"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, January 07, 2007

No way to sugarcoat it...this team is awful...at least right now

Marquette falls to Syracuse tonight in another performance that makes you wonder how these guys can win any games in the conference this year. Ultimately they will and perhaps enough to even make the NCAA Tournament, but right now they are awful. The final score, Syracuse 70 and Marquette 58. This is not your dad's Syracuse squad either. This is a Syracuse squad that just lost to Drexel...at HOME!

Every loose ball, and I mean EVERY loose ball went to Syracuse. The hustle was terrible. The o'le defense to give up layups and offensive rebounds to the Orange time and time again.

The shooting...there is nothing nice to say about it. Awful. The free throw shooting...dismal. Case in point...at one point in the second half MU was up two and Dominic James was fouled taking a three pointer. A chance for MU to go up 5 and the crowd behind you. James not only missed all three foul shots, he wasn't close. In fact the only two shots James made all night were layups. Everything else was brick city.

Even when Marquette did something good they followed it up with something horrific. Case in point...Barro at the free throw line makes his first (and the team's FIRST in the second half) and before he can take the second one we have a lane violation. Now mind you, this wasn't just your garden variety lane violation. We committed it AS THE BALL WAS HANDED TO OOZE. He hadn't even taken a practice dribble or done anything close to attempt a shot.

Oh, and coming up next....at UCONN followed by home against West Virginia and then at Pitt. I figured we would be 2-4 to start the season, but 0-5 is looking extremely likely right now as this team cannot shoot, turns the ball over at the most critical times, does not rebound well and in general does not play smart.

Thank God it's only the second game of the conference season. Then again, if they don't get it together quickly they will be buried for the season.

No way to sugarcoat it. This team is awful right now. Hopefully they turn it around but it may take divine intervention at this point.

BTW, check out MUScoop's game photos here.


Anonymous said...

Something does not seem right with Dominic James. He rarely drives to the basket -- something he was fantastic at doing last season.

Is he injured and we're not hearing about it?

Anonymous said...

He'd be feeling alot better if the team was winning...I saw them at PVD and they looked terrible. Listened tonight. What a joke, they should not be ranked at all after this effort. A HS team could do better on free throws, the lack of rebounding, and DJ looks like anything but an All american. I have to wonder again, has coach lost control over the team, work ethic, desire? They'll be lucky to make the NIT.

NY Warrior said...

I dont see any sign of a coach losing control here.......this team is having a severe crisis of confidence when it comes to shooting the ball though.

Make your FTs and you win this game tonight.

Anonymous said...

It is disappointing to lose. At least the sun will rise tomorrow. It's only a game. The current team and the Marquette program is still a work in progress. We all wanted us to be a perennial power, but let's face it; we aren't there yet. We are in a tough conference. Anyway, Go Marquette!

Gene Frenkle said...

Terrible game. A completely winnable game. At home...and they lose. Many reasons for the loss and, potentially, a horrific Big East.

1) Dominic James is lost. Either he's given up on this team. Crean has on him. Or a little bit of both. He doesn't seem like he's having fun out there. He's not creating shots for anyone else either. Then again, last year he could dish it to Novak or Chapman. This year, the defenses aren't stretched and they are daring them to beat them near the hoop because MU couldn't hit water if it fell out of a boat.

Personally, I think James is gone. Not to the NBA, but to another school. I also think this team is not "his", but instead Jerel's and Wesley's. I think this irks him too. It would also explain the fact he's played only a couple games full-on this whole season.

Remember last year when he would get cramps every game? He's had that happen once I think this year. That's it. Now, I'm no doctor, but part of that I think is the fact he's not playing with 50% of the intensity he did last year. I don't know what the deal is, but sadly, I'm getting a very Dameon Mason-like feeling about him.

Might also explain the four scholarship players we have signed next year and the fact we currently only have three to give. Someone has to go and Crean HAS to know something in order to convince an 18-year old kid to come sign here on good faith.

2) Scratch this up as loss number 1 highly attributed to the free throw line. Just no excuses.

3) Lack of shooting. Again, the only thing Fitz can do is shoot the three. Either run plays for him to do that or get him out. He looks awful this year. Worse, he looks like he's lost his confidence.

4) Did I mention shooting and the fact they can't hit anything?

5) Pathetic defense. Between this game and the UW loss, I can't even count how many guys breezed past MU defenders toward the hoop for an open layup.

6) Lack of any senior leadership - Crean intimated at this at the end of the game on the radio. None of the seniors bring anything to this team. They aren't leading on, OR off the court.

I have to keep remembering that this team is still young and I thought they were overrated to begin with this year. But, they hung w/UW at home and lost a nailbiter. They beat an overrated Duke (but top 5) team too. Sadly, this team looks like it's regressing. If they start off the year 0-5, I'll be interested to see James' reaction on the court and what happens.

Sad to see the fans boo James missing the free throws too. I was ticked too, but you don't need to boo him for missing free throws. Booing that terrible stretch of offensive sets for 5-minutes in the second half? That was deserved toward the coaching staff.

Again...with every passing minute, this team misses Novak and I appreciate what he did more and more and more and...

Anonymous said...

I agree that James is gone, and its not the NBA. CBA maybe. He's a 5'9 inch "shooting" guard.

Lets include Tom Crean in thhe discussion. I counted 3 seperate occasions that MU inbounded the ball after time-outs, and turned the ball over. That's the play you desgign? The most overpaid coach in collage ball still has as many NCAA tourney wins w/o D-Wade as I do. They are NIT bound again and we have to endure that coach-speak about toghness.

Anonymous said...

I noticed "theIWB" aka Jim Gansler said this on the Dodds board.

"The booing after the missed free throws was embarassing. One rival's newspaper does a story on how great the Marquette student section is and the next thing you know they boo a player. Unreal, uncalled for classless. These are college kids, not pros.

Booing a classless act is one thing, booing missed free throws is another.

And another thing - why am I not surprised to see Fishywish supporting the boo birds? The next positive thing he says about the program or Crean will be the first."

Well boo hoo Jim. There is a reason why your board stinks and you Dodds guys cover for the program like the lackeys you are. All the good and knowledgeable posters have been banned over there but you have your posse instead. BORING.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but a lot of this loss goes on Crean's shoulders.

For the first five minutes of the game, they were pushing the ball up the floor -- I remember that Wes Matthews layup from James, beating the zone down the floor -- and attacking the middle. They were getting guys to the short-corner, and generally did a pretty good job early in the game.

But I didn't see ANY designed offensive gameplan, except for waiting for the shot-clock to go down to about 10-15 seconds (by dribbling at the half-court line), and then just pass around the perimeter, looking for a semi-open three from one of our "superb" three point shooters.

Why isn't Crean having his guys push the ball up the floor on just about every play? This team isn't meant to play in the half-court set. I can accept the large amount of turnovers, but it needs to come from this team trying to 'out-athletic' the other team.

Also, why aren't one of Matthews, James, or McNeal standing on the free-throw line to beat that zone on just about every play? When they ran plays that flashed James or McNeal to the free throw line, they were generally successful, as McNeal was able to hit some jumpers from that free throw/elbow area, and James was able to dish from there.

There was no offensive gameplan tonight. Scratch that -- the offensive "gameplan" tonight was awful. I'm sad that I made the trip from Chicago, along with my dad and a couple buddies, to see that.