As of late, we spent some time on this website talking about two issues that have been plaguing Marquette men’s basketball this season.
- Three-point shooting defense, which we talked about here.
- Turnovers on both ends of the floor, which we talked about here.
On Saturday night, Steve Wojciechowski and his pledges went out to Washington, D.C., and came away with a 64-60 victory over Georgetown. I feel it’s only appropriate to go ahead and take a peek at how those two items went in the game against the Hoyas. If we’re going to make a big deal about something, then we should probably check back in with it. After every game? That sounds like a lot of unnecessary work. After snapping a three game losing streak? Definitely a good idea.
MU’s big problem with three-point shooting was that they were letting teams shoot a lot of threes, more than they normally would on average. For the first few games of the season, that wasn’t a problem because the teams were shooting it worse than they were on average. During the three game losing streak, things were going the other direction on MU.
So what about the Hoyas?
On Saturday night, Georgetown went 5-for-24 from long range. That’s a shooting percentage of 20.8%, well off their usual rate of 34.8%. That is great news. As we talked about in the article linked above, to a certain extent, that’s just good luck for the Golden Eagles. However, Georgetown derived 38.1% of their shots from behind the three-point line in the game. Per KenPom.com, the Hoyas are averaging 39.4% of their shots as long-range bombs, and that was 39.5% before running up against the Golden Eagles. That’s good news! In each of the previous seven games, MU had let their opponent fire off more threes than they normally would have! Sure, 38.1% isn’t much below 39.4%, but it is lower, which means MU defended Georgetown’s interest in shooting threes better than the average defense against the Hoyas. I’ll take it!
Let’s go over to the turnover battle.
This one’s pretty easy.
Marquette turned it over on 18.3% of possessions in the game, a pretty middle of the road performance for them this season. Georgetown coughed it up on 23.9% of possessions. That’s more than Marquette! As we pointed out in the previous article, MU teams guided by Steve Wojciechowski win 72% of their games when they turn it over less than their opponent does. That held true to form against Georgetown, as the Golden Eagles ended up leaving McDonough Arena with the W.
Yeah, it’s one game. Yeah, it’s Georgetown, aka “the worst KenPom team in the Big East,” aka “the team picked to finish last in the league,” aka “yep, even DePaul is looking down at them and laughing.” But, for 40 minutes, and for their first 40 minutes in 10 days, Marquette fixed their glaring problems to this point of the year. Thumbs up, lads, go do it again on Tuesday against Connecticut.