Marquette’s Andrew Rowsey just posted his 4th 30+ point game this Tuesday against Seton Hall. Rowsey’s teammate, Markus Howard, also has 4 of these games – combining to become the only duo in the country with 4 or more 30+ games.
In the 2nd half of the game, Rowsey drew a shooting foul on a 3 with a nice shot fake. But, to Marquette fans, it’s more than just a shot fake. It's called #TheThing and he’s done it 16 times already this season.
Why are teams still falling for this fake? According to Synergy, he’s the most efficient ball screen scorer in D1 (min. 100 possessions). Defenses are so worried about Rowsey pulling up from deep that they're easily drawn into the air for Rowsey to lean into them.
Here are this season’s clips of #TheThing:
2. Weird Week of Game Ending Fouls
On Tuesday, Texas A&M trailed Kentucky by 1 when PJ Washington missed 2 free throws with 3.9 seconds left in the game. Texas A&M guard JJ Caldwell whipped a pass up court to Tyler Davis who was clearly hugged by Wenyen Gabriel – but no foul was called!
Davis is shooting 68% from the line. A&M is now 0-4 in SEC play, but they should turn it around now that their guards are healthy.
Here’s the no call that ended the game:
Hours later, another game came down to the last play. Purdue and Michigan were tied 69-69 when Moe Wagner was called for the foul on an entry pass into Isaac Haas. The 7’2” center, a 78% free throw shooter, hit the front end and Purdue won 70-69.
It’s interesting because there’s less contact, but in this case the foul was called.
However, the strangest foul came on Wednesday night when TCU intentionally fouled Texas with 6.5 seconds left IN A TIE GAME. Texas was in the double bonus so it wasn’t even to set up a 1 and 1.
The craziest part is it almost worked out in their favor! Texas freshman, Jericho Sims, who is shooting just 38% from the line this season, made 1 of 2 to put Texas up 99-98. On TCU’s final play Jaylen Fisher got a wide open look at the rim and it rimmed out. Fisher is shooting 60% at the rim.
3. Giving Robert Williams Some Love
Earliest this week, Jeff Eisenberg tweeted “Something I haven't seen discussed enough this season: Robert Williams hasn't gotten any better, has he?” Sam Vecenie added on that he’s slipping in his mock draft and that he’s made very few strides in his game.
He's been better. His 2P% is up - lifted by 71% at the rim compared to 65% last year. Defensively, his DRTG is up, blk% is the same, and reb% is way up. When they play only one big man at a time, he has a much higher NetRtg than both Davis and Morelos - an absurd +.50 NetRtg.
These stats all show positive signs that he’s continuing to develop and improve in his second season. I think part of the reason people are questioning him is because he’s been pulled in games by the coaching staff and he’s doing less. It’s true he’s less involved offensively as his usage rate dropped around 5% since last season, but he’s been really efficient in his time on the floor.
Check out the graphic below to see how their bigs have performed in different personnel groupings.
He’s improved despite missing games this year with a concussion and virus. Once he plays more games consecutively and his conditioning comes back I think there could even be another level for him.
4. Svi at Home and in Wins has been Deadly from 3
Kansas lost their top two scorers from last season to the NBA in Frank Mason (21 PPG) and Josh Jackson (16 PPG). That’s about 45% of their scoring from last season. A big question for Bill Self and his staff was who would pick up the scoring load.
So far Svi Mykhailiuk has stepped up to the challenge, raising his PPG average from 9.8 to 16.9. He’s been dominant from beyond the arc shooting 47% this year, substantially higher than his 40% the past two seasons.
Svi has been locked in from deep at home shooting 20% better at Allen Fieldhouse than on the road.
He’s not only been better at home, but also in their wins. They’ve needed him to step up this season as a scorer and legitimate threat outside. He’s clearly a different player in their wins than in their losses this year.
The Jayhawks are going to need Svi to keep up his scoring production, especially as they wait for the NCAA's clearance process to approve Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa for play this season.
5. Big Time Scorers (Not Named Trae Young)
Trae Young is ridiculous and has scored 30+ points in 5 games. As I mentioned above, Rowsey and Howard each have 4 games. However, two players have had 6 of these performances – Mike Daum and Kendrick Nunn.
I wrote about Daum earlier this year – he is a legitimate NBA draft prospect and scoring machine for South Dakota State.
The surprise player on the list is Nunn.
It shouldn’t really be a surprise - he was ranked #63 in ESPN’s recruiting rankings in 2013 and was a talented scorer in high school playing alongside Jabari Parker. He played his first 3 years at Illinois and averaged 15.5 PPG his junior year.
On May 24, 2016, he was dismissed from the team after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and transferred to Oakland for his senior year. This season, he's averaging 25.7 PPG and he’s more than doubled his assists from 1.7 to 4.1 APG.
It’s great to see Nunn succeeding at Oakland – scoring at the level most thought was possible.