"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

Friday, January 20, 2006

Novak Slays The Irish


Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak. Steve Novak.

18.874 ......the largest crowd to ever see a college basketball game in the state of Wisconsin watched Steve Novak pour in 28 points including a ridiculous jumper (while drifting out of bounds) with 1.1 seconds to go to seal the victory.

Dominic James chipped in with 11 points, six assists and five rebounds. Jerel McNeal contributed 12 points and five assists in the comeback victory.

Other keys:

  • MU responded to a 30-19 deficit with a 30-16 run to close the first half and open the second half on their way to a 49-46 lead.
  • Dominic James made a huge bucket to tie the game at 65 with 45.9 seconds remaining;
  • Jerel Mcneal scored all 12 of his points in the second half, showing the aggressiveness Marquette fans have already come to expect;
  • Dan Fitzgerald with 6 points (two three pointers -- one the old fashioned way) to go along with an assist and three boards.
  • Mike Kinsella's inspired play, particularly defensively with three blocked shots, was key in helping to contain Torin Francis.
  • Marquette outrebounded the Irish 33-27 and limited second half turnovers to merely six (14 total).
...........MU rah-rah.

Marquette improved to 14-5 overall and an impressive 4-2 in the Big East with the victory. The Irish fell to 10-6 and 1-4. Marquette welcomes the DePaul Blue Demons to the Bradley Center on Wednesday.

Courtesy of SJS1 on the Rivals site (and notable blog contributor) -- a recap of Crean's post game comments from WISN with Homer and McIlvaine:

--Thinks this game will go down as one of the great MU/ND games.
--Defense, blocking out much better in the 2nd half.
--ND is a potent offensive team
--Both teams made the other earn things
--Ben Sheets gave pre-game talk, Tony LaRussa spoke post-game
--Liked Kinsella in practice
--need the size in the lineup
--Kinsella has intuition. Need better post defense. Got winded quick.
--Crean not happy with McNeal first half
--came out with focus and desire in 2nd half
--Deflection average record set by Wade--12.2. Record is "safe, for now"
--Crowd: Phenominal thing
--people came despite the weather. Great record crowd.
--Five home games left--Hopefully some more sellouts.
--Want Novak to shoot in practice behind the NBA line. If he keeps this up, no way is he not a 1st rounder. NBA GMs in the house tonight.
--Complicated explanation of last play--basically, was to get Novak open off the high post, with an option to McNeal. McNeal was open, but Novak kept the dribble and got the shot. Afterwards Mac suggested that it's as sophisticated as an NBA play.
--Showed tape of highlights from great MU/ND games over the years. Really important that players understand what rivalry is all about.
--Many thanks again to everyone for being there.

A few recaps of the game:

Here is Rosiak at the MJS.

Here's the GoMarquette recap.

Here's the AP's recap.

Here's the box score.

Here's the Chicago Tribune.

Here's the South Bend Tribune.

Here's the Palladium-Item.

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