Saturday, January 28, 2012

Who Are Marquette's Go-To Scorers?

After playing 13 non-conference games and 8 conference games, Marquette is averaging 76.3 points per game, good enough for second in the Big East.  It's no secret that this team likes to pick up the tempo and score in bunches in transition and off of three-pointers.

If somebody asked you who this team's go-to scorers are, you might say Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder without thinking twice about it.  But are they the team's only go-to scorers?  Are they even the go-to scorers on a regular basis?  I decided to dig into this a little further, looking at DJO, Crowder, and a few others I think have made a significant impact in terms of scoring.

Not much of a surprise here, DJO has lead the team in scoring all season long.  He's lightning quick in transition, and can get hot in a hurry from beyond the arc.  Not to mention, he makes an exorbitant amount of 2-point jumpers from 15 feet and out.  He has scored 20 points or more 7 times this season, and the one time he didn't score in double-figures was the game he didn't play in against Northern Colorado.  Point made, DJO is a go-to scorer on this team.

Jae Crowder
Similar to DJO, Crowder is a pretty versatile player in his own right.  He'll take his fair share of three-pointers, but scores plenty of points underneath the basket as well.  His trimmed physique this season has given him some added speed which has given him an increased role in the transition game.  Over 21 games, Crowder has scored 20 or more points 4 times this season, and has 17 games in double figures overall.  While he has had 4 quiet nights, he hasn't had a game with less than 9 points in over a month.

Todd Mayo
I look at Todd Mayo the way the ESPN analysts look at Tyshawn Taylor from Kansas: At some points he looks like a dominant player who can score in a variety of ways, and at other points he looks incredibly raw and just makes you scratch your head.  That being said, Mayo is only a freshman, and I'm very excited about the upward potential he brings to this team.  Mayo put up 22 points against Northern Colorado, but has been very streaky in conference play as one might expect from a player that's both talented and unpolished.  Over his last 7 games (starting with @ Georgetown), Mayo's point totals have been 16, 4, 12, 9, 11, 10, 4.

Davante Gardner
After Chris Otule's season-ending ACL injury against Washington, the Ox in the Box has stepped up in a big way.  After averaging only 9 minutes a game in 2010-11, Gardner has averaged 20 minutes per game this season, and even played for 34 minutes against St. John's.  Naturally, along with additional playing time has come additional points (and unfortunately additional foul troubles too).  Because of his 290-pound frame Gardner tends to draw a lot of contact in the paint which gets him to the charity stripe often, and he has such a soft touch that he gets a favorable roll on a lot of his shots.  Davante has been in double-figures 9 times this season, with his career night of 22 points coming in that game against St. John's (I guess God'sgift just couldn't handle the Ox).

Jamil Wison
Although he's been more of a role-playing scorer at this point, Wilson has shown he has plenty of scoring potential.  He has a sweet stroke on baseline jump shots, and has become more physical in the paint since conference play began.  While Otule's injury has given Gardner added minutes, it's also given Jamil more playing time as well.  J-Wil has scored 11 or more points 3 times this season, including a career-high 16 points against Providence last week.  While he's very athletic and versatile, Wilson is still a little raw and has potential to immediately fill in Crowder's stat. line next season.

Here's a summary of these players and point totals per game put into 3 different buckets

Jae Crowder4134
Todd Mayo8121
Davante Gardner1281
Jamil Wilson1830

So what's the conclusion here?  How many go-to scorers are on this team?  I guess you could say the answer is three.  Clearly DJO and Crowder are the top two consistent scorers on a nightly basis.  The third guy?  I think it's a go-to-scorer by committee.  Mayo, Gardner, and Wilson aren't consistent enough to put up the same numbers as Crowder and DJO (partially because of minutes played and partially because of experience), but they're good enough to pepper in a few great performances here and there which is enough to create a consistent scoring presence from a third person.  In a sense, I like that because we're not relying heavily on a third person, but instead we're relying on three other guys to be that third person.  If Crowder has a quiet night, there are three other guys that can pick up the slack.  Would I like one of those three guys to be more consistent?  Absolutely.  But assuming they continue to perform well down the stretch, I'll take what we have.

Photos courtesy of Marquette Tribune and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel