"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 24, 2007

Marquette loses to Notre Dame. Buh-Bye, Bye.

Marquette lost to Notre Dame today, 85-73, officially ending MU's bid for a second consecutive bye in the Big East Tournament.

Marquette started very strong, building a 13 point lead in the first half, but due to foul trouble, faded quickly.

It was an angry game, as Coach Crean was livid about a push and non-call, needing to be restrained by Coach Rab, nearly earning a Technical. DJ later received a T, as did Fitz.

Marquette has now lost 4 of its last 5 games, heading into the season finale with Pittsburgh at the Bradley Center next Saturday.

This post will be revised later, as the sting of losing to Notre Dame subsides.

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Anonymous said...

Crean needs to relax! While it is a good thing he sticks up for his players that was over the top. He obviously didn't see McNeal jawing at the guy. He is a little tightly wound for me.

Anonymous said...

Please return the triple threat picture to the blog. Mr. Wade is in the past and we need to focus on the present and future. Thanks and keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

marquette just got pooped on. That was ridiculous. And I do agree, Crean was a little too intense. As soon as that happened the game just went downhill for MU. Lets just hope MU doesnt go one-and-done during the BE tourney. Anyone else think that if we get past the first round we will play Notre Dame again?

Anonymous said...

It was absolutely genius of Crean to leave three of his starters in to pick up three fouls in the first half. One I can see. Two, maybe. But three?? Then McNeal predictably picks up his fourth practically as soon as they start the clock in the second half and we're done for.

Maybe if Tom had calmed himself down a little bit, we could have kept ourselves in the game in the second half. Holy Moses!

Despite foul trouble, a second straight solid game by Matthews. For all the accolades thrown toward McNeal and James -- Matthews is the most under control player on the team. The other two could stand to learn from his example.

Anonymous said...

While you guys are all condemning Crean, me (and pretty much all the other students I was with) thought it was awesome to finally see some competitiveness from him. It always seemed like after a loss he would just give the same fluff..."This is a great team, great coaching, blah blah." Finally we saw a little fire. I think Al would be proud. Remember all the technicals he got to fire up his team? I don't think this hurt us...if anything it should have fired up the team even more.

But yeah, leaving all those guys in with foul trouble was not smart.

Anonymous said...

Comparing that meltdown to anything McGuire did is ludicrous. Al's technicals were almost all calculated. Crean's reaction (remember, he didn't get a technical) made him look like he had lost control of his emotions -- something that was bound to be noticed by a young team in a hostile environment.

Gene Frenkle said...

Sometimes I don't get the MU fans. I've heard time and time again from fans that Crean is too passive on the sidelines and doesn't stick up for his players vs. the refs or anything. So what happens yesterday? He does and people condemn him for it. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Personally, I loved seeing it from him (just to know he'd do it). Did that cost them the game? No. Not one bit. Having three starters in foul trouble did that, or at a minimum, that's what allowed ND to get back into the game.

In college ball, you're only as good as your starting PG (w/the exception you have a freak like a Kevin Durant). That said, Cubillion and James are killing this team right now. Whether it's not hitting open shots (Cubillion) or forcing too many (James), the game should RUN THROUGH the point guards.

At the moment, with his shooting being so bad, it's up to James to control himself (and Crean to do it too!). Cubillion isn't ready to run the point yet either. So that puts MU in a precarious position, especially w/McNeal or Matthews in foul trouble.

I'm hoping they can get a much needed W vs. Pittsburgh and clinch a spot in the tourney. I thin they're 80% in, but...if they lose the next two games and some underdog wins their tourney, getting an automatic bid, it could hurt MU's chances. It's a long shot, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Please! Cubillan. NOT Cubillion.

Gene Frenkle said...

Sorry. My bad. Third time I've done that. No excuse.

Anonymous said...

It appears obvious we do not have a final four team this year. Next year I believe we may with the new recruits joining the team. With that said, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy watching Marquette play and rooting them on the rest of this season. Go Marquette!

Anonymous said...

Gene, I think you have valid points re: James. But in my opinion, the reasone MU has been and will continue to be a second tier Big East team is because of the lack of a quality Big in the post. Its difficult to win games against teams like Georgetown, ND, etc, when we are constantly shooting from the outside or flying into the lane, hoping for a foul. We need to pound it down low. Players like Kinsella, Lott, and Burke are the ones that are killing MU this year, not the guards.

Its tough to beat a team like ND at home when they play a defensive end at center. We need a player that can bang down low.

Anonymous said...

whatever, I loved seeing Crean get fired up. Jerel clearly took a cheap shot and Crean was sticking up for his man.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I'd like to see Coach Crean get fired up more often. However, what we saw on Saturday wasn't really "getting fired up" it was more like a temper tantrum. He was more upset that the ref missed the call (not sure what they would have called) then the fact that McNeal was shoved.

Let's hope the team can bounce back on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

As for needing a STUD in the post . . .

Yeah, we have to get the Thug Factory catalogue that ND & Syracuse have been ordering from... although I'd rather have clean classy post players than those white trash yahoos wearing the MU blue 'n gold.

Anonymous said...

Within regards to the big man controversy we could always take a page out of the badgers and go to the farms of Wisconsin and look for the biggest, most ackward looking white man that we could find. Maybe then, after a few tries with a couple five year seniors, we'd get a good one to rest our hats on.

Gene Frenkle said...

No doubt MU could use a banger down low. Who couldn't. "But in my opinion, the reasone MU has been and will continue to be a second tier Big East team is because of the lack of a quality Big in the post..."

That's fair. But to counter that, I do have to throw out the fact that MU did beat Duke and Pitt this year, and they beat G-town and ND (twice) last season w/the same guys down low (sorry...but I'm not giving much credit to my Michigan brethren the Grimm Reaper).

You do have to have SOMEONE decent down low, though. So yes, maybe it's a two-pronged problem. MU's problem isn't that they don't have anyone, it's that they got only one guy that's a scoring threat (Barro). Kinsella is dreadful w/hands of stone. Burke isn't there (yet?). Lott can't do it either. W/out Barro, teams can concentrate on stopping the guards, knowing the center isn't a threat at all.

Sometimes this has worked against MU, sometimes not. The PG needs to - in my opinion - step up and identify points of weakness and how to manage the offense. But in your defense, having a better down low player would help.

Let's say we are both right. James needs to manage the game better, and some help down low would be great to have.