Stats & Info: Marquette Golden Eagles

Numbers To Know: Thursday recap

November, 30, 2012
Player of the Night – Jack Cooley
Cooley notched his third straight double-double in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s 64-50 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. The Irish improved to 4-31 against ranked Kentucky squads.

Going up against one of the five tallest teams in the country, Cooley led all players with 11 rebounds. That includes six offensive boards, which led to eight second-chance points.

Freshman of the Night – Michael Frazier II
Frazier broke out in the Florida Gators' 82-49 drubbing of the Marquette Golden Eagles. The freshman scored 12 of his career-high 17 points in the first half. He came into the game averaging just 3.4 points per game.

It was the most points for a Florida freshman off the bench since Erving Walker in 2009.

Scorer of the Night – T.J. Price
Price was the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers' only player in double figures in a 65-54 road win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. The sophomore finished with a career-high 30 points, as the rest of the starting lineup combined for only 16. Price accounted for 11 of his team’s first 13 points.

Ugly Stat Line Part I – Seton Hall
The Seton Hall Pirates committed 26 turnovers in a 72-67 loss to the LSU Tigers. That’s the most turnovers in a game for the Pirates since 2001, and the most LSU has forced since 2003.

Ugliest of all is when the bulk of those turnovers occurred. Seton Hall led 48-34 before committing 17 turnovers in the final 16 minutes of the game. That includes one stretch of four turnovers in a minute.

Ugly Stat Line Part II – Marquette
Marquette never led in its 82-49 loss to Florida. The Golden Eagles were held below 50 points for the first time since 2007. It was Marquette’s worst non-conference loss since a 33-point blowout by the Kansas Jayhawks in 2003.
A recap of Thursday's action in the Men's Basketball Championship.

(4) Louisville 57, (1) Michigan St 44
Rick Pitino improves to 10-0 as a coach in the Sweet 16 -- the best mark of any coach in the history of the tournament -- and Tom Izzo loses to a Big East team in the Men's Basketball Championship for the first time in his career (5-1).

Michigan State's 44 points and 28.6 field goal percentage are both its worst in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

Gorgui Dieng blocked seven shots, tying both his career high and the school record for blocks in a Men's Basketball Championship game (Pervis Ellison, 1989), to help Louisville advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2009 and the 12th time in school history.

Draymond Green leads the Spartans with 13 points and 16 rebounds in his final collegiate game.

(1) Syracuse 64, (4) Wisconsin 63
With their victory over Wisconsin, the Orange return to the Elite Eight for the first time since winning the national championship in 2003.

With his 48th tournament victory, Jim Boeheim passes John Wooden for fifth place all-time in tournament wins.

Wisconsin shot 14-for-27 from behind the arc but just 7-for-22 from inside. The 14 3-pointers are the second-most in a tournament game for the Badgers.

The last time Syracuse won a game by one point in the NCAA tournament was the Sweet 16 in 2003, when the Orange beat Auburn 79-78 and went on to win the national championship.

It’s just the fifth time a 1 seed won by just a single point in the Sweet 16.

Wisconsin tried to impose its will in this game, limiting Syracuse to just 52 possessions. That’s the fewest possessions for Syracuse in any game in the past 15 seasons. The previous low was 54, done twice (1999 versus Princeton and 2006 versus West Virginia, both wins).

(7) Florida 68, (3) Marquette 58
Florida reaches the Elite Eight for the fourth time in seven seasons behind one of the best defensive efforts in the shot-clock era.

The Gators have allowed just 153 points through three games in the tournament; only two teams since 1986 have allowed fewer in their first three tournament wins.

The Golden Eagles made 20 field goals, just one more than their season low, but are the first team to top 50 points against Florida in this year’s tournament.

(2) Ohio State 81, (6) Cincinnati 66
Aaron Craft led the defensive effort with six steals, an Ohio State record in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The loss matches Cincinnati's worst in the Sweet 16.

Deshaun Thomas leads all scorers with 26 points (20 in the first half) and adds seven rebounds as Ohio State beats Cincinnati in the Men's Basketball Championship for the first time in school history.

Thomas joins a great list of players in the past five seasons to average at least 25.0 points per game and reach the Elite Eight. The bad news for the Buckeyes is that none of the other three players reached the Final Four.

Spartans, Gators help make West best

March, 19, 2012
The ESPN College Basketball Power Index rates the West Region as the strongest in the Sweet 16. All four teams are ranked in the top 20 nationally in BPI.

However, saying that West is best is a misnomer in one regard.

There are no teams left from the Mountain or Pacific time zones in the Men's Basketball Championship, only the second year since 1975 that the Sweet 16 field did not have at least one team from the Pacific OR Mountain time zones.

The only other year that happened was 1985, when the closest team to either time zone was Oklahoma (Central Time zone).

Let's look at a couple of statistical tidbits related to the teams the West will adopt as honorary members during the regional semifinals.

Louisville Cardinals vs. Michigan State Spartans (Thursday, 7:47 p.m. ET)
Michigan State has scored a tournament-best 86 paint points, well above its average of 34 paint points per game. The Spartans have dominated around the basket, shooting 73 percent on shots from in-close.

The Cardinals have held 10 straight opponents below 45 percent shooting from the field and six straight opponents below 22 percent from 3-point range.

Since the start of the Big East Tournament, teams are shooting 38 percent from the field and 18 percent on 3-point attempts against the Cardinals.

The key to that has been Louisville’s 2-3 zone defense. Louisville has held opponents to 34 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers while playing zone against half-court sets in the past two games (opponents shot 41 percent against Louisville's man defense). Louisville has consistently ranked among the best teams at getting steals all season, doing so on 13 percent of opponents' possesions (seventh-best nationally)

Both coaches figure to have their teams well prepared. Michigan State's Tom Izzo is 5-0 all-time in tournament play against Big East teams. Louisville's Rick Pitino is 9-0 all-time in the Round of 16, with all of those wins coming by double figures.

The Spartans have a slight edge, by BPI, in which they ranked fourth nationally. Louisville ranked 11th.

Florida Gators vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (Thursday, 10:17 p.m. ET)
By BPI's account, this game is almost an even matchup. Florida and Marquette finished even in BPI and were separated by one tenth of a point in ESPN's strength of schedule evaluation.

No team makes more 3-pointers than Florida (9.8 per game). The Gators have made at least 10 3-pointers in three of their past four games and 22 of their 35 games this season.

Marquette can defend the 3-point line. The Golden Eagles have held their past 10 opponents to 28 percent 3-point shooting and none of them have made more than seven 3-pointers or shot better than 40 percent.

The 3-point shooting has been a little off in the tournament (14-for-51), but the Gators are shooting 79 percent and averaging 38 points per game in the paint during the Men’s Basketball Championship, both of which rank second in the field. The Gators entered the tournament averaging 28.8 paint points per game, seventh-most in the SEC.

Marquette has outscored its opponents by 11.0 points per game in transition during the 2012 Men’s Basketball Championship. Yet, it’s not all positive for the Golden Eagles, as they lead the field with 10 transition turnovers.

Darius Johnson-Odom has attempted the most transition field goals and scored the most transition points of any player in the 2012 Men’s Basketball Championship.

Johnson-Odom averaged 5.5 transition points per game in his first 31 games this season but has scored 19 transition points in the first two games of the tournament.

Johnson-Odom has also been huge in the paint these last two games, as noted in the chart on the right.
(1) Syracuse 72, (16) UNC-Asheville 65
In 1991, the Orange became the first 2-seed to lose to a 15-seed.

Thursday, it looked like Syracuse might become the first 1-seed to lose in the Round of 64.

Jim Boeheim’s team was the first 1-seed to be trailing at halftime since Kansas in 2002, but the Orange were able to hold on late, winning by seven.

UNC-Asheville led by four at halftime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bulldogs are the seventh 16-seed to lead at halftime. The largest halftime lead by a 16-seed is eight points, done twice in 1989 by Princeton (over Georgetown) and East Tennessee State (over Oklahoma).

Syracuse’s seven-point win was the 12th time since 1985 that a 1-seed defeated a 16-seed by fewer than 10 points.

(3) Marquette 88, (14) BYU 68
Jae Crowder had a double-double by halftime, finishing with 25 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four steals. He's just the third player to reach those totals in an NCAA Tournament game. Crowder is only the fifth Big East player to go 25-15 in a Men’s Basketball Championship game, and the first since DeJuan Blair in 2009.

(6) Murray State 58, (11) Colorado State 41
Colorado State had the lead at halftime, then came out in the second half and made just seven field goals (0-7 behind the 3-point line) and scored 17 points.

The 41 points scored by CSU is the fewest by a Mountain West team in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The previous low was 47 by New Mexico in 2005 vs Villanova in the Round of 64.

Murray State advances to the Round of 32 for the third time in school history, but the Racers have never reached the Sweet 16. In fact, since 1985 Ohio Valley Conference schools are a combined 0-5 in the Round of 32.

And although it was just a point deficit at halftime, Murray State now is 6-0 this season when trailing at half.

(4) Wisconsin 73, (13) Montana 49
Bo Ryan is 10-1 as a head coach in Round of 64 games, and the Badgers extended their school record of reaching the Round of 32 for a sixth consecutive year.

(8) Kansas State 70, (9) Southern Miss64
Rodney McGruder had 30 points and no turnovers as the Wildcats reach the Round of 32 for a school record third straight season. McGruder is the fifth player in the past five years of the Men’s Basketball Championship to score at least 30 points in a game without committing a turnover.

(4) Louisville 69, (13) Davidson 62
Louisville snaps a streak of three straight losses in the Men's Basketball Championship. Louisville only attempted five 3-point field goals, the fewest in a tournament win since Boston College attempted four in 2004.

(5) New Mexico 75, (12) Long Beach State 68
New Mexico wins its 28th game of the season, tied for the second-most in school history (30 wins in 2009-10). Long Beach State loses its fifth straight game in the Men's Basketball Championship and has not won since 1973.

(5) Vanderbilt 79, (12) Harvard 70
After leading by as much as 18 in the 2nd half, Vanderbilt advances to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2007. Harvard lost in its first Men's Basketball Championship since 1946.

Monday recap: Missouri avoids Sooner trap

February, 7, 2012
Missouri avoids the trap, holds on to beat Oklahoma
After its emotional win over Kansas on Saturday, Missouri tipped against Oklahoma less than 48 hours later. In what easily could have been a “trap game,” Missouri avoided the upset and left Norman with a 71-68 victory.

Missouri is 22-2 this season, matching the best 24-game start in school history. The Tigers also started 22-2 in the 1981-82 and 1989-90 seasons.

Marquette outscores DePaul by 16 in second half, takes over second place in Big East
For the sixth time in its nine Big East wins, Marquette overcame a first-half deficit of at least eight points, this time coming back from 14 down with three minutes left in the first half.

The Golden Eagles earned their 20th win of the season, and have won at least 20 games in seven straight seasons, the second-longest such streak in school history.

UConn losing its greatness
After starting the season 12-1, Connecticut is 3-7 in its past 10 games. The Huskies’ struggles came to the forefront last night on Big Monday when they lost 80-59 at Louisville. The 21-point loss is UConn's third-worst defeat over the past 15 seasons.

Stats in the Paint: Weekend outlook

February, 3, 2012

Dak Dillon/US PresswireUnder Frank Haith, the Missouri Tigers have slowed down the tempo while increasing their efficiency.
Let’s get you warmed up for the "College GameDay" road show (live Saturday from Columbia, Mo., at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

(8) Kansas at (4) Missouri, 9 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Missouri is shooting 57 percent inside the 3-point line this season, tops in the nation. Kansas is holding opponents to 39 percent shooting on 2-point field goals, which ranks fourth in the nation and leads the Big 12.

When Missouri has the ball: Missouri returned 89 percent of its scoring and has the best half-court offense in the country this season after ranking 44th last season.

Under first-year coach Frank Haith, the Tigers abandoned their “Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” and average six fewer possessions per game.

When Kansas has the ball: Tyshawn Taylor has eclipsed the 20-point mark in four of his last six games. Taylor has been much better on pick-and-roll plays during that stretch, averaging 8 points per game and shooting 64 percent. Over the first 16 games of the season, he averaged just 2 points while shooting 28 percent and turning the ball over more than twice as frequently.

Taylor’s recent success has allowed Thomas Robinson to get open looks in the paint. In Wednesday’s win against Oklahoma, 10 of his 12 shots were at the rim.

Saturday’s Other Matchups
(3) Ohio State at (20) Wisconsin, 2 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: During its six-game winning streak, Wisconsin has scored 38 points and is shooting 68 percent in transition. The Badgers scored 19 transition points and shot 53 percent while losing three of their first four conference games.

(6) Baylor at Oklahoma State, 1:45 ET on ESPN3
Key stat: Oklahoma State averages 28 paint points per game this season, the most in the Big 12. Baylor allowed 47 paint points per game in its two losses this season and 23 in its 20 wins.

Vanderbilt at (11) Florida, 1 ET
Key stat: Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins and Florida’s Kenny Boynton rank first and second in the SEC in points on catch-and-shoot plays this season.

(15) Marquette at Notre Dame, 1 ET
Key stat: Notre Dame is averaging 57.3 possessions per game during its three-game winning streak and had a season-low 52 possessions in its 50-48 win over Connecticut on Jan. 29. Marquette averages nearly 70 possessions per game in Big East play.

(18) Virginia at (24) Florida State, 1 ET on ESPN3
Key stat: Florida State and Virginia each rank at or near the top of the ACC in several defensive categories this season. The Seminoles (42.3) and Cavaliers (43.4) rank 1-2 in the ACC in opponents' effective field goal percentage this season.

Orange keys: transition, post-up defense

January, 6, 2012

Getty Images/Nate ShronFab Melo's play this season has given him plenty of reason to smile.

With a 16-0 start for the third time in Jim Boeheim’s 36-year head coaching tenure, Syracuse aims to remain at the top of the college basketball world with its defense, as it takes on Marquette on Saturday.

The Orange will look to continue a run that has been steered by its defense and transition game.

Syracuse has been averaging 11.1 steals per game, a significant increase from the 8.8 it averaged last season.

Boeheim’s defense has more steals than any other Division I teams with 177, 20 more than the team with the second-most (UNLV, 157).

Generating turnovers has created four more transition plays per game than last season for the Orange.

That has led to more transition points, an increase from 16.0 to 20.4 points per game.

Leading the Orange in the transition game is Dion Waiters. The sophomore guard has been coming off the bench and providing energy by stealing the ball almost four times per 40 minutes, the third-highest rate in Division I, and scoring a Division I-high 97 transition points.

Another key to the Syracuse defense is guarding shots around the basket. Opponents who don’t turn the ball over are having trouble scoring. Syracuse’s interior defense has been fantastic, holding opponents to 23 percent shooting from the field and 0.46 points per play on post-up plays, both second-best in Division I.

The main reason has been the presence of Fab Melo. The 30 pounds he lost in the offseason has given him more time in the middle of the trademark 2-3 zone defense.

Melo played 10 minutes per game as a freshman last season and averaged a respectable 2.9 blocks per 40 minutes. This season Melo is playing 23 minutes per game, averaging better than five blocks per 40 minutes, and has looked like a completely different player.

But the bigger surprise to Melo’s improvement has been his offense. Melo has been running up and down the court for more transition points and taking advantage of his size on post-up plays. That is noted in the chart on the right.

Melo’s combination of skills has helped Syracuse shoot 50 percent on post-ups and 58 percent on putbacks. That size will be a key against Marquette, the second ranked opponent that Syracuse has faced this season.

Syracuse figures to have a significant advantage in what it does well. Marquette’s defense rates below average in opponents’ field-goal percentage against both post-ups (44.4) and put-backs (54.5).
Towson ties losing streak record
With a 60-27 defeat at the hands of Drexel, Towson tied a record with its 34th straight loss, a streak that began on Jan. 3, 2011. That matches the longest losing streak in Division I history, also done by Sacramento State from 1997 to 1999. NJIT lost 51 straight from 2007 to 2009, but was reclassifying to Division I at the time.

On Wednesday, Towson suffered arguably its most humiliating loss of the current streak. The Tigers’ 27 points were their fewest since moving to Division I in 1979. It also set a CAA record for fewest points in a conference game. In addition, Towson hit only eight field goals, with only one player, Robert Nwankwo, making more than one.

Hoyas climb back against Marquette
Georgetown only missed one 2-point field goal in the second half in its 73-70 comeback win over Marquette. The Hoyas shot 76.2 percent in the second half, including 12-for-13 from inside the arc.

Marquette led by 17 points with 13 minutes to play, but the Hoyas went on a 27-10 run over the next 10 minutes. The final score would be Georgetown’s largest lead of the game. Jason Clark had 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half. The Hoyas have a D-I best four wins over ranked opponents.

Jayhawks conquer the boards
Kansas owned the boards in its 67-49 win over Kansas State. The Jayhawks held a 50-26 advantage on the glass, including 44-15 when looking at just the starting lineups. It matched a 2002 contest against Oklahoma for the most the Wildcats have been outrebounded in the past 15 years.

Of course, a big reason was Kansas State’s poor shooting. The Wildcats hit on 31.6 percent from the field, their lowest in three seasons. The Jayhawks have now held the rebounding advantage in all but one game this season.

Syracuse bench makes the difference
Syracuse’s 87-73 win over Providence can best be understood through the lens of bench performance. The Orange average 37.3 points per game off the bench, tops in nation. So they technically underperformed Wednesday with 35 bench points.

Both Dion Waiters (13) and C.J. Fair (12) were in double figures off the bench. Meanwhile, Providence used only six players all game. Brice Kofane was the long player to come off the bench, and he scored just one point.

VCU loses ugly
It wasn’t quite on the level of Towson’s anemic offense, but VCU also had an ugly offensive performance in the CAA on Wednesday. The Rams shot just 27.1 percent in a 55-53 home loss to Georgia State. It marked their worst shooting night since Dec. 1999.

Worse yet, VCU’s starters shot just 16.3 percent (7-for-43) from the field, including 1-for-14 from beyond the arc. Rob Brandenberg and Bradford Burgess combined to go 1-for-25 from the field.

Perfection on the line this weekend

December, 16, 2011
As we enter this weekend’s slate of college hoops, there are just nine remaining unbeaten teams in Division I. All of those squads will put their perfect records on the line this weekend.

Baylor Bears (8-0)
Baylor travels to Provo, UT where it will face a BYU Cougars team that has only lost five games at home since 2005-06. During that span, the Bears are 48-2 in non-conference home games, but lost their only such game against a ranked foe in 2009 vs Wake Forest.

Illinois Fighting Illini (10-0)
Saturday at the United Center, Illinois and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels will face off in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament Round of 64 game won by the Illini. Illinois is 10-0 for the first time since starting 15-0 in the 2005-06 season.

Indiana Hoosiers (9-0)
The last time Indiana faced the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Irish won 88-50 at the 2008 Maui Classic in Hawaii. This will be the first meeting between the two in-state rivals in Indianapolis since 1959. On Saturday, the Hoosiers look to improve to 10-0 for the first time since 1989-90.

Louisville Cardinals (9-0)
Louisville takes on an unranked Memphis Tigers team that is just 5-3 and has failed to live up to expectations as the ninth-ranked team in the preseason poll. This will be the 86th meeting between these former C-USA, Metro Conference and MVC rivals. Louisville holds a 51-34 edge including 30-11 at home.

Marquette Golden Eagles (9-0)
Marquette is off to its best start since the 2004-05 season and is looking to start a season with 10 straight wins for just the sixth time in school history. The Golden Eagles host the Northern Colorado Bears in the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Missouri Tigers (10-0)
The Tigers improved to 10-0 with a 104-67 win over the Kennesaw State Owls on Thursday night. This is their best start since they opened the 1991-92 season with 11 straight wins. They host the William & Mary Tribe on Sunday.

Murray State Racers (11-0)
Murray State became the first team to 11-0 with an 89-65 win over Lipscomb on Thursday night. The Racers are off to their best start since 1950-51, and the fourth-best start in school history. They host the Arkansas State Red Wolves Saturday.

Syracuse Orange (10-0)
Syracuse heads to Raleigh, NC to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack for its first true road game against a non-conference opponent since facing Memphis in December 2008. NC State is 5-25 all-time against the AP No. 1. Only 11 schools have more such wins.

Xavier Musketeers (8-0)
The Musketeers play their first game since the brawl with the Cincinnati Bearcats last weekend. Xavier, which hosts the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles on Sunday, has won 14 straight and 44 of its last 45 games at the Cintas Center.