Thursday, December 10, 2009

Marquette Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: After the debacle in the Resch Center, the Badgers will try to rebound against the Hilltopp-… Golden Avalan-… Blue and Gol-… Warri-… Golden Eag-… I mean Gold of Marquette. MU, per usual, is a guard heavy, big man devoid team that likes to run and pressure the ball. Hopefully this one turns out more like the Maryland game rather than the Green Bay game.

Forums to Visit:

MU Scoop


What the Expert Nerds Say:

Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #16 and Marquette #39. He makes Wisconsin a 7-point favorite.

Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #37 and Marquette #43. He predicts a 67-63 Badger victory in 63 possessions and gives the Badgers a 66% chance of winning.

Marquette Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’0” SR David Cubillan (6.2 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.2 RPG)
*G – 6’3” JR Dwight Buycks (6.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.7 SPG)
*F – 6’6” JR Jimmy Butler (16.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 BPG)
*F – 6’7” JR Joe Fulce (2.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
*F – 6’6” SR Lazar Hayward (18.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.4 SPG)
G – 6’2” SO Darius Johnson-Odom (12.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.0 APG)
G – 5’8” SR Maurice Acker (8.7 PPG, 3.7 APG, 2.3 SPG, 1.2 RPG)
F – 6’6” FR Jeronne Maymon (4.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG)

This season they have played at a pace of 69 possessions per game, similar to last season. They play the grab-and-clutch man-to-man defense that Wisconsin has struggled with in the past, specializing in forcing turnovers via steals, but gives up quite a few assists due to that aggressive, overplaying style. However, only one player in their rotation average more than 5 fouls per 40 minutes, Jeronne Maymon at 6.7. If they struggle against Wisconsin’s bigs, they may switch to a zone. They are returning 40% of their minutes, 49% of their rebounding, and 34% of their scoring from last season.

Key Players:

Jimmy Butler – Butler is a talented 6’6” forward with great length. He primarily scores off of offensive rebounds and finishing at the rim off the dribble. He has knocked down 70% of his threes, but has only attempted 10. He shoots an astounding 61.8% from inside the arc, rarely turns the ball over (9% of his possessions), and is 34th in free throw rate, taking 4 free throws for every 5 field goal attempts. This all adds up to the 14th best offensive efficiency in the nation, 139.6. He is also a very gifted rebounder, especially for his size, grabbing 11.5% of all rebounding opportunities on offense and 18.2% of opportunities on defense.

Darius Johnson-Odom – Johnson-Odom is a white hot shooting three-point threat for Marquette. He has a great offensive rating of 119.0 due to his ridiculous 21 of 38 from distance, for 55.3%. He turns it over more than Butler and Hayward at 19.4%, but is still pretty decent at taking care of the ball.

Lazar Hayward – Hayward is a trigger-happy 6’6” forward who takes the second highest percentage of his team’s shots in the nation, taking 40.4% of Marquette’s shots while he’s on the court. Luckily for Marquette, he’s pretty efficient with a rating of 104.0. He gets this rating by virtue of his sub-par three-point shooting (10 of 40), 51% from 2, 82% from the charity stripe, and not turning it over too often (14.6%). He is a decent offensive rebounder at 7.9% of all opportunities, and great on the defensive end (20.7%).

What Marquette is really good at:

1. Shooting the ball. MU shoots 39.8% from 3, 51.4% from 2, and 70.7% from 1. Good for 42nd, 66th, and 116th respectively.

2. Not turning the ball over. The Golden Avalanche turn it over only 18.2% of their possessions, good for 56th in the country. Wisconsin is 43rd at 17.8%.

3. Not sending opponents to the line. Their opponents’ attempt about 6 free throws for every 21 shot attempts. It’s similar to last season’s Iowa team and 43rd.

4. Rebounding defensively. The Gold grab 71.8% of their opponents’ misses, similar to last season’s Penn State team and 38th in the nation.

5. Defending the 3. MU’s opponents’ shoot 30.6% from beyond the arc for 78th in the nation. Wisconsin currently gives up 31.8%.

6. Forcing Turnovers. The Hilltoppers force their opponents to turn the ball over 25.4% of their possessions and they are via steal on 15.6% of their possessions. They are 30th and 7th respectively in those categories.

What Marquette is really bad at:

1. Blocking shots. The Blue and Gold block only 7.4% of their opponents’ 2-pointers, only good for 217th in the nation.

Relative efficiency:

When Marquette has the ball: MU has scored a good 1.13 PPP in their first 9 games, while UW has given up 0.95 in their first 8.

When UW has the ball: MU gave up a very good 0.90 in their first 9 games, while UW has scored a good 1.10 in their first 8.

Pace: Marquette has played at 69 possessions per game so far in their first 9 games compared to UW’s 64 in their first 8 games.

My expectations:

1. Badgers hold onto the ball, turning it over 16% or less. Marquette’s pressure has forced many turnovers, but I think Wisconsin’s veteran guards nullify that strength, especially after Bo’s drills today and tomorrow.

2. Jon Leuer scores 18 points or more. Marquette just does not have an answer for Jon on defense.

3. Jimmy Butler and Lazar Hayward score 27 points or less combined. Butler and Hayward are usually match-up problems for teams, but Wisconsin should be able to keep them in check with Jarmusz, Evans, Bruesewitz, Nankivil, and Leuer.

4. Badgers hold the Eagles to 33% or less shooting outside the arc. They have been shooting well behind the arc lately but I like the Badgers to cool them off like most teams they have played.

5. The Badgers grab 72% or more of the defensive rebounding opportunities. Marquette is pretty good at getting offensive rebounds (34.6%) but the Badgers are just dominant on the defensive glass. I think the Badgers win this battle.

My Prediction:
The Badgers regroup to make Curly and his Stooges have a sad trip back home on I-94, winning 73-60 in a 63-possession game.

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