"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

Friday, January 01, 2010

MU Takes on Villanova

After a tough loss to WVU, Marquette returns home to face off against Villanova. Just like last year, MU opens at home against Villanova. Game time is 2:30 Milwaukee time. After last year's Final Four run, Villanova was the BE Coaches choice to finish first in conference. MU is obviously rebuilding, injured, and only picked to finish twelfth, so easy road win for Villanova, right? The #8/#8 team should roll even in an away game.

Not. So. Fast.

Early in the season, Villanova hasn't exactly been killing it. Honestly, Villanova's been pretty damn pedestrian so far. According to the stats, they're not top twenty in anything except offensive efficiency (#17). Want to know which team is right above them in offensive efficiency? Yeah... the good guys (#16). In fact, according to Pomeroy's overall rankings, Marquette (#20) is rated higher than Villanova (#35). In some more craziness, Pomeroy favors us as 73% favorites (6 point victors) tomorrow. Not only that, but for the first time this season, we're busting out our prediction model and it favors Marquette as a 90% favorite to win (14 point victor).

How does Marquette take home the victory?

  • Make shots. MU has been #27 in the country at effective Field Goal percentage (eFG%)
  • Keep Nova from making shots. Believe it or not, but Villanova hasn't been all that good at eFG% (#86 in the country)
  • Offensive rebounding (on both sides). First, keep Villanova off the offensive glass. Second, pound the offensive boards
  • Finally, force turnovers. Villanova has been okay at protecting the ball, but MU has been pretty good at forcing turnovers. MU has to win this matchup
In short, even though MU lost to WVU earlier this week, what we saw is that MU could be very competitive against good teams, so don't be surprised if we're celebrating an upset win Saturday night.

Check out the following links for more info

Buzz' media availability

DJO and Butler media availability

And now from a few of the Villanova blogs

1 comment:

greyCat said...

Have been monitoring Pomeroy as well Rob. One of those keys will be how comfortable Villanova is on the road. And how rusty they are from a 9 day layover (have not played since 12/23 or so). Yarou was cleared on New Year's Eve (probably in time to make the flight to Milwaukee), so I would not expect more than "game conditioning" minutes from him today. Probably less than Fulce will play. Player keys will be whether the Wildcats can keep Butler away from the basket (thinking this could be Reggie Redding's assignment) and who can shut down Johnson. Hayward will get his baskets, the question is whether the 2nd/3rd offensive options can be both prolific and efficient.

Excellent points about rebounding and turnovers. Should be a good test for both teams.