"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

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)