Ken Pomeroy (KenPom.com) is a website that looks at advanced statistics in college basketball and can be a solid indicator of efficiency, both by team and individually.
Marquette is currently ranked as the No. 7 team in the nation based on his numbers and there are a handful of glaring statistics that show just how good the Golden Eagles have been in the early going.
Outside of Wisconsin and Washington, Marquette has not played any team of note and Pomeroy’s statistics mean more later in the season when there is more of a sample size. But most teams and players at the top of these rankings have played an “easy” schedule, as well, so there is some validity to them here in the second week of December.
For more advanced statistics, an explanation of the calculation has been provided in italics before analysis.
NOTE: **When looking at individual numbers, assume roughly 11.5 players on 345 teams. This mean each player’s rank is out of 3,967 players.**
Assists per field goals made: 65.2 percent (14th in the nation)
Marquette has been one of the best teams in the nation passing the ball and it because of more than just Junior Cadougan (6.3 apg). Both Vander Blue (3.8 apg) and Darius Johnson-Odom (3.3 apg) have been excellent on the wing and even Jae Crowder (1.7 apg) has gotten into the action. Last Tuesday, Marquette assisted on 20 of 27 field goals against Washington.
Two-point field goal percentage: 55.1 percent (10th in the nation)
Credit this number to both Marquette’s efficiency on the fast break as well as its front court. Jae Crowder, Chris Otule and Davante Gardner are shooting 62.7 percent from inside the arc. Johnson-Odom (36-of-63 from two) has gotten to the hoop at will and has perfected his mid-range jumper while Marquette has gone on the break early and often.
Effective FG percentage defense: 42.9 percent (26th in the nation)
This stat takes into account added value for 3-pointers made and is a more accurate description of field goal percentage.
This is one of Buzz Williams’ “whiteboard stats,” and Marquette has been excellent against offenses. Two of the main reasons have been Chris Otule’s defensive presence inside and the guard’s defense before the catch. Teams simply haven’t been able to initiate offense on the Golden Eagles, and it has added up to Williams’ best defensive numbers in his four years as head coach.
Off. rebounding percentage allowed: 35.0 percent (245th in the nation)
This stat is computed as Off. Rebounds/(Off. Rebounds+Def. Rebounds).
Marquette has struggled mightily in allowing offensive rebounds and the loss of Otule won’t make it any easier. Some of this stat is the effect of long shots turning into long rebounds, but it’s still the one knock on Marquette’s defense through nine game.
Adjusted tempo: 70.3 possessions (37th in the nation)
Tempo is measured as a team’s possessions, while this number is adjusted “for schedule, considering the preferred pace of of each opponent and when the game is played.”
It’s early in the season and the Golden Eagles have played inferior opponents that have allowed them to get up and down the court and create more possessions, but this is still the fastest any of Williams’ team have played. Much of that can be credited to the outstanding play of Cadougan, Johnson-Odom, Blue and Todd Mayo. This number will go down as the Big East season progresses, but it’s worth noting that Marquette’s teams have been playing very fast.
Turnover percentage defense: 26.6 percent (14th in the nation)
This stat is computed by turnovers forced/possessions.
Thanks in large part to Marquette’s quick guards, the Golden Eagles turnover percentage is one of the best in the nation. Blue ranks third in the Big East at 2.2 steals per game and Williams’ full court defense on many occasions have forced turnovers, resulting in this high percentage. This has been key in holding teams to low points and, maybe more importantly, beginning transition offense.
3-pointers point distribution: 21.3 percent (291st in the nation)
This stat shows that Marquette has received 21.3 percent of its points from 3-point makes.
Entering the season there were questions as to who, outside of Johnson-Odom and Crowder, would step up from behind the arc. Mayo has been a pleasant surprise with nine 3-pointers, but past those players Marquette has just nine total threes from the rest of the team. This hasn’t been a problem thus far (see two-point FG%) but when the Big East season begins this number will have to rise, especially with Otule sidelined. Who will step up (Blue? Cadougan? Jamil Wilson? Jamail Jones?) remains to be seen, but they’ll need a fourth option to hit the occasional 3-pointer with consistency. Transition points have helped Marquette not need to rely on the deep ball.
Junior Cadougan’s assist rate: 37.7 percent (30th in the nation)
This stat is computed by assists divided by the number of field goals made while the player is on the court.
It seems that every time Cadougan is on the court, he’s finding an open man for an easy bucket or open jumper. His aggressiveness on drives and sudden ability to knock down 15-footers have both helped create space and open looks that Cadougan has more than taken advantage of, leading to this high assist total. His 6.3 assists per game rank fourth in the Big East.
Jae Crowder’s effective FG percentage: 65.9 percent (32nd in the nation)
This stat is computed the same as field goal percentage, with 3-pointers given a 50 percent boost.
Crowder’s efficiency on the offensive end continues to be a staple of his game. His inside-out game has given Marquette a huge boost, and he’s picking his spots well when taking 3-pointers. Last year Crowder’s effective field goal percentage was 232nd in the nation so this number doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it’s still an excellent mark for the senior.
D. Johnson-Odom’s fouls drawn/40 minutes.: 6.9 (43rd in the nation)
This number, albeit against lesser competition for the most part, is up from his 4.9 mark a year ago. Johnson-Odom has been excellent getting to the basket and drawing contact, and his free throw percentage is up to 76.6 percent. Johnson-Odom is scoring 29 percent of his points on free throws through nine games. Last year he scored 20.7 percent of his points off freebies.
Vander Blue’s steal percentage: 4.5 percent (59th in the nation)
This stat is computed by steals recorded divided by possessions defended while a player is on the court.
For as good as Blue was last year in the passing lanes, he has taken it up a notch as a sophomore.Blue is averaging a steal every 11.1 minutes this year, compared to a steal every 13.6 minutes through nine games last year. He has read passing lanes as well as he is playing on-the-ball defense, and it’s apparent that Blue will be matched up the opponent’s team best guard most Big East nights.
Todd Mayo’s shot percentage: 27.4 percent (254th in the nation)
This stat is computed by taking the player’s shots taken divided by the team’s shots taken while the player is on the court.
It’s easy to say Mayo has been instant offense for Marquette, but it’s also true. When Mayo is on the court, he is looking to score. He’s doing it the right way, however, shooting 47 percent from the field and touting an effective field goal percentage of almost 54 percent. Only Crowder (27.9 percent) is averaging more shots per taken when on the floor. Mayo is a true scorer for Marquette, and it’s apparent he isn’t shy about taking shots.