"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, December 31, 2016

First Big East win to get ready for the new year!

Podcast has been on a break for the holidays, somewhat unplanned but after the first big win of the Big East system, we're back to talk about Marquette basketball. We jump right in and talk about the victory over Georgetown this past Wednesday. As part of that discussion we highlight the outstanding performance of Markus Howard who, you may have heard, is only 17. We also chat about how the coaching staff seems to be finally getting the players into the roles they desire them so that the whole is greater than the parts. We also have to talk about JaJuan Johnson's post-game "observations" of Georgetown's defensive intensity and while we're having fun we talk about Wojo's interview of Markus Howard, which gave us a look into "fun" Wojo which we haven't really seen before (http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/college/marquette/2016/12/29/wojciechowski-has-fun-howard-after-win/95948696/). As we transition to the upcoming games, we talk about whether Seton Hall is the same match up this year as last year. Additionally, going to Philadelphia and taking on the number 1 team in the country is going to be a tall ask for anyone. We break down what has to happen in each game for Marquette to give themselves a chance to win. Bottom line, this next week is going to be very tough for Marquette but if they can win at least one of them that leaves them on schedule to a top 5 Big East finish. It's going to be an interesting week for Marquette, let's see how this plays out together. Download this episode (right click and save)

53% Chance at Bid; Updated Top 50; JJJ Closing on MVP

A year ago I wrote that Marquette needed 23 wins to make the NCAA tournament and had a 3.2% chance of making the tournament. I will not recreate the math here, but using the same combination of RPI Forecast, MU needs only 20 total wins this year (season and/or Big East tournament) and has a 54 percent chance at a bid.

I ran an extremely detailed effort today to review all player changes and other factors, and rank MU as having the 43rd best chance at making the tournament (see top 50 here).

The two impact performances vs. Georgetown resulted in Marquette becoming on of only eight teams with five players in the top 10% of all players, and JuJuan Johnson (worth 6.50 points per game) almost taking over first place from Luke Fischer (6.57).

Nat'l RnkTop 10% of all playersPt Value
225Luke Fischer #406.57
230JaJuan Johnson #236.50
384Haanif Cheatham #255.43
396Sam Hauser #105.36
411Markus Howard #05.25

There are now 4,123 players rated in www.valueaddbasketball.com, leaving Howard just in the top 10 percent - and keep in mind players get a ZERO when they miss a game.

The only other teams with that balance are Arizona, Clemson, Duke, Louisville, UNC, Purdue and SMU.

A 50% better chance of making the tournament than last year is a nice Christmas Present.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Georgetown's two All-Big East Players Next Up; MU one of Few Teams with 4 in Top 10%

The Georgetown Hoyas will be the first to visit after Christmas, and they bring two of the top six Big East players in Rodney Pryor and LJ Peak.

Marquette counters with balance. Markus Howard might be be in the top 10% of all Value Add players (top 400) if not for the concussion, and even without him Marquette is one of only 22 teams with four players in the top 10 percent at www.valueaddbasketball.com. MU joins fellow Big East teams Butler, Seton Hall and Villanova as well as the ACC's Clemson, Duke and North Carolina; the American's Cincinnati and SMU; the Big Ten's Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin; the Big 12s Baylor and Texas Tech; the MVC's Wichita St.; the Pac 12s Oregon, UCLA and USC; the SEC's Kentucky and South Carolina; and finally the WCC's Gonzaga.

While we will need to clean up the headers, Value Add also now indicates when an injured player will return (Gone if left team, Sea if out for season, or the month they will return) and how many games they have played. Remember that any time a player misses a game his Value Add ranking for that game is 0.0, so Bradley Hayes for Georgetown has a Value Add ranking of 1.50, but when you notice he has played only 8 games while his teammates have played 12, you realize he would be worth about 50% more (2.25 Value Add) if he has not had to sit out the first four games.

1Josh Hart, No.316.2VillanovaSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
17JP Macura, No.5510.9XavierPG*1.2*12Gms6' 5"Jr
28Rodney Pryor, No.2310.3GeorgetownC*1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
31Mikal Bridges, No.2510.2VillanovaSF*1*12Gms6' 7"So
43Trevon Bluiett, No.59.7XavierSF*1*12Gms6' 6"Jr
44LJ Peak, No.09.7GeorgetownSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"Jr
65Khyri Thomas, No.28.9CreightonSG*1.1*12Gms6' 3"So
69Shamorie Ponds, No.28.8St. John'sSG*1.1*13Gms6' 1"Fr
73Andrew Chrabascz, No.458.8ButlerSG*1.1*12Gms6' 7"Sr
92Jalen Brunson, No.18.3VillanovaPG*1.2*12Gms6' 2"So
95Emmitt Holt, No.158.2ProvidenceSG*1.1*11Gms6' 7"Jr
101Edmond Sumner, No.48.1XavierSG*1.1*12Gms6' 6"So
115Tyler Lewis, No.17.9ButlerPG*1.2*12Gms5' 11"Sr
124Justin Patton, No.237.7CreightonC*1*12Gms7' 0Fr
152Jalen Lindsey, No.217.3ProvidenceC*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
171Khadeen Carrington, No.07.1Seton HallSG*1.1*11Gms6' 4"Jr
191Rodney Bullock, No.56.8ProvidenceSF*1*12Gms6' 8"Jr
223Kris Jenkins, No.26.6VillanovaPF*1*12Gms6' 6"Sr
237Luke Fischer, No.406.4MarquetteC*1*12Gms6' 11"Sr
263Angel Delgado, No.316.2Seton HallC*1*11Gms6' 10"Jr
274Kelan Martin, No.306.2ButlerPF*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
287Haanif Cheatham, No.256.1MarquetteSG*1.1*12Gms6' 5"So
298Jessie Govan, No.156GeorgetownPF*1*12Gms6' 10"So
302JaJuan Johnson, No.236MarquetteSF*1*12Gms6' 5"Sr
354Myles Powell, No.135.7Seton HallSG*1.1*11Gms6' 2"Fr
359Desi Rodriguez, No.205.6Seton HallSF*1*11Gms6' 6"Jr
381Tyler Wideman, No.45.5ButlerC*1*12Gms6' 8"Jr
382Maurice Watson, No.105.5CreightonPG*1.2*12Gms5' 10"Sr
392Sam Hauser, No.105.4MarquettePF*1*12Gms6' 6"Fr
415Marcus Foster, No.05.3CreightonSG*1.1*12Gms6' 3"Jr
479Eli Cain, No.114.9DePaulSF*1*12Gms6' 6"So
482Kamar Baldwin, No.34.9ButlerSG*1.1*12Gms6' 0Fr
527Darryl Reynolds, No.454.6VillanovaC*1*12Gms6' 9"Sr
528RaShid Gaston, No.354.6XavierC*1*12Gms6' 9"Sr
609Markus Howard, No.04.2MarquettePG*1.2*11Gms5' 11"Fr
616Avery Woodson, No.04.2ButlerPG*1.2*12Gms6' 2"Sr
621Donte DiVincenzo, No.104.2VillanovaSF*1*12Gms6' 5"So
672Kyron Cartwright, No.244ProvidencePG*1.2*12Gms5' 11"Jr
733Marcus LoVett, No.153.7St. John'sPG*1.2*10Gms6' 0Fr
742Tre'Darius McCallum, No.103.7DePaulPF*1*12Gms6' 7"Jr
780Toby Hegner, No.323.5CreightonC*1*12Gms6' 10"Jr
817Nate Fowler, No.513.4ButlerPF*1*12Gms6' 10"So
846Tariq Owens, No.113.3St. John'sC*1*13Gms6' 11"So
847Madison Jones, No.303.3Seton HallPG*1.2*11Gms6' 2"Sr
894Cole Huff, No.133.1CreightonSF*1*12Gms6' 8"Sr
946Andrew Rowsey, No.303MarquettePG*1.2*12Gms5' 10"Jr
969Eric Paschall, No.42.9VillanovaC*1*12Gms6' 7"So
1034Michael Nzei, No.12.7Seton HallC*1*11Gms6' 8"So
1037Ryan Fazekas, No.352.7ProvidencePF*1*12Gms6' 8"So
1132Sean O'Mara, No.542.5XavierC*1*12Gms6' 10"Jr
1183Duane Wilson, No.12.3MarquetteSG*1.1*12Gms6' 2"Jr

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holidays are upon us, let's hope Marquette can unwrap a new defense

Welcome back to the Scrambled Eggs podcast, holiday edition. It's a holiday edition in that we mention Christmas at some point. Other than that the focus is on Marquette basketball: So what happened. First we talk about the most recent news, Traci Carter deciding to leave the program at semester end. Given our proclivity to overreact in the past, this is a somewhat measured discussion about the impact of Traci leaving and how Marquette basketball moves forward from here. It also generates a discussion about roster turnover and what Wojo may do with 3 more open scholarships for next year (Wally, Sandy and Traci scholarships). We then turn to the terrible result at the end of #BadgerHateWeek with a convincing drubbing of Marquette by the hated red menace. We talk about what happened in the game, what it means for the season as a whole, and most critically what the hell is up with the defense. We have a detailed discussion about Marquette's defense and how they move forward into the Big East with a boat we can row really fast(offense) but is leaking like a sieve(defense). We close out with thoughts on the Big East and what challenges face Marquette come December 28th. As always we hope you enjoy the pod and hope everyone enjoys the holidays with their loved ones and Marquette basketball. Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

3 Freshman in American have hit 20+ 3-pointers at 50% clip, and 2 of them are ...

Marquette is one of 14 teams with more than one freshman in the top 20% of all players according to Value Add Basketball. Kentucky has four, while Arizona, Auburn, Florida State, Maryland and Miami FL have three.

Sam Hauser (600th of 4000+) and Markus Howard (682nd and skyrocketing) let MU join UCLA, Michigan State, Virginia, Appalachian State, St. John's Penn State and Drexel with two elite freshman.

During Saturday's loss to Wisconsin, Sam Hauser was finally stopped, but the other incredible freshman three-point shooter was incredible again.

When it comes to hitting threes, Marquette's freshman lap the field. There are only three freshman in the country who have hit at least 20 three-pointers at a 50% clip - MUs two stars and Hofstra's Eli Pemberton.

Josh Hart is the top ranked player in any of the Power 6 Conferences in both Value Add and www.kenpom.com at this point.

Here are the top 10 freshman three-point shooters among those who have hit at least 20 this season.

Freshman with 20+ 3PM3PM-3PAPct
Eli Pemberton, No.5, Hofstra21-4151.2%
Sam Hauser, No.10, Marquette23-4551.1%
Markus Howard, No.0, Marquette21-4250.0%
Kari Jonsson, No.12, Drexel22-4647.8%
Lauri Markkanen, No.10, Arizona21-4447.7%
Isaiah Ross, No.2, UMKC20-4346.5%
Lonzo Ball, No.2, UCLA24-5345.3%
Marcus LoVett, No.15, St. John's20-4544.4%
Shamorie Ponds, No.2, St. John's31-7044.3%
Myles Powell, No.13, Seton Hall22-5341.5%

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The team delivered important wins, now we can focus on #BadgerHateWeek

The most hateful time of year is here and we're excited to talk about it. However, first we have to talk about the two wins Marquette got this week, on the road against Georgia and at home against a frisky Fresno State. We talk about the team's performance in both games, especially the freshman, Sam Hauser and Markus Howard. After spending time breaking down critical performances and concerns over Haanif Cheatham's slump, we jump into #BadgerHateWeek The discussion covers the ins and outs of Saturday's game against our hated rival, including keys to the games, player match ups, and predictions. We have a lot of fun hating on the red menace, we hope you enjoy it with us. Ring Out Ahoya! Download this episode (right click and save)

Current Forecast: Play-in Game in Dayton then Wisconsin in NCAA 1st Round

As Marquette gets ready for the Wisconsin Badgers, and interesting forecast played out on the RPI Forecast site. If bids were passed out exclusively by the projected final RPI for each school, with automatic bids accounted for, Marquette would be the third from final at-large bid.

The last four in play in Dayton in the opening week, and under this scenario if every favored team kept winning except for Marquette, the following would be Marquette's path:

Dayton: (12) Wake Forest vs. (12) Marquette

1st Round: Marquette vs. (5) Wisconsin again (the third best 5-seed on the s-curve)

2nd Round: Marquette vs. (4) Saint Mary's

Regional Semi: Marquette vs. (1) Kansas

Regional Championship: Marquette vs. (2) Baylor

Final Four: Marquette vs. (1) North Carolina

National Championship: Marquette vs. (overall No. 1) Villanova

The other Big East teams would be:

Butler (last 3-seed)
Xavier (1st 4-seed)
Creighton (last 5-seed)

With Marquette as the 5th and Final Big East Seed:

Providence (first 2-seed in NIT)

Seton Hall (top 4-seed in NIT)

And Georgetown missing the NIT by three spots though it would be more due to automatic bids for regular season winners that did not win their tournaments.

Obviously this projection could go way up or down based on Saturday against the Badgers.

Friday, December 02, 2016

All filled up on cupcakes, now things get intersting

We're back with a new podcast after we've all fattened up on cupcakes. We spend some time talking about the three games that MU most recently played to decide if there is anything we can gleam from the performance of the team after the sub-optimal performance in NYC. Then, we get into a few impromptu #ScrambledQs starting with a discussion of the starting line-up. That discussion turns to the hot #mubb social media question, what's up with Katin Reinhardt and is he salvageable. We also spend some more time talking about the point guard situation and how fluid it continues to be. That conversation leads to the topic of significance, the road game against Georgia, breaking down how Marquette could win and whether we think they will. We also talk about how important the Georgia game in the context of the season as prompted by Paint Touches. We also talk a little bit about the trap game, Fresno State, and what to be concerned about. We close out with a couple of fun #ScrambledQs: @MUBBNation wanted to know which one of us had the better jumper and @PaintTouches wants to know if we still hate Buzz and/or Crean and if so why? Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Georgia's Maten (6th best), Nova's Hart (12th) toughest MU Opponents

For the first time in four years, Marquette has three players in the 90th percentile (top 400) most valuable players in the country with Luke Fischer (189th), Haanif Cheatham (261st) and JuJuan Johnson (313th). MU fans were spoiled when MU did it from 2006 to 2013, and in 2003 all five MU starters made it including No. 3 Dwyane Wade and No. 39 Travis Diener being in the 99th percentile, or top 1% of all players.

Below is a list of the top 50 players at Value Add Basketball that you will see if you watch the rest of Marquette's games. While Villanova's Josh Hart is making his case for Player of the Year as the 12th most valuable to date, MU faces an even more valuable opponent Sunday in 6-foot-8 Yante Maten of Georgia. Maten scored 30 points against Kansas and could not miss in the first half, and he is ranked among national leaders in blocked shots and rebounds and actually leads the Bulldogs in steals.

The "Actual Value" shows how many points per 100 trips the player is worth to his team per 100 offensive and defensive trips (Value Add 3.0), while the "If Go To" shows how many they would project to be worth if they received the ball at least 16% of the time (Value Add 4.0).

Below I list players by their actual value, but right now www.valueaddbasketball.com ranks by the projected value:

RnkPlayerTeamHtActual ValIf GoTo
6Yante Maten, #1Georgia6'8"13.3413.34
12Josh Hart, #3Villanova6'5"12.5513.80
19Rodney Pryor, #23Georgetown6'5"12.1312.13
29Rodney Bullock, #5Providence6'8"11.7111.71
37Ethan Happ, #22Wisconsin6'10"11.1711.17
40JP Macura, #55Xavier6'5"10.9813.18
45Mikal Bridges, #25Villanova6'7"10.7513.95
51Eli Cain, #11DePaul6'6"10.6010.60
83Khadeen Carrington, #0Seton Hall6'4"9.6510.62
90Keenan Simmons, #45SIU Edwardsville6'6"9.5715.79
121Khyri Thomas, #2Creighton6'3"8.9111.92
140Jahmel Taylor, #5Fresno St.6'08.5513.27
153Josh Nebo, #32St. Francis PA6'8"8.329.34
181LJ Peak, #0Georgetown6'5"7.978.77
189Luke Fischer, #40Marquette6'11"7.8410.02
193Shamorie Ponds, #2St. John's6'1"7.788.56
215Kris Jenkins, #2Villanova6'6"7.577.57
220Trevon Bluiett, #5Xavier6'6"7.547.54
227JJ Frazier, #30Georgia5'10"7.428.90
246Andrew Chrabascz, #45Butler6'7"7.239.06
261Haanif Cheatham, #25Marquette6'5"7.118.33
275Justin Patton, #23Creighton7'07.0410.06
277Edmond Sumner, #4Xavier6'6"7.037.73
289Cullen Russo, #13Fresno St.6'9"6.958.17
298Keith Braxton, #13St. Francis PA6'4"6.876.87
305Bronson Koenig, #24Wisconsin6'3"6.817.49
313JaJuan Johnson, #23Marquette6'5"6.776.82
316Marcus LoVett, #15St. John's6'06.758.09
324Nigel Hayes, #10Wisconsin6'8"6.706.70
376Kamar Baldwin, #3Butler6'06.3710.32
392Emmitt Holt, #15Providence6'7"6.256.88
407Tre'Darius McCallum, #10DePaul6'7"6.146.66
433Jalen Brunson, #1Villanova6'2"6.007.20
434Myles Powell, #13Seton Hall6'2"6.007.81
486Tyler Lewis, #1Butler5'11"5.719.55
535Desi Rodriguez, #20Seton Hall6'6"5.455.45
603Jalen Lindsey, #21Providence6'7"5.138.31
612Avery Woodson, #0Butler6'2"5.069.30
613Donte DiVincenzo, #10Villanova6'5"5.067.78
633Marcus Foster, #0Creighton6'3"4.935.43
652Tyler Wideman, #4Butler6'8"4.847.23
659Sean O'Mara, #54Xavier6'10"4.818.13
660Darrick Wood, #1DePaul6'5"4.808.55
680Zak Showalter, #3Wisconsin6'3"4.729.04
716Darryl Reynolds, #45Villanova6'9"4.527.71
757Sam Hauser, #10Marquette6'7"4.337.81
762Kelan Martin, #30Butler6'7"4.324.32
792Angel Delgado, #31Seton Hall6'10"4.194.19
810Maurice Watson, #10Creighton5'10"4.124.94
826Michael Nzei, #1Seton Hall6'8"4.057.04