"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 14, 2014

Two ASU forwards coming off 20/10 appearances may force Fischer to play

I assume Wojo wants to ease Luke Fischer into action, but he may have to get him on the court to let Marquette play big against two Arizona State forwards who put in 20 points and 10 rebounds their last time on the court.

The following notes each player’s jersey number and Value Add rating (3.0 or higher at www.valueaddbasketball.com is a strong starter) in potential match-ups going from the “5” spot down to the “1” spot.

5 (center) – EDGE ASU – Luke Fischer (0.72 projected Value Add) may need to take the court against a very good 6-foot-11 center (ASU #21) Eric Jacobsen (4.40 actual Value Add). Certainly a tall task for Fischer, who may not be ready for a lot of minutes, but his presence may be needed due to the domino effect of needing Anderson and Taylor to match up with forwards who could destroy MU inside.

4 (power forward) – TOSS-UP - Steve Taylor (3.06) has done an excellent job at center and may be even better if he can slide over to power forward. So far he been much better than (ASU #40) Shaquielle McKissic (0.68 actual). However, McKissic was projected to be ASU’s best player, and unfortunately went back inside and dominated against Pepperdine last game for a 22 point, 11 rebound game that looked a lot more like his projected Value Add for 5.69 this year.

3 (small forward/swing) – TOSS-UP. Likewise, Juan Anderson (5.36) has been awesome, and (ASU #11) Savon Goodman has not even played. However, Goodman was projected to be a lot better than Anderson before the year (4.46 to 1.30), but like Fischer had to sit out first semester after transferring from UNLV. He is the one ASU player who should end up in the NBA, and the last record we have from the court was during the 40 minute ASU scrimmage that he dominated with 28 points and 10 rebounds. This will be a true chance for Anderson to prove how far he has come this year – but it will not be easy.

2 (shooting guard) – SLIGHT EDGE MU. We thought last year that MU was a tournament team if Duane Wilson (3.34) had not gone down, and he is taking it to another level with a 30-point outing. Senior (ASU #33) Bo Barnes (3.10) has been only slightly behind Wilson’s mark, but with Wilson ascending MU seems to have a slight edge.

1 (point guard) – HUGE EDGE MU. The good news is that if MU can just hold their own on the front line, Matt Carlino (5.98) has the chance to dominate at point guard (ASU #3) Chance Murray (1.78). Carlino is inconsistent, but even on one of his bad nights he should have the edge on Murray, and if he is either scoring or setting up others with assists, MU has a huge edge at the point.

Of course, Derrick Wilson and Sandy Cohen could start for defense, and JaJuan Johnson (2.69) rates almost as strong as a good major conference starter off the bench so can provide the offensive spark either as a starter or off the bench. However, overall MU with only an 8-man rotation will give up depth to ASU and most opponents. ASU has bench players that contribute nice Value Add points with ASU #4 Gerry Blakes 1.52, ASU #1 Roosevelt Scott 2.07 and ASU #31 Jonathan Gilling 2.35.

Marquette is a one-point favorite at www.kenpom.com, but if you add Goodman’s 4.46 projected Value Add vs. Fischer’s 0.72, that makes ASU a 3-point favorite. MU needs a win Tuesday and then three easy wins to go to 8-4 entering conference play – where MU is favored in only three of 18 games right now at www.kenpom.com. We will learn a lot about MU with Fischer and the rest of the season Tuesday night.

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