By the numbers: Marquette through five games

The Marquette Golden Eagles have raced out to a quick 5-0 start, racking up four wins of 20-plus points and a Paradise Jam championship in the process. They have already moved up six spots in the AP poll (No. 22 to 16) and four more in the Coaches poll (No. 21 to 17) in the season’s first three weeks. Here are some more numbers that have helped Buzz Williams’ crew keep their record unblemished through five contests.

Paint Touches doesn’t have its Ken Pomeroy subscription set up just yet, so for now we’ll keep the numbers standard and basic.

20.2: Assists per game for the Golden Eagles, which ranks seventh in the nation in that category. Junior point guard Junior Cadougan has led the way for Marquette, averaging 6.4 assists, but the team has gotten help from Vander Blue (4.0 apg), Darius Johnson-Odom (3.6) and even Jae Crowder (2.0). Marquette has played disciplined in the half court and good passes have been the cause of many high percentage shots in the paint.

2: Turnovers by Derrick Wilson in 67 minutes played. He put up an absolute stinker this past weekend at the Virgin Islands, but Wilson has been exactly what Marquette needs behind Cadougan. He takes care of the ball, plays acceptable defense and knows the game. It would seem Todd Mayo is going to play exclusively on the wing, giving Wilson more opportunity to succeed.

82.9 percent: The combined free throw percentage (34-of-41) of sophomore forward Davante Gardner, redshirt junior center Chris Otule and senior forward Jae Crowder. Part of the reason Marquette ranks seventh in points per game is because only six teams have made more free throws than it in the early season. Part of that comes from the aggressive front line, which gets to the free throw line and makes its freebies when it get there. This will be a huge plus if it can continue into the heart of the season around the 75 percent mark. Last year this trio shot just 64 percent from the line.

11.6: Minutes per game (Juan Anderson excluded) played by every Golden Eagle, at least. While it’s still early and against inferior opponents where Buzz can hand out minutes at will, the depth on this team is shining through. There’s not one player on the court who looks lost or not ready to compete at the Division I level this year. There could be as many as nine players who get double-digit minutes this year (starters + Gardner, J. Wilson, D. Wilson, Mayo).

12: Blocks from Chris Otule, which ranks him third in the Big East and, for what it’s worth, 25th in the country. There may not be another more amazing transformation in the conference than what Otule has been able to do in the past two years. He is quickly becoming a premier shot blocker and has altered as many shots as he has swatted away. He even has six steals in five games. He had 11 all of last season.

3: The number of 3-pointers made by Vander Blue this season. He’s never going to make anyone forget about Steve Novak, but it’s worth comparing that Blue had just four 3-pointers all of last season. Question his technique and question the decision-making on when he shoots, but it’s apparent Blue is beginning to add a new dimension to his offensive game thanks to repetitions this summer and, more importantly, confidence.

69.2: percent: Darius Johnson-Odom’s field goal percentage from two-point range. He is 18-for-26 and, while more than a handful of those baskets on breakaway dunks, he has also perfected the 15-foot pull-up jumper, adding to his lethal offensive attack. Simply put, when DJO gets past his defender and into high percentage areas, it’s going in.

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One Comment on “By the numbers: Marquette through five games”

  1. John Pudner
    November 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Keep up the great work. You are right on about everything, except that I believe d. Wilson’s defense is excellent rather than adequate. His lateral movement is so good that with his strenghth it will be hard to penetrate against him.

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