"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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's come to this, after the disappointing Villanova loss, is the season "over"?

You watched the Villanova game and so did we. That game was simultaneously less frustrating and more frustrating than it seemed (probably won't make more sense on the pod, but give it a go). We breakdown the game, what went wrong, what went right, and does the result change any of our opinions. We also dive into the long lingering brush fire on twitter/message board/interwebs/bar time that is John Dawson vs Derrick Wilson. That discussion expands to the freshman minutes in general and Anonymous Eagle's call for more time for Dawson/Burton/JJJ. Once we add fuel to those fires, we move on to preview Providence and St Johns, and one of us is a total negative Nancy. The team may be down but the podcast is on the top of it's game, we even made it through without a single Seinfeld reference(we think). Give it a listen and lets all hope for less bad days. Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How one minute and 13 seconds of play can pollute expectations months later

I've stopped and started writing this blog entry probably five times in the last six months, but after reading OnMilwaukee's story today about MU and time running out, it seemed now of never. There were some quotes in that article from Buzz Williams that were dead on right. He may have said them back in the day and people just ignored them, or felt it was Buzz just being a coach and lowering expectations. People should have paid more attention, the media especially.

Let's start first by taking a look back. Last year was a special year in MU basketball lore. Our first Big East regular season championship, a trip to the Elite 8 to cap a three year run of Sweet 16, Sweet 16, Elite 8 performances. That's a resume that 98% of schools across the country would sign up for right now. As a result, the expectations for the 2013-2014 season were more of the same. MU was moving to a slightly watered down, but still very solid Big East. Back were two senior big men men, the backup PG, a talented but engimatic Todd Mayo, and a loaded freshmen recruiting class. Supposed to be back was a super talented Vander Blue, but he decided to pursue his NBA dreams. Despite Blue's departure, the loss of their starting PG and young inexperienced newcomers, MU was picked to win the Big East this year.


Appears Buzz correctly identified why...because we had won in the past and why the hell wouldn't it continue? "They don't know who's on our team. If you look at our team, who's on our team? Who's on our team that's really had elite level success? The reason we're being picked is because of what was previously accomplished."

I would take it one step further and not just focus on what was accomplished previously, but how razor thin the accomplishment happened at all. In the last one minute and 13 seconds of the Davidson game in the NCAA Tournament MU needed almost divine intervention to come away with a win. EVERYTHING had to go right for the Warriors AND they needed Davidson to make a big mistake. It happened. Davidson played well down the stretch, only missed one free throw, made other shots, made free throws, but also watched MU hit three consecutive three pointers that they couldn't make the first 39 minutes. Then the big turnover by Davidson, the refs stopping the game to review to give MU a free timeout, and the Vander layup for the win. Pretty incredible, some would call lucky. Buzz described the advancement as a situation we are lucky to be in.

Regardless of your interpretation of the end of the Davidson game, what if it didn't happen? Say MU misses just one of those three pointers? Davidson makes their free throw and doesn't turn it over? Vander's kiss falls short? Say we didn't win that game, went down as a three seed in the first game. Would expectations be different this year? Would MU be chosen to win the Big East? Would Vander Blue have left?

If Buzz is right and we were picked to win the Big East and all the expectations that go with it due to past accomplishments then it seems if that most recent accomplishment was wiped out in a stunning upset loss, expectations would have changed. For the record, I think he is right and we were picked based on the past, not what we have which is a youthful team that is inconsistent and struggles at times at the guard positions. It goes to show that the line is razor thin. The ball bouncing a foot closer to the Davidson player likely means we lose, expectations are lowered, this season is viewed differently as more of the rebuilding year it really is.

A chance to watch that last one minute and 13 seconds again below and perhaps in your minds wonder if it didn't happen, would you view this year differently? Just as if the Final Four didn't happen in 2003, would you view the immediate years to follow differently? Expectations can get grossly out of whack based on a mere play or even 73 seconds of action.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Two Mayos

There's been a ton of discussion this season as to the reasons for Marquette's inability to pull out some tough games. This weekend featured a rarity, a loss in which Todd Mayo really stepped up and played well throughout. No player on Marquette's team has been more of an indicator of Marquette success than Mayo. When Marquette wins, Todd Mayo is often one of the best players on the court. When Marquette loses, it seems like Mayo simply can't buy a basket.

Yet this past Saturday, Mayo stepped up and Marquette still lost. So what made the Villanova game different from the other losses? One thing that stood out to me was the venue. 7 of Marquette's 9 losses have come away from the Bradley Center. And looking at the numbers, it is shocking to see the disparity in Todd Mayo's play at home and on the road. I can't really explain it, so I'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

Todd at Home

Games: 10
Minutes: 22.6
FG%: 51.4% (38/74)
3P%: 37.0% (10/27)
FT%: 85.7% (42/49)
Rebounds: 2.7
Assists: 1.7
Steals: 1.1
Points: 12.8

Todd on the Road

Games: 8 (2 DNP)
Minutes: 19.9
FG%: 36.2% (17/47)
3P%: 26.3% (5/19)
FT%: 61.5% (8/13)
Rebounds: 1.6
Assists: 1.4
Steals: 0.4
Points: 5.9

One thing seems certain. If Marquette wants to have a chance to end up in the NCAA Tournament, they need Mayo to bring some of that consistently good home play to games away from the BC. Hopefully that will happen before the end of conference play, because by the time this team gets to New York for the Big East Tournament, it may be too late.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gardner now ranked 58th best offensive player; Cotton 7th

Davante Gardner's recent dominant play has moved him up to No. 58 of roughly 4000 college players in the new Offensive Value Add ratings. Gardner's 4.38 indicates he adds about that many points to Marquette's score over what a good replacement would do, though his defense gives the opponent an extra 0.39 points to give him an overall Value Add rating of 3.99 to make Gardner the 123rd best player overall.

Of the 350 other teams in the country, only 39 have an offensive player better than Gardner, and only 83 have a better overall player according to Value Add. However, one of those teams is Thursday's opponent Providence which features Bryce Cotton (7th best offensive player, 61st overall) and LaDontae Henton (80th overall).

This will be the fourth time this season Marquette has faced a team with more than one top 100 player (Wisconsin, Creighton and New Mexico). Doug McDermott is the greatest offensive player in the history of Value Add, as he is the third best offensive player for the third consecutive season. No other player has ever been in the top 5 even two seasons. However, the best overall opponent this season has been Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, who Marquette got into foul trouble to hold to 11 points and 4 rebounds while Chris Otule and Gardner combined for 27 points and 12 rebounds to almost pull a huge road upset.

The following are the rankings for all Marquette players and their opponents. Note that Marquette's redshirt freshman Luke Fischer, the 6'11' transfer from Indiana, is ranked based just on the 16% of Indiana's minutes he has played in this year due to leaving for Milwaukee. If he had started the whole season and played 64% of Indiana's minutes, he would rank as the 581st best offensive player and 685th overall. In his limited action, he hit 56% of his shots and blocked 8.5% of opponents' shots while he was on the floor - and even higher rate than Otule who ranks 99th in the country.

1411Frank KaminskyWisconsin7' 0Jr5.646.82
316Doug McDermottCreighton6' 8"Sr7.016.64
625Kendall WilliamsNew Mexico6' 4"Sr6.206.01
1842D'Vauntes Smith-RiveraGeorgetown6' 3"So5.405.54
1648Cameron BairstowNew Mexico6' 9"Sr5.625.28
49Ben BrustWisconsin6' 1"Sr5.055.27
53Jordan BachynskiArizona St.8' 2"Sr2.805.20
761Bryce CottonProvidence6' 1"Sr6.135.04
70Sam DekkerWisconsin6' 7"So4.334.87
73Aaron CraftOhio St.6' 2"Sr1.404.77
80LaDontae HentonProvidence6' 6"Jr3.614.65
89Jahenns ManigatCreighton6' 1"Sr4.404.54
58123Davante GardnerMarquette6' 8"Sr4.383.99
747588Todd MayoMarquette6' 3"Jr1.341.56
1671665Juan AndersonMarquette6' 6"Jr0.121.37
1649689Deonte BurtonMarquette6' 4"Fr0.141.31
1101848Jamil WilsonMarquette6' 7"Sr0.721.01
12901122Chris OtuleMarquette6' 11"Sr0.490.63
8281166Jake ThomasMarquette6' 3"Sr1.180.59
10501179JaJuan JohnsonMarquette6' 5"Fr0.790.58
13451483Luke FischerIndiana6' 11"Fr0.420.33
20181714Steve TaylorMarquette6' 7"So0.000.18
20821965Derrick WilsonMarquette6' 1"Jr0.000.07
NRDuane WilsonMarquette6' 2"Fr0.000.00
NRDylan FloodMarquette6' 4"Jr0.000.00

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hey how 'bout that, a win, on the road, against an opponent that isn't the worst...huh

To paraphrase a famous fictional tv personality, "we are in a glass case of emotion!" The Butler loss Saturday was one of the most deflating of the season but then roughly 54.256 hours later the fan base is insane with joy over a game tying 3 from Todd Mayo and a overtime dominance that lands Marquette it's biggest win of the season. Yes, that is a run on sentence, but who cares MU won a game on the road that they had to have! So we discuss all of that in this episode of Scrambled Eggs. We also discuss a lot of questions that the last two games have left unanswered: Steve Taylor where have you been? John Dawson, first of many good games or infuriating tease? Can MU make a run to get back into the tourny discussion (don't care what you think, they are OUT right now)? Does MU have a shot against Nova in a must win scenario at home? How does Buzz coach these evolving pieces going forward? How many Seinfeld references can Joe make in a single podcast? It's a very engrossing podcast, so enjoy. Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mayo, Anderson, Thomas 3 Overachievers Heading into Crucial Noon Game

Todd Mayo, Juan Anderson and Jake Thomas are the three Marquette players who have exceeded their Value Add projections this season heading into a game at an even more disappointing Butler. The opportunities are there for someone to step up down the stretch to give the team a run and shot at extending their string of bids, but they almost must win every winnable game such as today.

Two years ago I projected this team as an Elite 8 team led by JC transfer Jameel McKay, Vander Blue, and others on the roster. The signing of Duane Wilson seemed to give MU a chance at a point guard to take over from Junior. The fact that those three players transferred, left to tryout for the pros and were injured, respectively, took almost 10 points of Projected Value Add and that is enough to drop a team from 30th to 130th.

The team was projected to have perhaps the best depth in basketball with NINE players in the top 20% (top 800) of all college players. However, in addition to the loss of those three players, Steve Taylor, JuJuan Johnson, Chris Otule and most disappointingly Jamil Wilson have not even been in the top 30% (Top 1200 players).

The four players who have been strong according to Value Add are Davante Gardner, Todd Mayo, Deonte Burton and Juan Anderson. While Gardner's rank of 283rd is very good, he is nowhere near his projected place as the 50th most valuable player in the country.

So let's try looking at the glass as half full. Jamil's potential is apparent to everyone. If he lights it up, Jake pulls out some games with downtown shots, and most importantly Buzz can figure out if he can get some shooting out of the point guard position to prevent all of the double teams on Davante and Jamil, then the team does have the firepower to turn it on and beat a lot of teams.

Marquette is a one to five point underdog in each of the next three games according to www.kenpom.com. If MU can get two wins in these games - at Butler and Georgetown and at home against Villanova - there would start to be a ray of hope of a bid, so let's see who can step up starting at Noon tomorrow against a Butler team that MU last beat to make it three straight Sweet 16 games. Today may be a bit of a do-or-die as well, so GO Marquette!

Marquette RosterClass2014 Value AddRankProjectedProjected RankOver/Under perform
Gardner, Davante4 Sr3.222836.8250-3.6
Mayo, Todd3 Jr2.265040.9416701.32
Burton, Deonte1 Fr1.746852.71620-0.97
Anderson, Juan3 Jr1.77001.2813630.42
Otule, Chris4 Sr0.912162.3754-1.4
Wilson, Jamil4 Sr0.912194.69165-3.79
Thomas, Jake4 Sr0.6314980.4822360.15
Johnson, JaJuan1 Fr0.6115193.39435-2.78
Wilson, Derrick3 Jr0.3119750.941667-0.63
Dawson, John1 Fr0.2520710.881727-0.63
Taylor, Steve2 So0.1523033.04518-2.89
Not playing12.6727.47-14.8
Wilson, Duane1 FrinjuredNR2.48685-2.48
McKay, Jameel3 JrtransferNR3.44433-3.44
Blue, Vander4 SrIsraelNR3.94228-3.94

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Scrambled Questions went well.....I think

We asked you for your questions and you guys delivered...a lot of different stuff. Good questions, interesting questions, soliloquies disguised as questions, and some I just don't know what. So in return we delivered rambling, occasionally incoherent and definitely wandering answers to those questions. We covered a lot of ground and definitely enjoyed it. It's hard to detail everything we talked about so you'll just have to listen. Assuming you guys enjoy it we will definitely need to do Scrambled Questions again. So sit back, enjoy and remember, you asked us you have no one to blame but yourself Download this episode (right click and save)

Five Charts That Show Why Marquette Should be Better (But Isn't Yet)

First things first, these charts are using the Net Points stat, which is a measurement that looks at the offensive and defensive contributions of each player and then assigns value. For example, if Marquette wins by ten points, the stat attempts to assign credit for the win to the members of the team based on how many min they play and their offensive and defensive ratings. There are some limitations in the stat, mostly on the defensive end, because it's all based on box score stats. If a defensive contribution does not show up on the box score, it won't get captured. However, I have come back to using the stat because it generally passes the red-faced test, and I like the story it helps paint over a season. For example, the best collection of stats was Jae Crowder's senior year.

Chart #1 - Marquette is getting quality contributions this year

This chart shows the comparison of the top fifteen Net Points contributions through this mid-point of the year over the past three seasons. It's not as top heavy as previous years, but there are still plenty of quality contributions on the floor.

Chart #2 - Burton (#BANE) is contributing at the highest level over the past three years

Here's a similar comparison for only freshmen over the past three years. Most freshmen are net-neutral or negative. Even #FreeSteveTaylor was only slightly net-positive at this point. Mayo had a strong start but had already started to fade. Bane is contributing at the highest level seen and showing no signs of slowing down.

Chart #3 - There is a quality shooting guard on the roster

Here's a similar comparison of Vander from last year with Todd from this year. Todd is actually contributing at a higher overall trend than Vander did last year. Of course, if you recall all the caveats from the discussion on Net Points, the defensive contributions are not properly represented. However, there is no denying that Mayo can be very good on the court and may be close enough to Blue as a replacement.

Chart #4 - The two worst Net Points contributors are getting the most minutes

Yesterday I tweeted a version of this chart that said it was the entire season in a single chart. This shows the cumulative net points for each player against how many MPG they are receiving. The two worst net point contributors (our starting back court circled in red) are getting the most minutes. The number three and number four best contributors (circled in green) rank fifth and ninth, respectively, in terms of minutes per game.

Chart #5 - If the back court is the issue, there isn't a better PG option on the team

There's no question that the stats aren't particularly kind to Derrick Wilson. Let me first say three things. #1 - I think he's great and I'm rooting for him all the way. #2 - I don't think his defensive contributions show up well in these stats so he is under-rated. #3 - At least he has had six net-positive games. Unfortunately, the other PG option on the team is yet to be net-positive in any contribution, and has had several games where Buzz didn't yet trust him on the court.


There are two ways you can look at this. If you are a pessimist, you can regard Buzz as being obstinate in playing D. Wilson and Thomas over any of the freshmen or Mayo. However, if you're an optimist, you can say that Buzz was teaching some early season lessons and will rely more heavily on Burton and Mayo going forward. You can look at the potential improvement of the offense and see a team that might be better than it shows right now.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Bad Win" in Season of "Good Losses"

In a season that has included impressive single digit losses at Xavier, Arizona State and Wisconsin, Marquette survived a one-point win at home against a Seton Hall team that is not in the top 100 at www.kenpom.com. Despite the disappointment so far this season, Marquette has the biggest gap between the possible ceiling and floor.

In the 18-game, balanced, Big East season Marquette has proven nothing good or bad. The team has only won the two easiest conference games of the season (beating both non-top 100 teams at home). However, the team has also only lost two of the three almost impossible games of the season in road games against the three elite teams to date (losing to Xavier and Creighton with Villanova left).

It appears MU would have the tall task of having to go 10-4 the rest of the way to enter the Big East tournament as a top 50 team in the RPI. Right now the only win over a team projected in the RPI top 50 - George Washington - but has six more chances including home games against Nova, Georgetown, Creighton and Xavier and road games against just the first two.

That is tough, but not impossible, and if MU can go 10-4 and split those six games to have four wins over top 50 teams, the streak of bids could continue due to finishing hot and some close road losses against good teams.

You may notice a banner on this page showing MU going the season with "no double digit losses" a few years ago. That was the result of me noting that in most cases a team that wins by single digits at home would have lost on the road. It is that big a swing. Based on the result, there is a good chance MU would have had wins if Arizona State, Xavier and 16-0 Wisconsin had come to the Bradley Center this year - but on the flip side one has to assume Seton Hall could have won today if the game was played in New Jersey.

If we count all single digit home wins as "ties" and only count games the Big East has played against Top 150 teams, that gives Marquette a 2-4-4 record. Villanova looks truly elite with a 9-1-1 mark that notes nine solid wins against the top 150, only the one loss at Syracuse, and then one shaky win (single digits at home) against Delaware. Creighton is almost as strong with a 7-2 mark that included no close home games either way.

Xavier and Georgetown do not look quite as solid as the top two as both have survived single digit home wins - Georgetown against fairly weak teams in Elon and DePaul while Xavier pulled them off against tougher teams from Marquette and Tennessee (Tennessee later did beat Xavier away from Cincinnati).

Here are the adjusted records and ratings of Big East teams if we count single digit home wins as a tie for both teams:

vs. Top 150WL H u 10%Homes team single digit wins
Villanova91186%barely beat Delaware
Creighton72078%No single digit home games
Xavier63264%barely beat Tenn, Marquette
Georgetown53260%barely beat Elon, DePaul
Providence54155%barely lost at Umass
Marquette24440%barely lost to Xavier, AZ St, WI, beat Seton Hall
St. Johns36135%barely beat Youngstown
Seton Hall13233%barely lost at Mercer, Marquette
DePaul26332%barely beat Wright St, lost to Ill St, Gtown
Butler26230%barely beat Princeton, Vanderbilt

Friday, January 10, 2014

Xavier Recap

Here are the stats by the half for last night's Xavier game, along with a few comments

It was the defense

The overall tale of this game is that while the offense showed signs of life, Marquette couldn't do anything to stop Xavier from scoring.
Xavier scored 1.21 ppp in the 1H and 1.38 ppp in the 2H. The subplot of the game is that the Musketeers dictated the offensive boards, holding #mubb to half of the normal offensive rebounding percentage per game.

In the first half, it was the standard Marquette average offense, mostly because of the poor eFG%. However, Xavier did not do that much better, but they were significantly better at offensive rebounding percentage. If you are looking for positives, the 1H turnover rate was well below the MU average.

In the 2H, Marquette's offense woke up, scoring 1.27 ppp on 62% eFG% and a tiny turnover rate of 6%. However, Xavier was able to shoot 72% (SEVENTY TWO PERCENT) eFG% and still dominate the offensive rebounding percentage.

For the game, the positives are that the overall offense should have been good enough to win. 1.16 ppp is part of the general improvement on the #mubb offense we've been hoping to see. The eFG% was a nice improvement, and the turnover rate was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, allowing Xavier to shoot 59% and more than double-up OR% doomed Marquette.

Picture of the Day

Jamil Wilson (12 minutes, 1 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 points, 5 fouls)
Derrick Wilson (22 minutes, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 points, 5 fouls)

Chart of the Day - defensive eFG% by opponent for the year

A few comments on FTR

I was ticked off about the refs when Jim McIlvaine tweeted that the refs were Jim Burr, Pat Driscoll, AND Jim Breeding. My general rule is that I shouldn't know any of the refs, let alone all three of them. Sure enough, the FTR advantage was substantially in Xavier's favor. (Plus, Jamil fouled out in only 12 minutes.) However, complaining about the refs is pointless. And honestly, even though Xavier had a FTR of almost 90% for the game, because of the eFG% and OR% advantage, Xavier would have won even had they had a free throw rate of zero.

Final thoughts

Before running the numbers, I was pretty encouraged by the game last night. If nothing else, Marquette's offense woke up, the team battled back, and there were contributions from new sources. Plus, Xavier is a tough place to play even with Jamil being in the entire game. Last night's game was directionally correct. However, the fact remains that the defense last night was pretty bad and Marquette is an average team at best. As mentioned in the last podcast, maybe a reset of expectations isn't necessarily bad. I still think there is time for #mubb to turn it around, but that window is getting very small.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

First week of the new Big East is in the books, and we've got a lot to talk about

Luke Fischer, according to his twitter, is Marquette's newest post player which will make next season interesting. There were two games this week, a complete dumpster fire at Creighton and a near dumpster fire at home against DePaul. We discuss the games, if it's a good thing that Buzz has shortened up the bench, what hold Jake Thomas has on Buzz, and what Jajaun Johnson has done to not be getting minutes. It's not all bad as Cracked Sidewalk's contributor Rob Lowe has put together stats that say the offense may improve. We discuss if we think the stats are on to something or if Rob has last his last grip on reality. We also spent some time talking about next year and why it's important to get some freshmen some minutes. Wrapping up the pod is an review of the Xavier and Seton Hall games. Giving you the bottom line, the Xavier game is extremely important but we aren't overwhelmed with optimism. Who knows, next week we might be talking about what a great week it was, lets hope. Download this episode (right click and save)

Can the MU Offense Be Good Again Soon?

I was throwing out some info on twitter, and decided to make it a little more long-form.

I've been running some numbers, and the #mubb offense may not be that far from being good. Hear me out. I think the MU offense is pretty close to being fixable instead of the train wreck it's been.

First, a quick recap of the Four Factors and their importance: Offense is about 50% eFG%, 24% Turnovers, 22% OR%, and 4% FTR. eFG% is by far the most important aspect of an offense (or defense). In Marquette's average games (about 1.06 ppp), and also generally over the past 10 games, the eFG% has been showing signs of life. Of course, this doesn't reflect the game at Creighton. However, the #mubb average eFG% in November was (44.9%) but it improved in December to 51.2%.

If eFG% can stay in the 51-52% range, then it's really just a matter of some improvement on either OR% or TORate for #mubb. How much? Honestly, it's not that much improvement. It could be as little as 2-4 more ORs per game or 2-3 fewer turnovers. 

I really think #mubb is that close to being solid offensively again. But there's a challenge. The best offensive rebounding lineup for #mubb isn't close to the best ball protection lineup. However, Buzz is smart. The lineup getting the most minutes for #mubb lately? His top Offensive Rebounding lineup. The lineup getting the #2 amount of minutes? His top ball protect lineup. Again, Buzz knows what he's doing. Really, none of this should be a surprise. Buzz knows how to make an offense work. It's just taking a little longer.

Here are some numbers to note: Assuming #mubb can keep the eFG% up, 12-14 offensive rebounds per game and 13 turnovers or less per game are the target. Of course, this all assumes that #mubb has the eFG% on track . Because if the eFG% stays at the current ranking/level (around 49%), there is virtually zero chance the offense improves

The key is the mediocre offensive performances. #mubb's TO% has been around 20% in those. Improving to 17% is about two TOs. That's it. The eFG% has been legit in those games. Keep the eFG% at a good level and then it's just some tinkering on ORs or TOs to turn the corner. For example, had Marquette protected the ball at an average rate vs DPU, the efficiency would have been 1.20 ppp.

Am I saying that Marquette will be awesome or win the BE title? No. All I am saying is that the #mubb offense may be better than we think sooner than we think. A few more ORs or a few less TOs would make the difference between #mubb having a #110 offense and a Top 50 offense.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Fischer update from Indiana

Former Marquette coach Tom Crean was asked on his radio show about the transfer of Luke Fischer to MU and the reasons why he may have chosen Marquette. “He chose to go to Marquette, which we saw yesterday, which is close to his home,” Crean said. “He’s closer to home. I don’t think any of us had any doubt when (Fischer and his family) walked out last week that he wasn’t going to go very far from his house.” “He did a good job here,” Crean said. “He had very good future potential. There’s no question the injury set him back a little bit early on here, and he probably never quite got maybe where he wanted to be, but he was improving. We felt really good about his future. But you know what, we’re going to feel pretty good about someone else’s future here when we sign someone. It’s just the way it is. I have no ill will with him. Great family, great young man.” The comments can be found in the Hoosier Scoop. In addition, fans asking why some players are awarded playing time over other more talented players simply because they practice harder....sounds a lot like Buzz Williams. http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/2014/01/crean-talks-hollowell-fischer-shooting-on-radio-show/#more-27876

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Fischer transfer to Marquette from Indiana official

Earlier this week, Indiana freshmen Luke Fischer announced he would transfer from Indiana University.  Speculation among several people close to the Indiana program indicated a desire for a better fit, a chance to be closer to home and a smaller setting in terms of campus size.  Not entirely surprising when one considers the schools Fischer was heavily recruited by tended to be smaller schools like Marquette, Dayton, Creighton, Butler, and Boston College.  The two larger schools in play were Iowa and Indiana, where Fischer ultimately landed.

When the decision to transfer was announced, former Marquette coach Tom Crean released as statement, "Luke has decided to withdraw from Indiana and pursue another educational and basketball opportunity. He explained to us he is looking for a different fit for him. We hate to see a fine young man like Luke leave, but he has made his decision and we wish the entire Fischer family well."

Fischer's decision ultimately came down to Creighton, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette, seemingly to confirm his desire to play closer to home in a smaller setting more comfortable to him (Creighton and Bloomington are each about 6 hours and 40 minutes from Baraboo, WI, but Creighton is a much different setting than Bloomington).  Fischer's tweet today seems in line with the information from IU sources: "Marquette allows me to be closer to home while playing at the highest level for a great academic institution."

 When Fischer announced his transfer this week, Indiana University had stated a transfer in conference to another Big Ten school would not be allowed.  Seemed to be a moot point as Justin Litscher, Fischer's former coach who was fielding inquiries stated “That was a moot point.  They weren’t going to attend any Big Ten school anyway.”   Tom Crean did not block a transfer request to Marquette.  Litscher had indicated Crean and IU to his knowledge did not block a transfer to any school other than Big Ten schools.

Fischer will enroll at MU for the second semester.    He will be eligible to play second semester of next season.  Fischer was ranked 34th nationally as a recruit, won the Mr. Basketball title in the state of Wisconsin.  He is 6'11" tall 230lbs and will likely play the center and power forward positions at MU.  With the graduation of Chris Otule and Devante Gardner this season, Fischer will fill a void for MU along with incoming recruit Satchel Pierce.

Marquette is over committed by one scholarship for next season, indicating one incoming recruit will no longer come to MU or someone will leave early.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Luke Fischer to Marquette? Not yet, but the Big Ten is out

Luke Fischer confirmed today that he will not transfer to a Big Ten school after leaving Indiana.  Fischer is from Germantown, WI and it has been widely speculated that one of the reasons he left Indiana was due to a desire to play closer to home.

The following tweets were sent out from Fischer in the last half hour.