What a ride it was for Marquette in 2012-13. Twenty-six wins, a shared Big East regular season title, an Elite 8 appearance and two All-Big East players. We know about Vander Blue’s 30-point effort, Davante Gardner’s impressive performance against Syracuse, Junior Cadougan’s dominance against Wisconsin and the Golden Eagles’ defensive numbers in a Sweet 16 win over Miami.
But what about the impressive numbers you may not have seen or known on the surface? With so many top performers and (maybe) future NBA’ers, there are some stats that could blow your mind when you read them–OK, maybe not that crazy, but let’s dive in and see what you learn.
1. Blocks: Jake Thomas (1), Dylan Flood (1), Vander Blue (0)
How’s this for incredible? Vander Blue played in 34 games, totaled 1,123 minutes and not once blocked a shot. Think about that for a second. It’s even more remarkable considering walk-on Dylan Flood blocked one shot in his four minutes of play. Three years ago, 5-foot-8 Mo Acker even blocked a shot. So did David Cubillan. Blue, this year? Zero. Go figure.
2. 3-pointers made: Junior Cadougan (14), Trent Lockett (13)
Maybe this won’t come as a shock to some of you, but Marquette’s pass-first point guard made one more 3-pointer than its starting wing. Cadougan even attempted 23 more shots from beyond the arc, which seems like a lot given the respective players’ roles. Maybe even more impressive? Cadougan’s buzzer-beater against Connecticut came after he had made 4-of-26 3-pointers (15%) to begin the year.
3. Chris Otule field goal percentage, 2/3-3/2: 29-33 (87.8 percent)
Following his last dunk against Louisville until his final make against Notre Dame, Otule strung together one of the most impressive stretches from the field in the country. In that stretch of eight games (nine, including Louisville), Otule was perfect from the field in five of them. It really was during this stretch that Otule went from Davante Gardner’s spell to a key part of Marquette’s rotation.
4. Vander Blue: 11 straight games with a 3-point make (12/22-2/6)
In his first two seasons combined, Vander Blue made a 3-point field goal in 11 games. But starting at home against LSU, up until Marquette’s second game against South Florida, Blue made a 3-pointer in 11 straight games. Sure, he was 29.6 percent from beyond the arc in that stretch, but he was consistent with his attempts and established himself a true threat from 3.
5. Davante Gardner free throws, 12/15-1/1: 32-34 (94.1 percent)
Automatic. Almost. That’s the only way to describe Davante Gardner from the free-throw stripe from the Savannah State game to the Big East opener. He missed just two attempts and had games of 9-of-9 (LSU) and 10-of-10 (Connecticut). All those freebies accounted for 32 of his 68 points (47%).
6. Blocks: Chris Otule (36), Jamil Wilson (30), Davante Gardner (20)
No Vander Blue here. Otule and Wilson were Marquette’s best shot blockers, no surprise there. But Gardner, who blocked 10 shots in 812 minutes his first two seasons, doubled that total in one year as a junior. His defense was vast improved from a year ago, and this is as good an indicator as to why.
7. Derrick Wilson’s last 15 games: 4 turnovers in 158 minutes
In the first 20 games of the season, Wilson committed a turnover once every 19.9 minutes. Not bad for the game manager/reserve point guard. But consider this: In the last 15 games of the season, he turned the ball over once every 39.5 minutes, and 0.26 per game. It’s no secret Wilson was solid all year at keeping the possession, but against Big East/NCAA Tournament foes he was stellar. Whether or not he starts over and/or plays more minutes than incoming freshman Duane Wilson next year, Derrick has an important role on this team.
8. Defensive rebounds: Davante Gardner (2.77), Vander Blue (2.65)
This one really is remarkable when you think about. Yes, Blue averaged 12 more minutes per game than Gardner, but for a 6-foot-4 guard to come close to a 6-foot-8 center on the defensive glass is impressive. We all know Gardner dominated on the offensive glass (2.11 per game) but Blue, whose defensive rebounding rate was way down from his first two years, came close to Gardner’s. This is likely more indicative of Gardner than it is of Blue.
9. Todd Mayo’s 3-point FG% (1/12-2/6): 8-18 (44.4%); 15.8 minutes
When Mayo returned to the Marquette lineup many thought he would be the 3-point savior. And for three weeks it seemed that was the case. He had eight makes from beyond the arc at an incredible clip in a six-game span. Yes, it included a DNP-CD against Providence but when he played, he played well. Unfortunately it didn’t last. After the last game (at South Florida), Mayo made just 7-of-32 3-pointers (21.8 percent) and averaged 12.3 minutes in 13 games.
10. Jamil Wilson’s last 8 games: 13.1 points, 11.0 FGA’s, 3.9 FTA’s
At the start of the year one of the things we wanted to see most was aggressiveness from Wilson. The last 11 games of the year we got it. Wilson’s season averages were 9.7 points, 7.7 field-goal attempts and 2.5 free-throw attempts. He exploded past those averages beginning with a home win over Notre Dame. No one will enter next season with more momentum than Wilson.