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)
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.
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.