Unfortunately, my grand plan to preview Marquette's opponents in graphic form got scuttled right quick this season when Ken Pomeroy's peerless site went behind the paywall after Marquette's first game of the year. And while I was more than happy to shell out the $20 (American) to be able to see the team-by-team breakdowns and other statistical goodness on kenpom.com, I'm not about to publish dude's proprietary material here.
Thus, I'm forced to act like a big boy and use my words to tell you the little bit I know about tonight's opponent, Winthrop.
Winthrop sits at 247 in KenPom's 2012 rankings (that part of the site, of course, is still free to view), surrounded by luminaries like Lipscomb, Portland State (aside: much like Boise State, that's terribly inaccurate geography), Central Michigan, and St. Peter's. The Eagles sit 0-2 on the young season, having lost by a dozen to Eastern Kentucky at home before getting routed by Virginia, 69-48, in a 57-possession rock fight on Tuesday.
You might remember the Eagles from their high-water moment in 2006-'07, when they romped to a perfect 14-0 mark in the Big South and a 29-5 record overall (including a three-point, overtime loss to the Red Menace at the Kohl Hole in December 2006) and clipped Notre Dame in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles lost their coach, Gregg Marshall, after that Cinderella season, however, and they've largely hit the skids since: Winthrop finished 11-19 in 2008-'09 and 13-17 last year, coupled with this year's slow start.
The Eagles haven't done anything particularly well thus far: they play at a glacial pace (they've averaged right around 59 possessions in their first two games), but they can't shoot well enough to make that an effective strategy -- 42.5 eFG%; 38% FG overall; and just 28.1% from three-point range. On the other side of the court, Winthrop's been blistered by hot shooting: they've surrendered an eFG% of 57.3% and allowed their opponents to shoot 48% from the floor overall. The Eagles don't turn the ball over at an alarming rate (23 total in their first two games), but they hardly force any turnovers from their opposition (just 18 total thus far).
Add that all up, and tonight's game doesn't figure to be much of a contest. I'm not saying Marquette can't lose, of course, because the boys are in a totally unfamiliar gym and it's early in the year and so on and et cetera. I'm just sayin': if they do gag this one away, there will probably be a hole in my wall tomorrow morning.
Full individual stats for both teams, after the jump.
MARQUETTE FULL STATS
WINTHROP FULL STATS