"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Getting Familiar with the Woodshed

Oy....Louisville took Tom Crean's guys out to the woodshed tonight and showed no mercy. Ville wins 99-52, the most lopsided defeat in MU history. Do you think Pitino was a bit peeved at MU's remarkable success against him?

Nevertheless, Louisville hosted a wounded, hobbling team tonight and took full advantage of it. Travis Diener, the nation's best senior point guard, did not suit up tonight due to an ankle injury. Diener's absence was crippling for MU, particularly in the second half when Louisville outscored MU 56-22. There are no silver linings in an embarrassing loss like this, though Todd Townsend's play was encouraging.

Now its time to look ahead. Marquette travels to St. Louis to take on the eyesore that is Billikens basketball. Soderberg's teams are brutal to watch, but are never out of games -- and play MU very tough. The SLU game might be the last chance that MU has to right the ship and develop momentum moving into the back half of conference play. A win on Saturday is key......realize that MU closes with four of its last five at home, so a strong finish is not out of the question. But the losing streak needs to stop at three games, and losing four of five is more than enough.

Turning the season around begins with rebounding (and hopefully a healthy Travis Diener). In each of these last four losses MU has given up at least 15 offensive rebounds to the opposition. Coming into this stretch, MU was in the top ten nationally in rebounding margin, a statistic built at the expense of a moderate schedule made up almost exclusively of home games.


hermie said...

Life without Diener....ouch

Corey said...

Tough game...I've had Louisville pegged as a serious threat for the Final Four...They are extremely good...

Marquette is also MUCH better than what they showed last night. It's tough to get behind early on the road against a hot shooting team. Things can get away from you quickly.

Lurch said...

Transfers have wrecked havoc with the MU program. You can NOT average 1-2 transfers per year, and remain a consistent winner.

Unfortunately, the transfers have caught up to MU and Crean. With a senior class that only has 2 players that were recruited into the program as freshman, the lack of leadership (sans Deiner) is a real problem. There are only a handful of upperclassmen, but 5 players that are freshmen and 5 that are sophomores (including 3 transfers that aren't currently eligible). It may be a long season or three before MU really breaks the juggernaut in the top half of the Big East.