||Southeastern Louisiana||6' 3"||Sr||2.65||-0.16||1.00||3.82|
As mentioned in the post below, in the first few games players in major conferences often are lower after a few games because coaches are spreading the minutes against creampuffs, and the adjustments for level of opponents requires really big numbers for a player to stand out.
Right now www.kenpom.com believes MU has faced only the 273rd best defenses of all D1 teams, so a player really had to light it up through early games to register big value. The one player who has done that is Jamil Wilson, who is the 54th most efficient player in the country (141.5 points per 100 times he has the ball), due to being the only MU player in the Top 500 in eFG% (59.1% for 251st place) and turnovers (only 5.8% turnover rate for 64th best) one of four MU players among the leaders in blocked shots (Otule 8.3%, 107th, Wilson 5.6%, 237th, Anderson 5.3% 252nd and Gardner 3.4% 458th). Finally, Wilson and Junior Cadougan are the two MU players in the top 500 in getting to the line. The only thing keeping Wilson out of the top 100 right now is that he is only playing 60% of the team's minutes and only handling the ball 17.1% of the time he is on the court, so a little less bench time and assertiveness and he can be the star.
Gardner was projected to be the best player, and still may be. He is still #1 in offensive rebounding (27.1%) and 81st in the country in drawing fouls, and is 3rd in the county in the percent of time he gets the ball during his team's trip (37.9% of all possessions). He has 113.8 points per 100 possessions, just a bit off his first two seasons due to a few more turnovers and missed shots, but he is right there to shot up.
The nice surprises though have been Chris Otule, who is once again swatting shots but has a 124.9 points per 100 possession average due to 72% shooting from the floor. If he can keep that going when tougher competition hits, MU really will have two strong big men. Juan Anderson has a 108.8 per 100 rating due to great offensive rebounding and 3-point shooting, but he has also been one of hte top shot blockers and stealers (112th in country at 4.9%), and Jake Thomas is among national leaders with a 119.5 and his much needed Defensive Rebounding figure of 17.8%.
I realize the other surprise will be that Vander Blue is not on the list, even as we all pray for a speedy return. Certainly with all of his athletic skill we see the tremendous potential for a breakout year with his 5 of 12 shooting on treys and 10 of 12 from the line. While his game-by-game NetVal ratings (based on Dean Olivier's statistics) have been good, once you adjust for MU only playing the 273rd toughest defenses to date, his two point shooting (16 of 42 for 38%) and fairly high turnover rate (18.3%) holds him down to only 96 points per 100 times with the ball. The national average is 100 per 100, but if he can come back healthy and cut out a few turnovers and avoid some of the 2-point misses, he will certainly shoot up the list quickly. Here are the numbers for the players already in the top 1500 list below:
|164||Jamil Wilson||Marquette||6' 7"||Jr||4.81||-1.28||0.00||6.08|
|537||Davante Gardner||Marquette||6' 8"||Jr||3.34||-0.28||0.00||3.62|
|754||Chris Otule||Marquette||6' 11"||Sr||2.30||-0.59||0.00||2.89|
|796||Juan Anderson||Marquette||6' 6"||So||0.92||-1.84||0.00||2.77|
|1125||Jake Thomas||Marquette||6' 3"||Jr||1.04||-0.85||0.00||1.89|
|1312||Junior Cadougan||Marquette||6' 1"||Sr||0.00||0.00||1.50||1.50|