After coming into Marquette as an unknown prospect, John Dawson had been a mystery player all year. Besides the Grambling game, he had only played over eight minutes in three games, which were blowouts against IUPUI, Ball State and Cal-State Fullerton. In fact, Dawson hadn’t hit more than one field goal in any game this entire year. So one would assume that no one was yelling or screaming for Dawson to play – again, he wasn’t exactly a highly-touted recruit. Fans had been clamoring to get Derrick Wilson off the court all year, but once fellow point guard Duane Wilson decided to redshirt, the Wilson complaints simmered down to mere mumbles and groans, as there seemed to be no other available options. However, that may have changed Thursday night against Xavier. Many Marquette fans, including myself, seemed to take note of Dawson’s play, and even dared to argue that the offense looked smoother with him taking the ball up (“how dare you?!?!?”). We all seemed to be looking at a much faster and more controlled point guard, who could actually pull up for some shots on the offensive end without the entire fan base wanting to hurl. So we took a look at the numbers for the game, and were surprised with the results:
Derrick Wilson: 22:54 on floor – Xavier outscores Marquette 56-48
John Dawson: 17:06 on floor – Marquette outscores Xavier 31-30
Very interesting. Marquette may have scored more overall points with Derrick on the floor, but alinged with their minutes, their offensive yield is quite similar (2.08 points-per-minute with Derrick compared to 1.82 PPM with Dawson). Obviously, a lot of factors could go into these numbers – such as who was guarding them, who else was on the floor, what defense Xavier was in and so on. But the bottom line is, it’s a team game, and our team outscored theirs whenever Dawson was on the floor, and didn’t whenever Derrick was. As for whether Dawson was more effective or not, I’m not going to give a definite yes-or-no answer – because quite honestly, I don’t think John Dawson is the universal solution to our offense’s problems. But it’s worth noting enough that the offense was better with Dawson through both the eye test and statistics, and all while against a top conference opponent. Now, I’m not saying Dawson should start over Derrick, or let alone even get more minutes – but to me, this definitely makes him worthy of a shot at some more playing opportunities. Your call, Buzz.
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