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Monday, December 22, 2008

Previewing #24 Marquette

Alright... Up 'til now (save for the Davidson game), we've just been kicking the tires and babying it on the back roads...now it's time to see if this 2008-09 Basketball squad has anything under the hood.

PackPride Notebook entry

Golden Eagles scouting report from KenPom.com

                      Offense               Defense
Raw Efficiency : 112.9 ( 30) 94.3 ( 89)
Adj Efficiency : 109.8 ( 53) 94.5 ( 86)

Effective FG% : 51.5 ( 86) 48.1 (143)
Turnover Pct. : 19.0 ( 70) 22.2 (123)
Off. Rebound% : 40.0 ( 25) 30.1 ( 76)
Free Throw Rate: 38.1 ( 6) 37.2 (189)

3-Point FG% : 34.1 (156) 31.6 (100)
2-Point FG% : 51.6 ( 58) 48.5 (188)
Free Throw Pct.: 71.0 (104) 66.4 (111)
Block Pct. : 4.9 ( 18) 7.9 (188)
Steal Pct. : 8.7 ( 99) 11.7 ( 67)

3PA/FGA : 33.7 (149) 35.7 (260)
A/FGM : 62.2 ( 43) 49.3 ( 75)

As you can see from the pretty colors up above, Marquette does one thing extremely well: get to the foul line. Wesley Matthews, their primary offensive weapon, has shot 106 FT attempts thus far and made 90 of them for a .846 conversion rate. Listed as a guard but 6-5 and 215, Matthews has the size to take the ball inside against smaller forwards. He's also capable of shooting from outside, as well, hitting 36.4% of his perimeter attempts. Look for him to get a lot of touches tonight and be the focal point of their offense.

Marquette's first option from outside will be Jerel McNeal. He's hitting 43.6% of his looks from downtown. Playing point will be Dominic James who's dishing out 5.4 assists per game.

The 24th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles enter the game as two-point favorites, but don't be surprised if the Pack wins tonight. The Pack is doing its best to break free from last season's perceptions of this squad, playing with a lot of energy, effort and teamwork--three key ingredients that weren't there at many times a year ago. They've played particularly well--again, Davidson game and the Steph Curry freak show aside--in perimeter defense. They clamped down on a very good outside shooting East Carolina team and forced the Pirates to beat the Pack inside the arc. Look for a similar strategy tonight.

Should be a good one! The tip is at 7:00, on ESPNU


  1. I think offensive rebounds will be key to this game. We've been doing a better job of keeping other teams off the glass and from the looks of those stats, this game should be a challenge.

  2. The good news is that we'll have a definite size advantage. They play a three guard, two forward lineup, and no one over 6' 8" sees any significant playing time. So IF--big hairy IF--Costner, McCauley and Smith can focus on their block outs and technique, they should win the rebounding battles.

    As we've seen, though, that can be a lot to ask of our forwards.