"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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

History Suggests Opponents’ Shooting Drops 10% when Fischer Arrives Dec. 16

Marquette opponents are hitting 57.1% of their two-pointers, but the arrival of shot-blocker Luke Fischer December 16 will drop that figure by 10% if history holds. Fischer blocked 8.8% of opponents’ two-pointers last season at Indiana, and when Marquette has had at least one player average blocking more than 4% of opponents’ two-pointers they have held opponents to 48% or less every season.

Here is the breakdown of opponents' 2-point percentage in relation to MU's top shot-blocker each season:

  • Top shot-blocker below 4% since 2003 (4 times) – every season at least 49.3% allowed for average of 51.7% opponents' 2-point shots made
  • Top shot-blocker above 4% since 2003 (9 seasons) – every season 48% or less for average of 45.7% opponents' field goals made
  • When Jim McIlvaine was 1994 National Defensive Player of the Year he blocked 14.4% and MU allowed a record low 36.8% of opponents' 2-point shots to go in
Despite Marquette’s terrible field goal percentage allowed (the 57.1% allowed ranks MU 328th of 351 defenses), the pressure is so good (force turnovers 25.9% of trips down the court for 20th best of 351 defenses) that the overall defense is almost exactly average (99.5 points per 100 trips).  That’s only the ninth best defense in the Big East, but if the team can keep turning the ball over and Fischer’s presence at the rim lowers the field goal percentage allowed as has always been the case, Marquette could easily move up to about 6th in defense in the Big East.

Marquette is battling Seton Hall to have the 6th best offense, so if they finish 6th in both offense and defense they logically would finish around 6th in the conference instead of 9th - where they are currently projected.

This year Deonte Burton has led the team by blocking 3.5% of opponents’ two-point shots. Marquette also lacked a shot-blocker in 2004 (Terry Sanders 3.4%), 2009 (Jimmy Butler 2.5%) and 2010 (Joe Fulce 2.9%), and opponents’ have averaged making 51.7% of their two-points shots in those years.
In the other seasons since the state has been kept at www.kenpom.com, Dwyane Wade, Marcus Jackson, Jamil Lott, Ousmane Barro (twice), Jamil Wilson, or Chris Otule (three times) have averaged blocking more than 4% of all opponents two-pointers, and in those seasons opponents’ have shot 45.7% on two-pointers.

I went back and did the math myself for the historic 1994 season by Jim McIlvaine, the current Marquette TV announcer who was national defensive player of the year that year.

If Luke Fischer improves at all on his 8.8% of shots blocked at Indiana last year, then he will be the greatest shot-blocker Marquette has had since McIlvaine.

Here is the actual table, which I kept at the bottom of this post since the code is impossible to read for MUScoop readers.

Year2-pt DefRankBlockerBlk%4%+?
199436.81Jim McIlvaine14.4Yes
200345.976Dwyane Wade4.2Yes
200449.3212Terry Sanders3.4No
200544.745Marcus Jackson5.4Yes
200645.987Jamil Lott6.5Yes
200745.252Ousmane Barro4.2Yes
200846.798Ousmane Barro6.4Yes
200950.3265Jimmy Butler2.5No
201050263Joe Fulce2.9No
201148179Chris Otule8.9Yes
201244.448Jamil Wilson5.8Yes
201344.976Chris Otule6.7Yes
201445.768Chris Otule6.4Yes
201557.1328Deonte Burton3.5No
2015??Luke Fischer8.8Yes
2003-51.7Ave less than 4% Block since 20033.1No
2003-45.7Ave more than 4% block since 20036.1Yes

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