"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, January 18, 2014

Mayo, Anderson, Thomas 3 Overachievers Heading into Crucial Noon Game

Todd Mayo, Juan Anderson and Jake Thomas are the three Marquette players who have exceeded their Value Add projections this season heading into a game at an even more disappointing Butler. The opportunities are there for someone to step up down the stretch to give the team a run and shot at extending their string of bids, but they almost must win every winnable game such as today.

Two years ago I projected this team as an Elite 8 team led by JC transfer Jameel McKay, Vander Blue, and others on the roster. The signing of Duane Wilson seemed to give MU a chance at a point guard to take over from Junior. The fact that those three players transferred, left to tryout for the pros and were injured, respectively, took almost 10 points of Projected Value Add and that is enough to drop a team from 30th to 130th.

The team was projected to have perhaps the best depth in basketball with NINE players in the top 20% (top 800) of all college players. However, in addition to the loss of those three players, Steve Taylor, JuJuan Johnson, Chris Otule and most disappointingly Jamil Wilson have not even been in the top 30% (Top 1200 players).

The four players who have been strong according to Value Add are Davante Gardner, Todd Mayo, Deonte Burton and Juan Anderson. While Gardner's rank of 283rd is very good, he is nowhere near his projected place as the 50th most valuable player in the country.

So let's try looking at the glass as half full. Jamil's potential is apparent to everyone. If he lights it up, Jake pulls out some games with downtown shots, and most importantly Buzz can figure out if he can get some shooting out of the point guard position to prevent all of the double teams on Davante and Jamil, then the team does have the firepower to turn it on and beat a lot of teams.

Marquette is a one to five point underdog in each of the next three games according to www.kenpom.com. If MU can get two wins in these games - at Butler and Georgetown and at home against Villanova - there would start to be a ray of hope of a bid, so let's see who can step up starting at Noon tomorrow against a Butler team that MU last beat to make it three straight Sweet 16 games. Today may be a bit of a do-or-die as well, so GO Marquette!

Marquette RosterClass2014 Value AddRankProjectedProjected RankOver/Under perform
Gardner, Davante4 Sr3.222836.8250-3.6
Mayo, Todd3 Jr2.265040.9416701.32
Burton, Deonte1 Fr1.746852.71620-0.97
Anderson, Juan3 Jr1.77001.2813630.42
Otule, Chris4 Sr0.912162.3754-1.4
Wilson, Jamil4 Sr0.912194.69165-3.79
Thomas, Jake4 Sr0.6314980.4822360.15
Johnson, JaJuan1 Fr0.6115193.39435-2.78
Wilson, Derrick3 Jr0.3119750.941667-0.63
Dawson, John1 Fr0.2520710.881727-0.63
Taylor, Steve2 So0.1523033.04518-2.89
Not playing12.6727.47-14.8
Wilson, Duane1 FrinjuredNR2.48685-2.48
McKay, Jameel3 JrtransferNR3.44433-3.44
Blue, Vander4 SrIsraelNR3.94228-3.94

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