"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

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Heartbreak deja vu

Each time Marquette plays Louisville, Bradley Center faithful shave one year off their life expectancy. Tonight was no different.

There's not much more to say other than we had built a 7 point lead at the exact time you want it: with a few minutes left in the game. But over the last 4:37, Marquette would only manage 4 measly points, while UL scored 13, including a last second bomb from Milwaukee native Jerry Smith at the buzzer. Heartbreak. Jerry Smith is the new Reese Gaines, killing Marquette at the buzzer.

I received a Marquette mailing today which contained the ticket forms for post-season play. I think MU might have irritated the basketball gods and jinxed itself by not including the customary NIT ticket forms, believing Marquette was headed for the big dance. With a 3 game losing streak going into 3 tough games (Nova, @ND, Pitt), Marquette needs at least one, or perhaps two to seal a bid. This was unthinkable just 8 short days ago. With 8 teams with .500+ records in the BE, someone is going to be Not In Tournament. -- We need some wins.
I have nothing more to say. It was a completely heartbreaking loss.


Anonymous said...

Nice recap...too bad it was of a heartbreaker.

Yes, we will need to finish very strongly. Yes, we have had major meltdowns. Every lost we've had coulda/shoulda/woulda been wins.

But hey, fecal matter happens. Star players have bad games. I said before that Jerel McNeal, this season, has been the team's best, most consistent player. Dominic James is great, no doubt, but he can be better. Too bad they both can't shoot FT's like Matthews.

Having lost 3 straight games, the wagon is getting a lot lighter. A lot of haters are surfacing. There's a facebook group that wants DJ to stay on the bench more...while I agree that he is not ready for the NBA yet and should further hone his skills, I disagree with benching him. We don't have anyONE that can lead the whole team. I stated that I love McNeal, but he can't do it himself.

We need the tres amigos to buck up and reform our core, and then the rest of the team WILL recover.

Anonymous said...

DJ has been disappointing but benching him is a ridiculous idea. McNeal or Matthews should be the focal point of this team with DJ dishing more.

Gene Frenkle said...

As bad as I think James has been playing, you can't bench him. Who are you going to replace him with? Cubillion? His confidence looks terrible out there. Then again, James' isn't good either.

Other than the first possession of the game when James drove through the zone to the hoop for a lay-up, that was the only time he did so the whole game. He contributed nothing at all the entire first half. It starts at the PG position and lately, he's been doing a terrible job as field general out there.

I honestly don't think James would even be a 1st rounder as of today. Next year you get Acker becoming eligible so that will be interesting whether James is here or not. If he is, I can see 90% of Cubillion's time strictly as a two-guard. We'll see.

Letting Louisville go on an 11-2 run to end the game is ludicrous. Missing those free throws when it counts is awful too. THey had this one in the bag. Go 4-5 from the line vs. 2-5 and you win it. Just awful.I was shocked when Matthews missed.

The worst play of the game was Louisville's game tying bucket w/11 seconds left. Just hideous D. Crean subbed Ous out for Cubillion going small vs. small and I didn't like the move when he made it and watching them score a practically uncontested layup to tie was just excruciating.

We better come back and TCB vs. 'nova on Monday. I think if MU goes 9-7 in the B.East, they're in the NCAA for sure. If they lose out and lose in round one of the B.East...then it's NIT. But at worst, unless the unspeakable happens, they are no lower than an 8 seed.

Anonymous said...

Cubillion? People still have interesting takes on it.


Anonymous said...

second loss in a row for mu because of missed free throws

Anonymous said...

The FT shooting was again problematic, but our biggest liability is our bigs on D and surrendering points in the paint. Louisville scored more than half of its points in the paint and had a 60% FG pct on 2-pt shots.

Both Gtown and the Cards have exposed our absent help-defense. Last night, we looked awful around the cylinder. Barro is the only skilled defender, but he has absolutely no help. Kinsella's clueless, Burke is 3 steps too late on every play, and Fitz looks he has two left feet.

I also was perplexed by substituting out Ous, our best defensive big man and our best rebounder, when Matthews went to the line with 11 seconds left. We didn't need 3-point shooters in the game; we needed our longest, quickest defenders in the game. I've heard plenty of people defend Fitz's D, but I think he's a really poor man defender.