"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

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Marquette drops 2nd in a row

Marquette went into DePaul tonight with a chance to inch closer to first place Pittsburgh. Instead, the Blue Demons dealt MU it's second straight road loss 72-67 as MU drops to 8-4 in the league with a very hot Louisville team coming to Milwaukee this weekend.

MU looked pedestrian in the first half giving up 40 points and missing plenty of bunny opportunities. MU trailed 40-33 at the break. The second half MU fought back and took the lead 49-48 at the 10:02 mark. Less than 30 seconds later a Sammy Meija layup put DePaul back on top for good.

That is not to say the game didn't remain close because it did. MU had many opportunities to go back ahead or win the game, but missed shots were the name of the game. That and missed free throws. MU shot a horrid 52% from the line tonight.

With under a minute to play MU was within 3 points or less on 5 possessions but could only manage 1 point on a free throw. The critical play came with under :18 to play and MU trailing 70 to 67. With Tom Crean screaming for a timeout (the refs didn't hear or see it), Dominic James forced about a 35 foot game tying attempt that fell short by plenty and missed the iron. MU then fouled Meijia who managed to make one free throw. MU ran the ball up the court and DJ took another 3 pointer that again missed the mark and sealed the game. Overall James played a pretty good game tonight, but the 3 pointers at inopportune times continue to be a struggle for him.

James finished with 17 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Dan Fitzgerald added 16 points on 3 of 6 from deep. Chicago native Jerel McNeal also added 16 points. The biggest disappointment had to be Barro who had played several great games in a row. Barro laid a big goose egg on the scoring front (he did manage 9 rebounds). Cubillian also score zero points.

It was clear in the post game press conference and radio interview that Coach Crean was not pleased with some of the officiating. He was also displeased with the play of his bigs and the continued erratic free throw shooting. Only a few days ago the Golden Eagles shot 93% from the line only to follow-up with a 52% effort tonight.

MU will attempt to snap their 2 game losing streak against Rick Pitino and Louisville this weekend.

AP Recap

Todd Rosiak Recap

Box Score


Nathan Ziarek said...

I'd be curious to know what happens to the officiating comment. As a MU fan, of course I think every call against is bad. But, as a realist, I know the officials can't possibly have it "out" for us.

My theory is that we are too athletic. When we go up for layups, our guys can avoid contact by twisting their bodies -- making the shot 10x as hard and actually negating the foul. We need to learn to go up strong.

Anyway, I won't hinge my future on this game. Maybe we go on an 8 game tear again, maybe we go 0-fer and miss the NCAAs.

This is the tale of two teams -- the one that beat Duke and won 8 straight and the one that lost to NDST and lost the first two (and most recent two) BE games. Hopefully that quick team will make a return and we can put together some good minutes here at the end. It would be a shame to waste this year on the NIT.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to blame a loss on officiating. However, there were MANY instances in the 2nd half of the game that the crew took the game out of Marquette's hands. I'm sure that the staff is very proficient in their abilities. However, there were several missed calls and phantom fouls which really cost the Warriors a hard fought 2nd half.
Where MU can be called on is the lack of looking for the open man and being patient. Far too many times DJ and JMc drove to the hoop and took a contested shot without so much as looking for teammates with a better shot. They tossed up shots that were difficult at best consistently throughout the game. 13-35 is not something to build upon.
That said, as an attendee of the game, I was disappointed that they did not use Barro as the offensive weapon that he can be. He didn't pose much of a threat to DePaul's defense, while had the 3 looked for other options, he may have been there. Kudos to his rebounds, but I would have liked to seen his teammates get him the ball down low. All things said, this guy CAN consistently put up double doubles in the Big East. Smells like a draft pick.
In that regard, Lazar looks very promising. He's one of the few big men on the team that can go up under the boards with confidence. Looking forward to see how he develops.
My last thought is: The teams that win and go deep in the tournament are those that have the athletes that are confident in their abilities. It's such a small thing, but there's no one that consistently is a "chest thumper" or someone screaming after making a play that puts MU up. I love the big 3. But they lack that tenacity. That... killer instinct. You've beaten someone, put a dagger in their heart and be done. Not showboating, by any means. But the confidence in their team.
Year in, year out, I'm always delighted to see MU play in front of a "home" crowd in Chicago once again.

Anonymous said...

Why does Hayward play so little? His defense can't be *that* bad. I mean, he's a bull on the offensive boards and always seems to get his hands on the ball. He'll start a half, play 5 minutes, and then get taken out for the rest of the half!

Anonymous said...

Hayward came in the second half at a very key point (late I think). I thought Cubillan would've come in b/c they needed some shooters but Crean went with Hayward. They needed the size down low as we were getting torn up down low.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we overlooked the demons? The same up and down team that beat KANSAS, ND and they beat us by shooting better, controlling the boards and pressuring us to take bad shots at the end. They wanted it more than we did and they got it. As to DJ taking an ill advised 3, shame on him. That is not what PTPers do at the end of a game. Hope we're up for l'ville. By the way, where was OOze?

Anonymous said...

re: the most recent anonymous post -- I agree except for the part about 'controlling the boards'

MU outrebounded DPU 39-38, and had 15 ORBs to their 12.

Anonymous said...

maybe so but marquette's inability to get the rebound after chandler's two missed free throws ultimately lost them the game. if they had gotten the rebound they would have been down by one and james wouldn't have to force up a three. also, why is james the one jacking up the threes at the end of the game. if this was the strategy then culbillian should have been the one to do so, not james

TB said...

MU has a habit of blowing key defensive rebounds off of missed FTs late in games......at Nova last year. At Pitt this year. Now DPU.

that was a huge play

J.J. Pauly said...

we may have out rebounded depaul on both ends of the floor, but if they convert all of there offensive rebounds into points(which they seemingly did) and we don't you're basically spotting them 24 or more points. what was the stat on points in the paint because i'd wager to say we got obliterated in that department.

also, i may vomit if djames keeps chucking up shots he can't make. did anyone else notice that he was nailing the pull up j? why would we all of sudden start chucking up bricks from outside his range...not a smart basketball player right now.

Anonymous said...

anyone else notice that the team was just running into DePaul players and trying to force every crummy shot they took? not enough passing, not enough looking down low, not even waiting for the Cube & others to come off a screen for the pass!

oh, and anyone else think that DP's student section is the most unclassy bunch ever? Flicking off visiting fans is not exactly something to be proud of, DP.

P.S. DJ should remember to keep hitting DanFitz instead of taking those treys upon himself. The Fitz is having his moments lately.

P.P.S. Why Kinsella?? that's 2 games in a row now--and look how well they've turned out!
Can anyone explain that to me?

Anonymous said...

As posted earlier this year, MU is closer to a 22-30 ranking than 13. The Big East is very weak, and the Gold maybe make a second game in the tourney.

The recent success is fools gold. Very enjoyable, but really no substance.

As for DJ, no way he is a first rounder...so most likely you will see him back. That 'J' has to get way more money before the Big Show takes a first rounder...especially with the sub 6' height(see Dee Brown).

Still pulling hard for the Warriors though, just starting to temper the expectations....like I have been since 1985.