"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

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Old-Time Warriors Karma Is Required Today

Marquette takes on rival DePaul today, hoping to secure a much-needed quality win late in the season. With Earl Tatum in the house, karma is properly aligned for the Warriors.

This game has a few interesting storylines. Initially, this game marks the final meeting between cousins Drake and Travis Diener. The two exchanged pleasantries in this morning's Chicago Tribune, with Travis referring to Drake by saying, "hopefully, he has a bad game." Not to be outdone, Drake offered, "if he had zero points and we won, that would be the best game for me." Coming into today's tilt, Travis' Warriors have a 5-2 advantage in this series within a series.

Both squads are fighting for an at-large birth in the NCAA Tournament, with DePaul firmly planted among the field of 64 at this point. MU lacks what DePaul has - - a quality win against one of the conference's better teams (the Demons beat Cincinnati). DePaul stands at 8-3 in conference play after losing at Charlotte earlier this week. With a record of 0-7 against the teams leading C-USA, this afternoon's game is one of MU's last opportunities to get off the schneid. Controlling surging senior Quemont Greer will be key for MU - - he's a brutal matchup for the Warriors, perhaps the zone that was used so effectively against Louisville will be an asset today as well.

Of course, MU also has a little bit of Earl Tatum magic to count on today - - MU will need it after the heartbreaking defeat to Louisville earlier in the week. MU squandered a golden opportunity then, but can somewhat make up for it today. Crean will have to shuffle the rotation of his big men today, Chris Grimm is out for a few weeks with a broken elbow. In the last game with DePaul, the Blue Demons' unproductive bigmen (Thompson and Brumfeld) combined for 27 points and 12 rebounds -- their combined season averages are eight and eight. Moreover, DePaul secured 19 offensive rebounds against MU. Marcus Jackson, Ousmane Barro, Mike Kinsella and Todd Townsend - - it is time for redemption. Moreover, its time to extend DePaul's road woes; according to the Daily Herald the Blue Demons are just 3-4 away from Allstate Arena since mid-December.

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