"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

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Can the MU Offense Be Good Again Soon?

I was throwing out some info on twitter, and decided to make it a little more long-form.

I've been running some numbers, and the #mubb offense may not be that far from being good. Hear me out. I think the MU offense is pretty close to being fixable instead of the train wreck it's been.

First, a quick recap of the Four Factors and their importance: Offense is about 50% eFG%, 24% Turnovers, 22% OR%, and 4% FTR. eFG% is by far the most important aspect of an offense (or defense). In Marquette's average games (about 1.06 ppp), and also generally over the past 10 games, the eFG% has been showing signs of life. Of course, this doesn't reflect the game at Creighton. However, the #mubb average eFG% in November was (44.9%) but it improved in December to 51.2%.

If eFG% can stay in the 51-52% range, then it's really just a matter of some improvement on either OR% or TORate for #mubb. How much? Honestly, it's not that much improvement. It could be as little as 2-4 more ORs per game or 2-3 fewer turnovers. 

I really think #mubb is that close to being solid offensively again. But there's a challenge. The best offensive rebounding lineup for #mubb isn't close to the best ball protection lineup. However, Buzz is smart. The lineup getting the most minutes for #mubb lately? His top Offensive Rebounding lineup. The lineup getting the #2 amount of minutes? His top ball protect lineup. Again, Buzz knows what he's doing. Really, none of this should be a surprise. Buzz knows how to make an offense work. It's just taking a little longer.

Here are some numbers to note: Assuming #mubb can keep the eFG% up, 12-14 offensive rebounds per game and 13 turnovers or less per game are the target. Of course, this all assumes that #mubb has the eFG% on track . Because if the eFG% stays at the current ranking/level (around 49%), there is virtually zero chance the offense improves

The key is the mediocre offensive performances. #mubb's TO% has been around 20% in those. Improving to 17% is about two TOs. That's it. The eFG% has been legit in those games. Keep the eFG% at a good level and then it's just some tinkering on ORs or TOs to turn the corner. For example, had Marquette protected the ball at an average rate vs DPU, the efficiency would have been 1.20 ppp.

Am I saying that Marquette will be awesome or win the BE title? No. All I am saying is that the #mubb offense may be better than we think sooner than we think. A few more ORs or a few less TOs would make the difference between #mubb having a #110 offense and a Top 50 offense.

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