"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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bucky Beatdown

Not much to say, but that was a very satisfiying week for #mubb culminating in a dominating performance against in-state rival University of Wisconsin - Madison extension. Basically we relesh the victory and take stock of where the non-conference performance places the team. Let's get to it. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, December 04, 2017

Go ahead and lie down on the couch, we're going to have a bit of a #mubb therapy session

Not to go full Nilihist Arby's but that was a painful loss for Marquette against Georgia. It was a game they needed to win and probably should have won but didn't. We break down the game as well as ask the question "What is wrong with Andrew Rowsey and can he be fixed?". We also spend a little time talking about what we liked from the game but spend most of the time talking about where this leaves the season and how concerned we are. We then looking to the future looking for hope and excitement that is #BadgerHateWeek and a game against Vermont. First up is the Vermont game where we try and figure out why Vermont has a decently ranked KenPom defense but still manages to not be good at a lot of defensive components. It's a must win for MU though and we discuss why. Then we roll into Saturday's big game against hated rival, Wisconsin. We spend a little time reviling in the fact that their basketball program isn't in great shape right now either and how we think the game will go on Saturday. Finally, we spend some time talking about Wojo's tenure at Marquette and whether the fire Wojo crowd will be satisfied this season and what concerns Wojo should have (hint: they won't and none). It's been a tough couple of games, but folks it's #BadgerHateWeek if you can't get excited for that, I don't know what the point is. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Good thing we didn't podcast on Sunday

Well, as we were all trying to get back into the swing of things after a long weekend of giving thanks and shopping, #mubb decided to jolt us all awake. Given the events of Monday we decided to move all the positive talk to the back end of the podcast and start with the more concerning. First, we talk about the almost disaster that was the Eastern Illinois game. Lots of excuses can be made but at the end the day, it was a really bad performance. One of those excuses is the unexpected announcement that Haanif Cheatham is leaving the program effectiv immediately. To say we were surprised is a mild understatement and we reflect on what this means for the team and the short/long term implications. We then turn to more positive thoughts and discuss the successful Maui Invitational appreance over Feastweek. We close out the podcast by prognosticating on the Chicago State and Georgia games, and what we think we will get out of the Haanif-less MU team. Buckle up, it'll be an interesting week. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Purdue gives us cause for concern but Maui will tell the tale

We're back for a new episode of Scrambled Eggs, which we start off by discussing the disappointing loss to Purdue at home. We talk about the game and whether it really means that nothing has changed with Marquette's defense. We then preview the Maui tournament and it's potential impact on Marquette's non-conference schedule. The discussion turns to the first game of the season, VCU and what we espect to see from that game and how concerned fans should be. Finally, we close out the pod by closing out the Quentin Grimes recruitment. Enjoy the Maui tournament and have a Happy Thanksgiving! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Season has started, let's spend some time over analyzing it

The first game of the season is in the books so we should spend some time talking about it before we turn our attention to the big early season match up against Purdue. So for the first regular season podcsast, we spend time talking about Marquette beating up on "The Mount" and what is anything we can extropolate from it. After we spend a lot of time on the first game we transition to talk about the match up with Purdue and how we think that will go. Turning from the season we currently have, we discuss a recent survey that Marquette sent out about ticket pricing at the new stadium that was...curious. We close out the podcast by discussing where MU stands with Quentin Grimes and whether we feel good about it or not. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Buckle up kids, we've got a long Scrambled Eggs pre-season pod for you

It is still the preseason but the last couple of weeks have been action packed for #mubb so we ended up having a mega-Scrambled Eggs pod. First line of discussion, what we've actually seen from the team thanks to two events: Hurricane Relief fundraiser/exhibition against UW-Milwaukee and an open practice for season ticket holders. We talk about key take-aways from this team so far, are we more or less worried than when we had no observable facts, and who among the new comers will be key to this season. We then transition to early talk of the 2018 season, in the form of an on-campus visit for 2018 PG target Quentin Grimes. We talk about what to expect from the visit and afterwards, what Grimes committment or non-committment means to the team, and how to treat the whole thing with dignity (unlike fans/alumni of a certain university 80 miles west of Marquette). We then turn to the full schedule and do a game by game prediction with light analysis of how we see the season going (spoiler alert, Phil is way too optimistic as always and Joe is probably right). Go for a long run or take a road trip, because there is some material to dig through, but after this podcast you should be ready to go and excited for #mubb to start. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Big East Preview Extended to all 32 D1 Conferences - 32 links

For anyone who liked the preview of the Big East yesterday, and was curious about any other conference, here is my link to the rest:

As millions of college students settle on campus, they join alums in watching fellow students compete from the football stadiums to cross country courses such as those my twin Division 1 athletes run. Now www.valueaddbasketball.com rates more than 3,500 basketball players who can start practice in 12 days at Midnight Madness. Pick your conference from the 32 links below for a quick rundown of the top basketball players and teams with a comparison on how each football team ranks.

  1. ACC: Duke Joins Louisville as National Contender with Bagley Signing
  2. American Athletic: Ex-Football Big East Schools Add Basketball-only Wichita State
  3. American East: Albany Chasing Vermont Again
  4. Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure Duo Could Challenge Dayton, Rhode Island and VCU
  5. Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast Shoots for More Upsets If they can Hold Off Lipscomb
  6. Big 12: TCU's Bursts into Football Title Hunt, Then Could Challenge in Toughest Hoops Conference
  7. Big East - St. John's Most Likely to Replace MU to Give Big East 7 Bids Again, Unless MU Defense Improves
  8. Big Sky: Top 100 Player Hall Leads Balanced Hoops Season after E. Washington Football Dominates
  9. Big South: Asheville's Top 100 Duo One of Best, But Liberty a Balanced Threat
  10. Big Ten: Purdue and Michigan State Ready to Seek Hoops Title After Other Big Ten Teams Shoot for Football Title
  11. Big West Teams All Get to Visit Hawaii While Settling Balanced Hoops Season
  12. Colonial Athletic Association: After JMU Football, Charleston and Elon Should Battle for March Madness Bid
  13. Conference USA: UAB Returns to Football Field While Future NBA Star Leads Middle Tennessee
  14. Horizon League: Hayes Leads 4 Oakland Stars to Potential Title
  15. Ivy League: Princeton Builds on 23-7 Season to try to hold off Harvard and Yale for Title
  16. MAAC: Iona Once Again Team to Beat with Edogi Transferring to Join McGill
  17. Mid-American: Western Michigan Battles for Top Football and Basketball Teams and Top Hoops Player
  18. Mid-Eastern Athletic's Morgan State Favorite to Dethrone NC Central Behind POY Kendley
  19. Missouri Valley Teams Battle for Title with Wichita State's Departure, Valpo's Arrival
  20. Mountain West: UNLV Edges Nevada in Tough Hoops Conference, While San Diego State Football Power
  21. Northeast: 5-foot-5 Star Shoots for Player of Year, Repeat Title for Mt. St. Mary's
  22. Ohio Valley:Jacksonville St. Football Dominance Builds on Hoops Upset of Belmont
  23. Pac-12: USC Hoops Could Surpass Arizona Hoops and Even USC Football
  24. Patriot - Bucknell Dominance of Patriot League Hoops Should Follow Army-Navy Classic
  25. SEC: Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Mizzou Join Kentucky As 'Basketball' Schools This Year
  26. Southern - Darryl Strawberry's Son Gives Mercer All-Southern Conference Duo, After Football Team Almost Shocks Auburn
  27. Southland - Jalan West Given 7th Year for Quest for All-American Status and 1st Southland Title Over Stephen F. Austin
  28. Summit League: Analytics See Denver Hoops Challenge to Dakota Schools That Dominate Football
  29. Sun Belt: Lafayette or Georgia Southern Could Deny Troy and Arlington Repeat Hoops Titles
  30. SWAC: Jerry Rice and Grambling NFL Greats Yield to March Madness Hopes
  31. WAC - 33 Years After Football National Title, WAC Hosts 1st For-Profit Basketball School
  32. West Coast: After Football BYU Will Challenge Basketball-only St. Mary's & Gonzaga

Corrections are welcome. Simply email pudnerjohn@takeback.org or call or text 404.606.3163. You are welcome to use links or site top players on any list as “Value Add All-Conference Players.” The first five players on each list are 1st team All-Conference players, the sixth through 10th are 2nd team, and the 11th through 15th are third team based on the actual additional points they add to their team. In most cases, this ranking is similar to what sports writers or sports information directors would perceive, but players can come off the bench with incredibly efficient three-point shooting or dominance around the basket that makes them more valuable than starters who are not as efficient. You can always run your own search of projections for current players or ratings for all players since the 2001-02 season by going to www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

St. John's Most Likely to Replace MU to Give Big East 7 Bids Again, Unless MU Defense Improves

This is one of 32 conference previews based on projections of Value Add for each player in www.valueaddbasketball.com. The other 31 projections appear at www.pudnersports.com so that readers only interested in the Big East need not review.

Each piece follows the same format, listing the Massey football ratings alongside the Value Add basketball projections. In the case of the Big East, Villanova's strong FCS team ranks ahead of a number of the 129 FBS teams as the 111th best overall football program. Butler and Georgetown also play football, and are ranked 363rd and 312th of all college teams.

Of the seven Big East teams that made the tournament last year, Value Add projects all but Marquette to return to the tournament, while St. John's is likely to replace Marquette as the seventh team (currently misses by only a couple of spots as the projected 52nd best team). Only nine of Villanova's players have projected values now, so their projections should rise to a Top 10 level, but right now they are edged out by Providence.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Big East team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools. Updates will be provided here as well as the previews of the other 31 conferences.

Big East/2017 SeedValueAddFootball
Providence 1119
Villanova 120111
Seton Hall 922
Xavier 1127
Butler 436363
Creighton 647
Saint John's52
Marquette 1072
Georgetown141312
DePaul158

Marquette's trio of Markus Howard (171st), Andrew Rowsey (207th) and Sam Hauser (256th) all rank in the top 7 percent of all players. Value Add assigns some of the blame for the horrid defense last year to all players, so any improvement in team defense will lift all players, but if the team continues to try to trade good three-point shooting with uncontested dunks on the other end the defensive ratings will continue to hold down player ratings.

More important of course, is that the high powered only needs an adequate defense to push Marquette back into the tournament.

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order, and the other Marquette players in the top 20 percent of all players. As always, corrections are welcome to pudnerjohn@gmail.com or 404.606.3163.

Nat'l RnkTop 15 Big East PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
15Jalen Brunson 19.16Villanova`6-02
23Mikal Bridges 258.78Villanova`6-07
36Khyri Thomas 28.21Creighton`6-03
39Trevon Bluiett 58.17Xavier`6-06
41Shamorie Ponds 28.13St. John's`6-01
49Angel Delgado7.80Seton Hall`6-10
64JP Macura 557.38Xavier`6-05
67Marcus Foster 07.30Creighton`6-03
95Khadeen Carrington 06.90Seton Hall`6-04
129Kelan Martin 306.51Butler`6-07
134Jalen Lindsey 216.49Providence`6-07
143Emmitt Holt 156.35Providence`6-07
171Markus Howard 06.10Marquette`5-11
197Desi Rodriguez 205.85Seton Hall`6-06
203Jessie Govan 155.82Georgetown`6-10
Nat'l RnkOther MU in top 20%Value AddSchoolHt
207Andrew Rowsey 305.80Marquette`5-10
256Sam Hauser 105.43Marquette`6-06
705Haanif Cheatham 253.32Marquette`6-05


Ken Pomeroy ranked the Big East 3rd of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed at www.pudnersports.com with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We break into your regularly scheduled football weekend to talk #MUBB schedule and recruits

It's fall so we're starting to shake off our summer vacation and more importantly, there is #MUBB news to report and comment on. First we lightly touch on the momentary freakout around Haanif's sling thanks to Instagram. Moving on from that silliness we get to the heart of the podcast, Marquette's newly released schedule. While we don't go game by game we do review the schedule overall and what it might mean for the team this season. We discuss what the non-conference schedule does for a young front court, how we owe apologizes to Mike Broeker after having seen Georgetown's non-con, and what the conference schedule looks like in terms of potential post season. We also send a lot of time talking about the intensifying recruitment of Quentin Grimes by #MUBB, mostly around what his recruitment means for Marquette's roster in 2018, coaching staff as recruiters and level setting expectations for actually landing Mr. Grimes. Enjoy the pod, we're only 4 weeks away from Marquette Madness. Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mid-summer #mubb check-in

Hope everyone is having a great summer. We wanted to have a quick check in to see where Marquette basketball stands during the summer lull. First we spend some time analyzing the almost fully released non-conference schedule. We're not picking wins and losses (way too early for that even for us) but do want to reflect on what the schedule could set-up for MU and how it compares to previous seasons. The next fun item from this summer was the Centennial Hoops Celebration, and we talk about what we heard from that event. We then transition to recruiting news, including yet more talk about Joey Hauser. Finally we talk about the summer fun that isn't Battle of the Network Stars, Marquette alumni competing in The Tournament. Enjoy the pod and enjoy the rest of the summer, hoops will be upon us before you know it! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

No NBA-ready Players Yet, but 3 MU Players stayed after being NBA-ready

Sam Hauser and Markus Howard both project to be worth 5.00-5.99 runs to Marquette this year. The good news is that is in that nice spot for college fans where it is an elite level but not enough to start the "they will not consider leaving early for the NBA are they?" Not that there is an NBA talk about these two great rising sophmores, but having just finished crunching the numbers they are about two points short of where a player needs to get to have a better than 50/50 chance of making the NBA.

I crunched the numbers for 20,767 players in the www.valueaddbasketball.com database, and found the Value Add at which a player has better than a 50/50 chance to make the NBA is 7.60. Here is the breakdown of a player's chance of making the NBA once they hit a certain range:


Best Value Add     Players   Made NBA% made it
0 to 0.9910,640100.1%
1 to 1.994142200.5%
2 to 2.992010311.5%
3 to 3.991353483.5%
4 to 4.9998210010.2%
5 to 5.9966412919.4%
6 to 6.9942812429.0%
7 to 7.9926812446.3%
8 to 8.9915711673.9%
9 or higher12310787.0%
All Players20,7678093.9%

When you dig deeper, freshmen can come in above 6.00 and be one-and-dones because NBA clubs know they have more upside at their young age.

Certainly several Marquette players made the NBA without ever hitting the 7.60 mark, and there are many other factors I cover in this study. However, the four players who have exceeded that mark at Marquette all made it and three of the four actually could have made the NBA a year earlier.

Jae Crowder's junior season he was still about a point short of NBA-level with a 6.54 Value Add. He easily passed the mark his final season at 12.43.

However, Dwyane Wade (11.59), Travis Diener (10.32) and Jimmy Butler (8.96) were all well beyond the Value Add that indicates a player is ready for the NBA in the year BEFORE they actually left.

The fact that I had Butler ranked well ahead of the great Lazar Hayward in Butler's JUNIOR year was was first compelled the Chicago Bulls to call and meet about Value Add, but how wonderful he was already adding his senior season in which he went  into UConn and beat Kemba Walker!




Fresh Run Gives MU 3 of Top 18 Big East Players; Ranks All Since 2001-02 Season

We did a pretty massive update of www.valueaddbasketball.com that entailed rating all players going back to 2001-02, but also fine tuning the projection adjustments for how much players should improve between seasons, and if they get on NBA prospect lists. If you are into the actual calculations, I have other links below this list, but for those of you who just want a quick look at where our players rank against the best of the Big East - here are the projected conference leaders.

Please don't hesitate to make any corrections. Tracking thousands of players through transfers, NBA declarations and returns to college etc., this was a massive run. We also ran over 61,000 players seasons, so correct away by calling me at 404.606.3163 or emailing pudnerjohn@gmail.com with any corrections. Here is the best of the Big East based on projections:

NatlBig East PlayerTeamValue Add
11Jalen Brunson 1Villanova9.16
15Mikal Bridges 25Villanova8.78
25Khyri Thomas 2Creighton8.21
27Trevon Bluiett 5Xavier8.17
28Shamorie Ponds 2St. John's8.13
44JP Macura 55Xavier7.38
67Khadeen Carrington 0Seton Hall6.9
78Angel DelgadoSeton Hall6.77
101Jalen Lindsey 21Providence6.49
108Emmitt Holt 15Providence6.35
109Kelan Martin 30Butler6.34
148Desi Rodriguez 20Seton Hall5.85
156Andrew Rowsey 30Marquette5.8
161Kamar Baldwin 3Butler5.75
162Rodney Bullock 5Providence5.75
189Donte DiVincenzo 10Villanova5.47
194Sam Hauser 10Marquette5.43
200Markus Howard 0Marquette5.36
228Marcus LoVett 15St. John's5.17
234Kyron Cartwright 24Providence5.13

After our massive update, the website now includes the projections for 3,291 players for the 2017-18 season (click here and type 2018 for year, or type 2019 to look at the 313 players who will next play in 2018-19). It also includes a total of 61,019 past player seasons (click here for all of those seasons going back to 2001-02, then search notes for "nba" to limit to only the 2,195 played by players who went onto the NBA).

If you are curious about how we project player values or likelihood of NBA stardom, you can check any of the following posts:

Value Add Group 1: Top 2017-18 Freshmen and How Many Points Each is Worth
Value Add Group 2: Top Returning 
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Value Add Group 3: Top-ranked 
Transfers
Value Add Group 4: Top 
JUCO Transfers: Projected Value for 2018, and Best Since 2011
Value Add Group 5: 
NBA Prospects for Thursday's Draft

Now I would challenge everyone to look at the blind test of Pomeroy stats of two All-American players and tell me which is better:

ORtg   eFG%OR%  DR%  ARate  TORate Blk%Stl%FT2-Pt3-PtTeam Defense

115.251.57.115.431.117.64.2478%  52%  32%101st

122.156.8720.713.59.73.14.374%60%35%14th


I believe most would agree that the second player was better statistically. Pomeroy says the 2nd player gets his team about seven points more per 100 possessions, so statistically he is a better offensive player. Defense is tougher in a blind test, but the bottom player was part of a much better defense (the 14th best in the country compared to a very mediocre 101st best), and the second player is better at steals and defensive rebounds, while the first is better at blocked shots. 

Let me add that the second player faced much tougher competition up until the NCAA tournament.

I go through all this to avoid the pain of the next graph. Yes, the bottom line is Jae Crowder's final season and statistically he was slightly better than Dwyane Wade, the top line. I wanted to show these stats before listing Marquette's all-time Value Add leaders below because Crowder has a slight edge after all the fine tuning as we ran through the 60,000+ seasons.

It doesn't mean I would rank him higher subjectively. When I wrote The Ultimate Hoops Guide: Marquette Basketball, I ranked Wade first and I still would based on his tournament run to the Final Four, what he has done in the NBA etc. But from a pure statistical perspective over the entire season Crowder was slightly more valuable. If I updated the book today, I would nudge Crowder ahead of the great Bo Ellis as the No. 2 player.

Wade beating two of the top three teams in the country to take Marquette to the Final Four gets him the No. 1 all-time nod subjectively, but statistically over the course of the season Crowder was slightly better at the college level and that is reflected in the all-time Value Add ratings in which they both made Marquette about 12 points better per game than if they were replaced by a mediocre replacement player. 

With all that defense in place, the 2018 projections give three current Marquette players a spot among the Top 30 players to play at Marquette since Wade's two seasons. Click here for all 61,019 player seasons, and which 2,195 made the NBA.


RnkPlayerVA Pts/GameYearConfHtClass
1Jae Crowder12.432012BE6'64 Sr
2Dwyane Wade11.592003CUSA   6'42 So
3Travis Diener10.322004    BE6'13 Jr
4Travis Diener9.742005BE6'14 Sr
5Jimmy Butler8.962010BE6'63 Jr
6Dwyane Wade8.532002CUSA6'41 Fr
7Steve Novak8.272006BE6'104 Sr
8Lazar Hayward7.462010BE6'64 Sr
9Jimmy Butler7.152011BE6'74 Sr
10Wesley Matthews6.852009BE6'54 Sr
11Davante Gardner6.72013BE6'83 Jr
12Jae Crowder6.542011BE6'63 Jr
13Travis Diener6.42003CUSA6'12 So
14Robert Jackson6.322003CUSA6'10   4 Sr
15Dominic James6.312006BE5'111 Fr
16Cordell Henry6.272002CUSA5'104 Sr
17Jerel McNeal6.262009BE6'34 Sr
18Jerel McNeal6.212008BE6'33 Jr
19Dominic James6.112008BE5'113 Jr
20Lazar Hayward6.112009BE6'63 Jr
21Darius Johnson-Odom5.882012BE6'24 Sr
22Maurice Acker5.842010BE5'84 Sr
23Andrew Rowsey 305.82018BE5'104 Sr
24Travis Diener5.72002CUSA6'11 Fr
25Lazar Hayward5.622008BE6'62 So
26Matt Carlino 135.62015BE6'24 Sr
27Luke Fischer 405.52017BE6'114 Sr
28Davante Gardner5.462014BE6'84 Sr
29Sam Hauser 105.432018BE6'62 So
30Markus Howard 05.362018BE5'112 So
31Steve Novak5.082005BE6'103 Jr
32Dominic James4.852007BE5'112 So
33Andrew Rowsey 304.82017BE5'103 Jr
34Henry Ellenson 134.82016BE6'111 Fr
35Jamil Wilson4.592013BE6'73 Jr
36Wesley Matthews4.442007BE6'52 So
37Sam Hauser 104.432017BE6'61 Fr
38Scott Merritt4.422003CUSA6'103 Jr
39Wesley Matthews4.412008BE6'53 Jr
40Vander Blue4.42013BE6'43 Jr
41Markus Howard 04.362017BE5'111 Fr
42Luke Fischer 404.362016BE6'113 Jr
43Dominic James4.122009BE5'114 Sr
44JaJuan Johnson 234.12017BE6'54 Sr
45Joe Chapman4.12006BE6'71 Fr
46Jerel McNeal3.972007BE6'32 So
47Davante Gardner3.962012BE6'82 So
48David Cubillan3.92007BE6'11 Fr
49Darius Johnson-Odom3.882011BE6'23 Jr
50Steve Novak3.872004BE6'102 So

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Quick off-season check-in with #mubb

It's been a couple of months so we thought it'd be good to pull together a pod to make sure we don't get too rusty. Plus there has been some roster news in the past couple of weeks so we should probably talk about that. We talk about Greg Elliot first and his potential impact on the upcoming season. We then discuss Ed Morrow at length(pardon the pun), what his transfer to MU means for the roster in 2018 anf does that mean good or bad things for the Joey Hauser recruitment. We also talk about the recruits that MU is looking at for 2018 and what THAT means for the roster. We also talk about the concerns about the point guard position in 2018 given the roster make-up. After we get done wildly speculating about a whole bunch of stuff, we then move on to the really fun stuff TBT (The Basketball Tournament). We walk through the roster as we currently understand it and talk about alumni we'd love to see play on the team this summer. We've included a link below for you to get out and vote for MU's alumni team to be able to be in the tournament. As always, enjoy the pod and the off-season Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Howard and Hauser Project as MU's 1st Top 100 Players in 5 Years

Based on the average improvement between freshmen and sophomore seasons, Sam Hauser and Markus Howard project to be among the top 100 players in the country next year, which would make them the first to break the top 100 since Devante Gardner finished 55th in 2013.

Marquette's Team Value Add was 30.83 in 2017, the 35th best total in the season, but they lost more than a third of that total with the departures of Luke Fischer, JaJuan Johnson, Katin Reinhardt and Duane Wilson (see 2017 values below).

Project Improvement of Returning Players Outweighs Losses

Andrew Rowsey ranked as the 300th best player in the country with a value of an additional 4.80 points per game, according to www.valueaddbasketball.com. He projects to improve to 5.25 for his senior campaign. However, most of a players improvement typically occurs between a player's freshman and sophomore season, and an average jump for Hauser and Howard would place them in the top 100 players, part of 31.60 of projected Team Value Add for Marquette that makes the team already one point better than last year, which would make MU the 32nd best team in the country even if they failed to fill the final roster spots.


2017 RnkPlayerHt2017 Team2017 Actual      2018 Projected
347Sam Hauser #106'6"Marquette4.436.77
358Markus Howard #05'11"Marquette4.366.25
300Andrew Rowsey #305'10"Marquette4.805.25
962Haanif Cheatham #256'5"Marquette2.323.51
NRHarry Froling6'11"SMU if all season1.092.59
NRJamal Cain6'7"High School01.92
1467Matt Heldt #126'10"Marquette1.301.90
NRGreg Elliott6'3"High School01.62
NRTheo John6'8"High School01.27
NRIkechukwu Eke6'9"High School00.52
NRSacar Anim6'5"Marquette 20160.000.00
202Luke Fischer #406'11"Marquette5.500.00
413JaJuan Johnson #236'5"Marquette4.100.00
867Katin Reinhardt #226'6"Marquette2.550.00
1557Duane Wilson #16'2"Marquette1.160.00
2427Traci Carter #216'0Marquette0.310.00
35Team Total (35th to 32nd)Marquette30.8331.60

During the first decade of Value Add Historic Rankings MU had 18 top 100 players in just 10 seasons.

YearSeason RankPlayer
20033Wade, Dwyane
200339Diener, Travis
20047Diener, Travis
200511Diener, Travis
200617Novak, Steve
200676James, Dominic
200890McNeal, Jerel
200896James, Dominic
200950Matthews, Wesley
200980McNeal, Jerel
200989Hayward, Lazar
20105Butler, Jimmy
201034Hayward, Lazar
201148Butler, Jimmy
201169Crowder, Jae
20122Crowder, Jae
201291Johnson-Odom, Darius
201355Gardner, Davante

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wrapping up the season

After giving it a week to breathe, we're ready to talk about the season ending loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. We spend some time breaking down the game and understanding how it went so bad. Then the really disappointing news in that Duane Wilson has decided to seek a grad transfer and leave Marquette after 4 up and down years. We then talk about the season as a whole and whether it was a success or not. That discussion leads to some talk about next year's team and what we can expect from them. Any talk of the future would not be complete without a debate about what Marquette should do with the 3 open scholarships for next year, so we get into it. Then to cleanse the palette and try to have some fun, we discuss the firing of Tom Crean and the opening at Georgetown. Thanks for another fun season, we'll be back when the off-season bat signal goes up but until then, enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Howard falls three 3-pointers short of all-time record percentage

Before the game I joked with Steve Novak that I never thought I'd question if he was the greatest 3-point shooter in Marquette history until this year - and he was humble in agreeing. I talked with Andrew Rowsey on the way up the elevator at 3 a.m. and was happy he had seen my 6-second amateur phone video of him sinking the half court step back.

During the game one of the top sports reporters in the country texted me with a simple, "Markus Howard is just a lovely basketball player." Later when Howard ripped the pass to Sam Hauser for a late bucket, the guy behind me yelled, "That is the future, and bring along baby Hauser too! (referring to 5-star Joey Hauser, who I believe was sitting in front of me, but I could be wrong).

The fact is people were either upset or surprised when I sent out my mass email and posted by bracket and picked South Carolina tonight, but with South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell the top ranked player in the country at www.valueaddbasketball.com and their defense being one of the best at denying the 3-pointer (which we need to win) and stealing the ball (where we are week) in a near home game, I just didn't see it tonight.

However, the future is bright. If Howard hit all six of his 3-pointers tonight he would have set the all-time record for 3-point percentage for a season. Going three of six, he finishes with the second greatest season in the history of college basketball in only his second season. No player has even shot 50 percent for a career. Here is where he finishes - the future is bright, but thank you seniors for getting the team back to March Madness in your final year to help build:

RankBest 3pt seasons ever3ptM3ptA3P%SchoolSeason
1Micah Mason6511656.03%Duquesne2013-14
2Markus Howard8215054.67%Marquette2015-16
3Roosevelt Moore5011953.28%Saint Peter's1992-93
4Nick Masterson7814753.06%Kenneshaw St.2015-16
5Travis Ford10119152.88%Kentucky1992-93
6Royce Olney8015651.28%New Mexico1997-98
7Troy Hudson13426251.15%Southern Illinois1996-97
8Brad Lechtenberg7113951.08%San Diego2003-04
9Ross Land8316350.92%Northern Arizona1998-99
10Ross Land6412650.79%Northern Arizona1996-97

Here is the bracket based on the Value Add bracket which takes the www.kenpom.com rating and adjusts it by any returning or missing players, as explained here. A win in South Carolina just wasn't in the cards.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A #mubb dancing pod

No, this is not a podcast to dance to, but #mubb is dancing again for the first time since the original season of this podcast(Buzz's Elite 8 team). Needless to say we are excited about just being in the tournament and discuss that feeling. We spend a little time talking about the player reactions as well, which unless you are the Grinch, got things a little dusty in whatever room you were in. We then turn to the primary focus, South Carolina. We then continue a debate originated on social media about how to evaluated South Carolina's very impressive KenPom ranking for defense and especially 3pt defense. We break down what Marquette needs to do to win the game and what are some key factors to watch for (TURNOVERS!!!). After focusing on Marquette we turn to the tournament as a whole and give a brief analysis, including Buzz vs Wisconsin vs Meteor. Bottom line, we are happy to be here and there is reason for optimism with the opening round....so as always ENJOY!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The most famous South Carolina vs Marquette battle - 1972

A trip down memory lane, from SI's Curry Kirkpatrick.  The battle of the McGuire boys.....Frank vs Al.  Number 2 vs number 4!  For you youngsters, Kirkpatrick was one of the best SI had, back in the day when SI was the gold standard for sports publications.


1972 Sports Illustrated - Marquette vs South Carolina

http://www.si.com/vault/1972/01/17/576301/you-know-me-al-right-frank-and-i-hate-to-do-it

In year three, Wojo guides the Warriors back to the NCAA Tournament

After missing the NCAA tournament in Buzz Williams' last year, Marquette hired another assistant to return the Warriors back to the dance.  As year three of Steve Wojciechowski's tenure comes to an end it was richly rewarded tonight as Marquette's name appeared on Selection Show Sunday for the first time in four seasons.   The bid marks the 32nd trip to the NCAA tournament in school history.  

Marquette had to rally the last three weeks of the season to secure a spot in the field after seemingly well on target in late January.  Four losses in five games put MU in a precarious spot with only five conference games remaining.  Wojciechowski juggled lineups, benched players, demanded some defensive accountability, toughness and it paid off.  Marquette won four of its final five games heading into the Big East tournament.  Despite a loss to Seton Hall in the quarterfinals, most experts had the club safely in the tournament.  Earning a 10 seed today, proved those prognosticators correct.


Marquette will play seven seeded South Carolina in Greenville, SC.  The Gamecocks are one of the better defensive teams in the country, but offensively challenged.  The exact opposite of MU's strengths and weaknesses.  If the Warriors are fortunate to advance, second seeded Duke is likely awaiting them.  The Gamecocks are 1.5 point favorites.  USC has not won a NCAA tournament game in 40 years.


Wojo's rebuild in three years should be commended.  Major roster turnover the past three seasons, young players thrust into important roles, and playing in a top three conference could have made the rebuild longer.   



Social media captured the Warrior celebrations today.






St. Patrick's Day in Greenville, a blessing for bar owners as Marquette fans descend to the Palmetto state. 




Monday, March 06, 2017

A year without Henry Ellenson equals a better team for Marquette

April 5, 2016, Marquette forward Henry Ellenson declared for the NBA draft.  The extremely talented freshman was off to greener pastures and a Marquette basketball team that missed the NIT was left wondering what was next.  Few blamed Ellenson for the decision, though many felt he wasn't ready, myself included.  The draft was weak and this was his chance to earn serious money doing what he loves to do. He was slotted to be picked anywhere from 9th to 19th by the time draft day rolled around.  My thoughts at the time were he would be unproductive this year in the NBA and probably even spend time in the D-League.  I had interviewed Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress and put those questions to him in May of last year.

The bigger question on the minds of Warrior fans was the void filled by Ellenson's departure.  How does one replace that kind of talent and what on earth was Marquette going to do without him in Wojo's third season.  The answer, you don't replace him and you get better in the process.  Addition by subtraction.  That statement is not meant to diminish the talents of Ellenson at all.  The reality is the team too often deferred to Henry last year, and didn't grow as a result. Henry took the big shots, Henry got the rebounds, Henry played a lot of minutes, Henry was the face of the team on and off the court.  Mostly this was by default, he was the one guy Wojo could rely on consistently.

Would a team this year with Howard, Hauser, Ellenson, Rowsey, Fischer, Wilson and Johnson be lights out?  On paper, wow!  In reality, I get the feeling guys that have grown so much this year would not have if that lineup were in place. Would the have overcome the urge to defer to the future NBA draft pick?  Impossible to know for sure, fans can debate the what if scenarios.

As for Ellenson, he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 18th overall pick.  His first year has been one of struggles, not overly surprising to many of us. To date he has appeared in 14 NBA games and scored just 21 points with 12 rebounds in 56 total minutes.  He has played more games, sixteen, for the Grand Rapids Drive of the D-League than for the Pistons.  His D-League stats are fairly impressive, averaging over 17 points and 9 rebounds per game. With time, Ellenson will get stronger, develop a better NBA body and hopefully become the player many hope he can become.  Critics have already listed him and others as potential busts, but it seems way to early at this point in his career to make that judgment.

In the end, it appears that the departure was a net positive for both parties.  Henry is learning the ropes of professional basketball. Although he is struggling as rookies often do, the MU faithful are certainly hoping for major success for him.  He has enjoyed his first year in the NBA.  For Wojo and the Warriors, a year of uncertainty and turned into a year where young guys have filled major roles and likely led this team back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013. Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out just fine.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Regular season finale had it all: offense, big leads, missed free throws, and a proposal.

You are looking live, at least live to tape as both of us were in Milwaukee for the senior day festivities and final regular season game. So we recorded a podcast to discuss the game and where we stand for the NCAA tournament. First, we discuss the game against Creighton and JjJ's big first half, how nervous we got in the second half, and of course the Luke Fischer proposal. Then it's time to talk NCAA tournament chances, with both of us feeling pretty confident we're in regardless of the Big East Tournament results. However, we do have to talk about the Big East tournament and the 2nd round match up of Marquette against Seton Hall. After talking about the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament we talk about the All Big East team and bemoan the lack of Marquette players on the list and question the fact that Markus Howard was not a unanimous freshmen All Big East selection. Let's get a win on Thursday to remove all doubt but we should probably get our dancing shoes ready. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

7 of 10 Would Give Howard Greatest 3-Pt% in History of College Basketball


As I recorded Andrew Rowsey before the Creighton game asking a defender to come out and guard him at half court, dribbling, and then calmly sinking a 45-footer (see here and photo above), I dwelled on the fact that he might be only the third best three-pointer shooter in the Bradley Center. Steve Novak was sitting a few rows in front of me, and then there is Markus Howard.

If Markus Howard hits seven of his next 10 three-pointers he would be hitting at a 56.08 percent clip - giving him the greatest season in the history of college basketball. Of course, we do not now how many more three point attempts he will take between the Big East and NCAA tournament,

Howard can also become the greatest three-point shooter in the history of college basketball if he finishes the season 4 of 4, 13 of 20, 19 of 30 or 24 of 40, as shown on the table below. Howard is chasing only the 56.03 percent mark of Micah Mason of Duquesne a couple of years ago:


RANKNAMETEAM3FG3FGA3FG%
1Micah MasonDuquesne2013-146511656.03
2Markus HowardMarquette2016-177613855.07
1?Markus Howard (if 4 of 4)Marquette2016-178014256.34
1?Markus Howard (if 7 of 10)Marquette2016-178314856.08
1?Markus Howard (if 13 of 20)Marquette2016-178915856.33
1?Markus Howard (if 19 of 30)Marquette2016-179516856.55
1?Markus Howard (if 24 of 40)Marquette2016-1710017856.18
3Nick MastersonKennesaw St.2016-178816154.66
4Roosevelt MooreSaint Peter's1992-9353.28
5Travis FordKentucky1992-9352.88
6Royce OlneyNew Mexico1997-9851.28
7Troy HudsonSouthern Illinois1996-9751.15
8Brad LechtenbergSan Diego2003-0451.08
9Ross LandNorthern Arizona1998-9950.92
10Giddy PottsMiddle Tennessee2015-1650.64
11Salim StoudamireArizona2004-0550.42
12Jon DieblerOhio State2010-1150.22
13Josh CarterTexas A&M2006-0750.00
14Jeremy CrouchBradley2006-0750.00
15Chris WestlakeGreen Bay1994-9550.00

As long as Howard closes the season reasonably well he will finish as one of 15 players to ever shoot 50 percent from behind the arc for a season. Nick Masterson also matched the feat this season with Kennesaw State, a team that was eliminated from the ASun Tournament as the 252nd best team in the country, and played some non-Division 1 schools.

As a team, Marquette is now at 43 percent on three-pointers, a full 1.5 percent ahead of second place UCLA.



Thursday, March 02, 2017

Getting closer

Last night's win moved our RPI up to 58.  All other ratings now 30 or better (click on graphic below). Despite the crazy talk after the Providence game by some fans, this team and staff continue to make very good progress.  A NCAA berth is within reach if they can stay focused and come away with a win against Creighton and perhaps a first round win in the Big East tournament.

A difficult loss to Providence could have left this team shaking their heads, but the Warriors output was one of the best of the season against a desperate Xavier squad playing at home for the last time.  Tremendous job by the players and coaches to get this team ready.  A lot riding on the Creighton game, but this team is playing lights out offensively and good enough defensively to get it done.  Matt Heldt is no longer just a bit player, he is someone we can rely on for 20 minutes a game.  The guards are shooting lights out, and despite size issues our rebounding is keeping teams honest.

Marquette's Ken Pom rating is nearly identical now to the 2013 Elite 8 squad at this point.  Sagarin and BPI also very close.  Though our defense is troublesome, no NCAA team is going to want to play this offensive juggernaut when we are shooting well.


Monday, February 27, 2017

#MUBB is skating on thin ice

Terrible pun aside, this weekend was tough for #mubb basketball for a whole lot of reasons. We discuss the Providence game and especially the conditions underwhich is was played. We also talk about the coaching and personnel decisions and whether that impacts our belief in Wojo as a coach. Of course, we also have to talk about Team Bubble Watch and where MU stands with tournament chances. We wrap up the conversation with a discussion of the final regular season week with Xavier and Creighton on the menu in must win games. This is going to be a nerve filled week of basketball, so get prepared and as always, enjoy! On a serious note, if you were not aware, incoming Marquette recruit Ikechukwu “Ike” Eke lost his mother in a tragic accident in his native Nigeria on Sunday. At the time of recording we didn't know the details and felt it best to leave it uncommented on. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ike and his family as they navigate this very difficult time. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/high-school/2017/02/26/jesuit-wins-record-league-crown-heavy-hearts/98457440/ Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy National Marquette Day!

Scrambled Eggs is celebrating National Marquette Day by having a giddy pod discussing the Marquette victory over Xavier. We start by talking about what a game Markus Howard had and the records he tied or broke. We then talk about the new starting line-up and it's impact on the game and potentially the rest of the season. Related to the new line-up, we discuss JaJuan Johnson's DNP-CD and wildly speculate about cause and length of the "suspension". The conversation turns to the last 4 games of the regular season with Marquette squarely on the bubble. Needless to say, the St John's game on Tuesday for Al's Night is absolutely critical. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Year three of the rebuild....how it is going thus far?

I've long been an advocate that it takes four to five years to do a rebuild correctly.  Allows for two freshman classes in to matriculate, concentrate on the high school ranks, build the culture from top to bottom, add pieces where need be (transfers, etc).  Some coaches turn things around faster, others never make it.  Some take shortcuts, or have a roster waiting for them that is more ready to go.  How good the conference is or the schedule also has tremendous bearing in the results. Very difficult to compare one situation to another because none of them are alike.  One position player can make all the difference in the world.

Where do we stand as the end of February approaches in year three of the rebuild for Coach Wojo? Simply put, we're absolutely heading in the right direction and possibly ahead of timelines.  Some fans will demand turnarounds in 2 or 3 years, but looking at what Wojo inherited, what players remained, the quality of the league last year and this year, we're doing just fine thank you.

In Buzz's last year at MU, a year chosen to win newly formed weaker Big East (a conference that would finish ranked 4th overall), MU finished the year 6th and Buzz left for Virginia Tech.  Half of the freshman on that team are gone. The one incoming Buzz recruit willing to sign, Sandy Cohen, is now in the Horizon League.  Buzz was able to bring over Luke Fischer in a transfer for the second semester of Wojo's first year, and has been a solid player for the Warriors.

This season, we are currently trending ahead of Buzz's last year in every major computerized rating system.  Using Ken Pomeroy, Jeff Sagarin, RPI, and BPI as source data.  In fact, looking at this year's team, they are not far behind in some ratings of Buzz's 2012-13 year that won the Big East and ran to the Elite 8.  What's equally impressive is Wojo is doing in a conference ranked higher than Buzz's final year.  The Big East currently sits 3rd and has reigning national champion Villanova ready for another deep run.



Plenty of work still to be done and a finish with or without a NCAA berth would not be surprising. The margin for error is small.  We are a bubble team no matter how you slice it. Our defense has plenty of issues, we are young at key positions and lack depth in areas as well.  If our three ball shooting is off, it's over. That being said, this is a team that is capable on any given night and using data comparisons, has progressed nicely in Wojo's first three years at the helm. The doom and gloomers, step back from the ledge. If it doesn't happen this year, it will next.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Where does #mubb go from here?

Well, things look a lot different in mid-February than they did in late January. The pod starts with an overview of the poor performance and Georgetown and looks at it within the context of the last 3 weeks. The defense has struggled all season but recently the offense has struggled as well. With the context of the on-going struggles, we discuss some concerning quotes Duane Wilson shared after the Georgetown game. Does it mean the staff has lost this team, or is this a sign of immaturity within the roster? We then talk about the balance of the season and what Marquette has to do to make the tournament for the first time in four years. Lastly, we focus on the upcoming Xavier game and National Marquette game, including the "stripe out". Let's try to make this thing work, so if you are going to the game wear the right colors. Let's hope we can pull off the stripe out and a victory the team desperately needs. Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Comparing NCAA's Release of Top 16 with Value Add's New Injury Adjusted Rankings

Well, that was depressing. It looks like the scouting report on Marquette's previous unstoppable offense is going to require some adjustments. The new Value Add rankings adjust for players who are no longer suiting up for the season or have returned (e.g. Arizona shoots up from 22nd to 7th in the rankings due to Allonzo Trier finally taking the court in the 19th game of the season. On the flipside, Xavier drops all the way from 27th to 53rd after losing Edmond Sumner and will need Trevon Bluiett and company to step up. The five teams the most hurt by losing players:

1. Xavier 6.64 (Trevon Bluiett #5)
2. St. Joseph’s 5.45
3. Creighton 5.16
4. Ohio 3.56
5. Indiana 3.35

Going into Saturday's blowout loss at Georgetown, Marquette still calculated as a No. 9 seed with Luke Fischer cracking the top 5% of all players (top 200) and Andrew Rowsey cracking the top 300.

Here are the Value Add individual rankings going into Saturday, complete with notes on players who have returned to give a boost or been lost to injury. The team totals in light of these adjustments are here and summarized below as how the seeds would be awarded based purely on the sum values of the players now on the floor, with today's NCAA Top 16 rating in parenthesis.

Seed Team Value Add v5.0 Pts/Game Conf
1 Gonzaga 49.06 WCC (actual No. 4 overall)
1 Virginia 47.69 ACC (actual No. 10 overall)
1 North Carolina 46.83 ACC (actual No. 5 overall)
1 Villanova 45.75 BE (actual No. 1 overall)

2 Louisville 44.82 ACC (actual No. 7 overall)
2 Florida 43.94 SEC (actual No. 11 overall)
2 Arizona 43.79 P12 (actual No. 6 overall)
2 Kentucky 43.03 SEC (actual No. 12 overall)

3 West Virginia 42.57 B12 (actual No. 14 overall)
3 Wichita St. 42.23 MVC
3 Baylor 42.21 B12 (actual No. 3 overall)
3 Kansas 42.17 B12 (actual No. 2 overall)

4 Southern Methodist 42.09 Amer
4 Wisconsin 41.97 B10
4 Duke 41.05 ACC (actual No. 16 overall)
4 Florida St. 39.65 ACC (actual No. 6 overall)

5 Purdue 39.62 B10
5 St. Mary’s 39.24 WCC
5 Butler 38.68 BE (actual No. 13 overall)
5 UCLA 38.51 P12 (actual No. 15 overall)

6 Oregon 37.51 P12 (actual No. 8 overall)
6 Cincinnati 37.36 Amer
6 Oklahoma St. 36.73 B12
6 Iowa St. 36.57 B12

7 Dayton 35.77 A10
7 Notre Dame 35.69 ACC
7 Wake Forest 35.32 ACC
7 Michigan 34.76 B10

8 South Carolina 34.76 SEC
8 Kansas St. 34.2 B12
8 Utah 33.21 P12
8 Northwestern 33.1 B10

9 Clemson 32.1 ACC
9 Marquette 31.83 BE
9 Texas Tech 31.7 B12
9 Maryland 31.67 B10

10 Minnesota 31.66 B10
10 Houston 31.46 Amer
10 Miami FL 31.13 ACC
10 Texas Christian 30.95 B12

11 Illinois St. 30.74 MVC
11 Creighton 30.39 BE
11.5 Virginia Commonwealth 30.37 A10
11.5 Syracuse 30.29 ACC
11.5 Rhode Island 30.25 A10
11.5 Southern California 30.15 P12

12 Middle Tennessee 28.85 CUSA
12 UNC Wilmington 28.61 CAA
12 Nevada 26.93 MWC
12 Belmont 25.89 OVC

13 Vermont 25.85 AE
13 Chattanooga 25.74 SC
13 Bucknell 25.15 Pat
13 Princeton 24.88 Ivy

14 Texas Arlington 24.54 SB
14 New Mexico St. 23.38 WAC
14 Valparaiso 22.62 Horz
14 Akron 22.53 MAC

15 Monmouth 22.43 MAAC
15 North Carolina Central 21.53 MEAC
15 Fort Wayne 21.24 Sum
15 UNC Asheville 20.9 BSth

16 UC Irvine 20.43 BW
16 Florida Gulf Coast 19.73 ASun
16.5 Eastern Washington 16.92 BSky
16.5 Texas A&;M Corpus Christi 14.07 Slnd
16.5 Wagner 11.85 NEC
16.5 Texas Southern 10.9 SWAC

Friday, February 10, 2017

Catching up on the last couple of games, diving into numbers, and.....UCONN???

We're back on the podcasting train after a few games with less than stellar results, so we start with reviewing the last 3 games for Marquette. Part of the discussion is again, what went wrong and is there anything to do to fix it. We then spend some considerable time advertising for KenPom by digging through some offensive(posted below) and defensive numbers to get a sense of what this team might be able to tweak over the next few weeks to get wins that they need to make the tournament. We also talk about the tournament and what Marquette's odds are of making it, and one of us uses the term super soft bubble. The bubble talk leads to a discussion around the last 6 games on #mubb schedule and whether they can win at least 3(preferably 4) and if so against who. Then the conversation takes a turn for the unexpected and we talk UCONN to the Big East rumors and what the circumstances would be where that would happen. We close out the show with a quick discussion of Georgetown and a prediction of the results. And we take a few pokes at Anonymous Eagle along the way. Enjoy! Offensive efficiency vs shot volume Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Big East Tourney Chances Devastated by Injuries to Sumner and Watson

The Big East's chances for a monumental tournament were dealt severe blows with season-ending injuries to point guards for two of their four ranked teams project both as first round losers rather than winners.

The injury to Mo Watson before Creighton's game against Marquette indicates their Sagarin Rating of 87.56 (21st overall) is actually 84.12 (34th, one spot behind Marquette) without Watson, whose Value Add is 5.40 (points per game impact). Due to the Domino effect of losing a player (see explanation in Big Apple Buckets), you subtract the value of a team's seventh best player (1.96 for Creighton) to get the actual impact in points per game off their Sagarin Rating so 87.56 for season to date, MINUS 5.40 for how many of those points were the result of Watson being on the floor, PLUS 1.96 to estimate the overall additional points based on the strength of Creighton's other players who need to extend their game.


Unfortunately, the news is even more devastating for Xavier with Edmond Sumner going down for the season with an ACL. Sumner is a top 100 player with a 7.32 Points Per Game Impact (Value Add), so the math for Xavier's Sagarin Rating without him is 86.79 (24th best) MINUS his 7.32, PLUS their 7th best player's 1.89 for a new rating of 81.36 for 56th place without Sumner. They should certainly still make the tournament, but they will need players to step up beyond what is expected to get a win in the tournament.

On the flip side, I do not see any Big East teams who have a late comer (2nd semester transfer or player returning from injury) who will elevate them substantially. However, to give an example of teams that might be improving, I point to star Austin Wiley of my hometown team Auburn. My graphics are not great, but Wiley is a potentially dominant center who so far is worth 1.96 points - but when you scroll to the right the final number of ^12^ indicates he only played 12 of the teams 21 games.

Because he has played in tougher SEC games, you would expect his value to actually be at least double even though he has played slightly more than half the games. (When a player is not on the floor he gets a ZERO Value Add for that game). Therefore he is probably about a 3.92 rather than a 1.96, so if you add the additional 1.96 to Auburn's Sagarin rating of 78.94, the real team rating with Wiley is 80.83, a jump from 72nd to 60th.

Auburn has an uphill battle to make the tournament because the games they played before Wiley still count, but it appears Bruce Pearl has a team that is at least on the verge of being March Madness quality, so if they can win 22 games between the regular season and SEC tournament - starting with a win against a hot Tennessee team tonight, they could sneak in. Unlikely, but at 60th a team that could easily make the NIT and win at least one game.

I hope this post works as a Value Add guide to measure the impact of missing and returning players and understand who much they impact a teams actual Sagarin rating and if they should be favored in a given game.