"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 21, 2007

Thread Killer speaks: Stunned?

Should Pitt feel stunned after losing to MU today? ESPN's headline for the recap of the MU vs. Pitt game is "Marquette blows big lead but stuns No.6 Pitt in OT."

Is stunned really an accurate description? Headlines like that reek of hyperbole and I don't believe Pitt thought that a victory against MU was a given. Pitt has been a strong team all year and has climbed to a top 10 ranking. MU has finally started to play some of its best basketball of the year again -- after a poor start to conference play -- and has regained the form that propelled them to a top 10 ranking in the early season. However, a quick check of each team's record against the top 25 is revealing. Pitt was a paltry 0-2 against the top 25 and one might argue that they have not lived up to their lofty ranking. MU was 3-1 against the best preceding today' s game.

Should Pitt really feel stunned?

Maybe surprised, disappointed, or let down are better descriptions after a loss. Pitt will rebound from this game and they won't let it paralyze them as the headline suggests.

MU escaped with a victory today on Pitt's home court, but they really had the game in check throughout. Given how we dominated for most of the game, I would have been stunned had we lost. MU's guards and Ousmane Barro were the main story of the game with Fitzgerald pouring in a strong supporting role. Pitt's Gray collected 16 points and 9 rebounds, but he was essentially not a factor and spent key stretches of the game on the bench. Pitt's guards are good, but today our guards were better.

Exhausted. Relieved. Relaxed. Those words describe how I feel after today's game.

If MU lays an egg against Seton Hall and loses, I will be disappointed. I won't be stunned.

[rant off]

Thread Killer

btw, check out the day-after assessment over at PittBlather.


Bic said...

As a Pitt fan, losing to USF is a stunner. Losing to Marquette is disappointing but doesn't make me worry about the team like a really horrible stunner would.


Anonymous said...

I took notice of their decision to use "stunned" when I read the article too.

Also, anyone see Sportscenter's highlights of the game? The only pro-MU highlight they showed was James' second free throw to put MU up by one with 0.9 left in OT. Every other highlight was a made Pitt FG. Reminds me of Sportscenter's coverage of the MU/Pitt game in Milwaukee last year, when even though we won, Pitt got most of the highlights.

I'm happy that ESPN has inked this TV deal with the BIG EAST and all, but this lack of MU respect in the highlight package is reason 4,652 why I hate ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Even the CBS crew was incredibly biased. With MU up by 5 at half the studio crew said if Pitt stopped turning the ball over the game would be a cakewalk in the second half. The announcers continously said that if Pitt put the ball in Gray's hands the game was over. The numerous times Barro (or should I say Barrio?) played tough D and forced Gray to miss a short shot they barely took notice. It's hardly a stunner when Marquette had the lead for almost the entire game...if someone was stunned they shouldn't have been by the time it was over. Going into Pitt and winning is huge. If Seton Hall or Rutgers did it then you could say stunner. ESPN wouldn't use the word if Georgetown or Louisville did it.

Gene Frenkle said...

As far as ESPN goes, that's just pure laziness on their part. No, it wasn't a stunner. If MU made a once-in-a-lifetime shot or if one of the bottom feeders of the B.East won at Pitt, that would be a stunner. But the MU win was not a stunner. Headline should have read "Marquette Relieved, Hang On to Beat Pitt" or something like that. I don't necessarily think their highlights are terribly one-sided, however. But I will agree w/the other poster….ESPN does, in fact, blow.

Second of all, regarding the announcers Packer/Lundquist, they were totally unprepared. It was like the only thing they used to bone up on the B.East was reading the Sports Illustrated 4-page "Big east season preview section". They are TERRIBLE announcers and I have yet to meet anyone in 20 years of watching the NCAA Tourney on CBS who enjoys Packer (and Nantz). Lundquist usually isn't that bad. But Packer just likes to hear himself talk.

Anonymous said...

Found something interesting - the link "script was all wrong" on the "day after assessment over at PittBlather" states:

Scouts from at least six NBA teams — including Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry — were at Sunday’s game. It’s no surprise Ferry was there; his star, LeBron James, is the cousin of Marquette’s Dominic James.

I am a Richmond resident, have been following Dominic for years, and he is a family friend, however, I have never heard this about LeBron. Hmmm... nice rumor to start anyway, eh?

Anonymous said...

I actually have heard something about this before, but not first cousins. Probably more distant...

Amanda Lee! said...

I'm so glad someone pointed out the whole "Barrio" thing. It made me giggle almost the whole game. Why does everyone have such a tough time with his name? David Cubillan is a breeze to pronounce, but can't say "Borrow"? It's actually a regular English word! No, doesn't rhyme with arrow, or Derry-oh... Grrr. And I think they called him Oseman (1st syllable rhymes with hose) a couple times, too... And they were saying Dominic James' first name wrong too. Brutal.

ncaahoops said...

I think part of the problem is that a lot of the people who write the headlines, select the highlights, an write the text for the teleprompters are not really basketball people. So whenever a ranked team loses, or a ranked team loses to a lower-ranked/unraked team, they scream "upset!", or "major shocker!", regardless of the circumstances of the game, or where the game was played, or how closely matched the teams are, or differences in talent level.

Verne Lundquist should really concentrate on Golf and other slow-motion sports. CBS is (presumably) keeping him because he has been around for ever, but he keeps making about a dozen mistakes per game. He doesn't even know the players, he uses the jersey numbers to figure out who is who: he frequently mixes up the names of players with the same jersey number of opposing teams.