"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

Monday, July 31, 2006

Smallball -- MU's style of play leads the way for the Big East

MU gets more than its share of ink in this in-depth conference primer from ESPN.com. The makeup of MU's roster is compared favorably to Villanova's latest vintage.

"That's certainly a way of playing that we've looked at closely," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "The whole key was that Randy Foye could play any position and Kyle Lowry made everybody better. There's no question I could see us going with three guards, maybe even four."

The Golden Eagles will attempt to mimic Nova behind sophomore guards
Dominic James, Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal. Crean anticipates that 6-foot-9 Dan Fitzgerald, 6-6 Lazar Hayward and 6-foot David Cubillan will rotate along the perimeter, as well, but the Eagles will go as far as the big three can take them.

One thing that's not lacking with this group -- much like Nova's squad -- is a confidence that permeates through them.

In addition, this ESPN article smartly recognizes that Wesley Matthews should be a breakout performer in the Big East this season (even if the source they rely on is Dominic James).

Jay Bilas expects big things from MU, "The team I feel will make a quantum leap is Marquette, an NCAA Tournament team last year that could be even better this year."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Recruiting Update: Crean Pushes for Commits

OK, its the dog days of summer (and only 78 days until Midnight Madness!!!), and many Marquette fans are on pins and needles waiting for a few big name recruits to announce their college of choice.

MU secured its first pledge for the freshman class of 2007 last year, when talented combo guard Scott Christopherson from LaCrosse verbally committed to the Golden Eagles. Now, TC is turning his attention inside -- to a handful of post players in particular, including:

- Keaton Nankivil, a 6'9" power forward from Madison Memorial High school (and former teammate of current MU star Wesley Matthews), will decide soon between Marquette, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Boston College.

- Trevor Mbakwe, a 6'8" power forward from the Twin Cities (but he'll complete high school in Georgia beginning this fall), has been offered by Michigan, Wisconsin, Marquette, Miami and Illinois. Its unclear what Mbakwe's timeline is for making a decision.

- Idris Hilliard, a 6'8" forward from the Hun School in New Jersey, is having a strong summer and is being pursued by Marquette. Rutgers, Wake Forest and DePaul are also chasing Hilliard, who visited the Blue Demons' campus earlier this summer (as well as MU for the Elite Camp).

- Jerai Grant, a 6'7" power forward from perennial power DaMatha High School and son of former NBA star Harvey Grant, indicated that Marquette and Clemson lead for his services. Grant took an unofficial visit to MU earlier this summer. Here's a nice feature on Grant from i95ballerz.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Update: Novak inks THREE year deal with the Rockets

Although it was initially reported that following a superb showing in the Las Vegas summer league, Steve Novak signed a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle today reports that the Rockets have instead signed Steve to a three-year deal. According to this article, the Rockets were able to offer Novak a third year by using money left over from their mid-level exception.


Congrats to Steve and enjoy playing with Yao and T-Mac!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Likely Starting Lineup: Plenty of Opinions

OK, seven of you jumped in with your projections on the starting lineup for the upcoming season. Here's the link to those comments -- any more perspectives?

Thanks to all of you who participated!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Likely Starting Lineup for MU?

OK......its incredibly early but what the heck. One commenter below (the ever-mysterious, 'Anonymous') offers his take -- reposted here for your consideration:

"Likely starting lineup:

PG: James
SG: McNeal
3G: Matthews
F: Hayward
C: Barro

This is obviously speculation, but from reports of Hayward's ability this summer, it's hard to see anyone else breaking into the starting lineup ahead of him. He's a major league talent.Obviously, Fitz will make a case to start, but he seems like the ideal supersub at a number of positions."

What do u think? Who will start for MU this winter?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vitale tabs MU for his pre-season top 25

.....my head hurts thinking about DickieV screaming from the ESPN studios in Bristol, but I'll take it if MU is getting some love.

In one of many ridiculously early pre-season projections, Vitale pegs MU as #12 in his preseason top 25. Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Amoroso transfers to SDSU

After strongly considering UNLV, Ryan Amoroso opts to transfer to San Diego State. Good luck, Ryan.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Novak, Diener shine in summer league action

Steve Novak, steal of the NBA draft?

Its too early to make that claim, but based on Novak's fine performance at the Las Vegas Summer League, who knows. At the very least, Novak turned some heads. ESPN noticed and included him (the only second rounder, btw) on their all-Vegas Summer League squad.

Novak shot the lights out in Vegas despite being a 'marked man' by opposing defenses. Read it here.

Meanwhile, Travis Diener capped off a strong showing at the Pepsi Pro Summer League, earning first-team all-league honors. Nice work, Travis

Friday, July 14, 2006

MU's 2006-2007 Big East Opponents Announced

A few highlights......

Home-and-Home: Pittsburgh, Louisville, Providence
Home only: Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Rutgers and Seton Hall
Road only: Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, USF
No Plays: Cincinnati, St. John's

Here's the link to the official MU news release.

The season ticket holder should be loving life --- Ville, Pittsburgh, 'Cuse and 'Nova are a nice core of conference games. Still, I'm disappointed that two of MU's most natural rivalries will be compromised this year: MU loses the home/home with DePaul and misses Cincy all together.

We'll have more analysis soon.

The Day I Joined The Media

This post is taken (with permission) from an email sent by Marquette alum Brian Fuhs. This is the text of an email Brian sent to a group of fellow MU alums back on July 3rd.......and its taken on a life of its own in cyberspace. For my money, this is an All-Time Great Alumni Moment.

BTW, Brian -- have you been carrying your 2003 Regional Final ticket stub around in your pocket for three years? ;-)

(July 3, 2006)
"So it's Thursday of last week, a half an hour before I'm scheduled to take a customer out for lunch. I soon receive a call from him telling me that he won't be able to make it. With my customer's cancellation, I now have an hour and a half to burn.

At that point I recall seeing a blurb in the paper that Dwyane Wade was hosting his second annual basketball camp (ironically 15 minutes away from my customer's site). I decide to try it out in the hopes of catching a brief glimpse of the Marquette star in the parking lot or something.

As I pull up to camp, it becomes quickly apparent to me that the task of getting a pic with DWade is going to be very, very, difficult. I calmly get out of my car, grab my planner, and approach the entrance of the building (which is covered by volunteers and a couple police officers).

As I'm walking to the entrance, I still have no idea what I'm going to say until, "Hello, I'm Brian Fuhs from the Marquette Tribune, and I'm here to do a quick piece on Dwyane" pops out of my mouth. I have no idea where that came from?!?

Suddenly, the cop pages the camp director, who then approaches me at the entrance. The guy (Dwyane's brother), tells me to follow him around back, where they'll supply me with the proper media credentials I need. I get fitted with my media pass and am directed to a room with reportersfrom NBC, ESPN, Fox, WGN, etc.

Now I'm thinking that I've taken thiswaaaaaaaay to far...("Hello, Rich King, WGN Sports." "Oh hello, ummm, Brian Fuhs, Marquette Tribune").

We're told to get ready for the "media session" which will kick off in 10 minutes. In walks Dwyane, cameras start to roll, reporters begin asking questions.

At this point, I almost remember thinking to myself, "Hell, I made it this far, might as well keep this rollin'."

Next thing I know, there's a break in the action, and out pops my question ....

"Dwyane...Brian Fuhs, Marquette Tribune. Could you talk about your time at Marquette with Coach Crean's demanding practices, and your run to the FinalFour...how those experiences helped get you to where you are today...NBAFinals Champion/MVP?"
Dwyane loves the question, dedicating more time to it than any other question from any other reporter. I obviously don't have a recorder/camera, so here I am standing in front of Dwyane, holding my phone out in front of me as I record a voice memo (real professional).

As the media session ended, I got a picture with the man (and AlonzoMourning), and had Dwyane sign my ticket stub from his Triple-Double in the'03 Elite 8 against Kentucky.

At the end of the day, it ended up being one of the funniest things I've ever had happen to me, and I got a chance to meet one of my favorite athletes of all-time.

Sorry for the long-winded e-mail, simply thought you would get a kick outof me being a nerd and posing as a member of the media. Still can'tbelieve I did that, and still can't believe I pulled it off with no one catching me.

Freakin' hilarious."


The intrepid Brian Fuhs, alleged Marquette Tribune reporter, and DWade

Zo and the clever Brian Fuhs

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Whatever happened to.........

Jim Chones


Roney Eford

Great job by the guys at Marquette Hoops and Ring Out Ahoya!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Novak shines again in NBA Summer League

Steve Novak poured in 20 points (3-7 from behind the arc) as the Houston Rockets summer league squad topped Denver, 93-90. Here's the box score. Here's a link to his stats to date.

Friday, July 07, 2006

As Hans Gruber once said, 'Shoot the Glass'

Looks like Coach Crean and Dwyane Wade were also paying attention to the well-dressed, celluloid villain.

ESPN.com's Pat Forde offers well-deserved props to TC and DWade for emphasizing one of basketball's lost art forms.

Maybe Steve Novak was shooting the glass yesterday as well. According to HoopsWorld, the Marquette graduate 'stole the show' in his NBA Summer League debut with a 22 point outing (including 6-8 from beyond the arc).

Here's a link to the article -- a terrific write-up that includes a number of comments from Rockets' GM Carroll Dawson, including how Tom Crean's system better prepares his players for a shot at pro ball.

Finally, here's the box score from the game.

MU to Host NCAA Tournament in 2010

......hey, its been a slow week......summer's here, work's a killer and its the off-season. We'll drum up more content soon, but in the meantime Marquette confirmed what many had been hoping for -- the NCAA Tournament is coming back to the Bradley Center in 2010 with MU as the host. This event will provide terrific exposure for Marquette, and a spike in the bank account as well. Nice work by Bill Cords.

Here's the MJS article by Don Walker.

The first time MU hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament was back in 19992. That year, MU welcomed an incredible pool of talent including future NBA players Travis Best, Lee Mayberry, Todd Day, Doug Christie, Harold Miner, David Vaughn, Jon Barry and more. The weekend was highlighted by Georgia Tech's improbable upset of second seeded USC ..... that's when James Forrest made his one and only 3-pointer of the season, sending Yellow Jackets to the Sweet 16. The shot still resonates - - check out ESPN's top 10 buzzer beaters here: