"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

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Marquette speared by MSU Spartans in NCAA

No other way to put it, MU had no answers. MSU defeated Marquette 61-49 ending Marquette's season with a first round NCAA defeat. MU came out tentative, scared, uninspired...who knows. It took MU ten minutes to score their first points after trailing 14-0 to start the game. David Cubillan did the honors with a 3 pointer. In fact Cubillan hit three of them in the first half and seemed to be the only guy that came to play in the first half. MSU came into the game ranked 4th in FG% defense and it showed why as they frustrated MU completely.

MU trailed 30 to 18 at halftime against one of the best zone defenses seen all year by MU. MU scored ZERO two point baskets the first half. ZERO.

The second half wasn't much better, though Dominic James did heat up a bit. MU managed to hit five two point baskets and in the process tied a NCAA Tournament record by scoring the fewest two pointers in a NCAA basketball game in history. MU broke it's own record of 5 (held also by Louisville and Samford) which it set against Arkansas in 1996 under Mike Deane.

MU shot a horrid 32% for the game while MSU shot a solid 54%. James led MU with 18 points. Barro finished with just 1 point, spending much of his time on the bench with foul trouble. Fitzgerald, who scored 40 points in two games in the Big East Tournament, did not hit his first shot until 32 minutes had expired on the game clock.

The Carolina Curse continues. MU is now 3-25 all-time in the state of North Carolina.

MU finished the season 24-10.

Mike Kinsella and Jamil Lott graduate and a class of five new players (two guards and three forwards) will come in next season.


Rosiak's Article

AP Recap

Marquette Tribune recap with Paul Day.

Marquette Tribune look at Sparty's defense with John Keegan



Anonymous said...

Let's be honest...this team was never better than a top 35...very overrated all year which is mostly due to the national respect for TC.
I am anxious to see next years product, which again will flirt with a top 20 ranking, finish 5th in the Big East, and hopefully make it to Rd 2 in the Dance.

Longtime Warriors Fan.

Anonymous said...

Just a terrible ending to the season. Bring out the excuses, McNeal, our poor seed. It's always something. We were outplayed and outcoached like a JV team. Completely embarrassing for Marquette and Crean especially. The clock is ticking.

Patrick said...

Actually, I think this was a tale of two seasons. This team was a legit top 15 for a while, then it just flat out lost its mojo. The home loss to Louisville seemed to sap MU's confidence and swagger and sent it skidding into the tourney.

I remain positive for the team's future but.... TC can't rely solely on athleticism, hard work and desire from his players. We could not shoot well the entire year, both from the field and the free throw line. Major triage is needed there. The lack of a 3 point threat like Novak allowed defenses to sag and really hurt Dominic James' production.

Tough loss but... this too shall pass. Go MU.

Gene Frenkle said...

I need a drink. Ugh. That was putrid.

I think you guys are giving that State zone way too much credit. The Big Ten sucks. That was the seventh place team in an inferior league. That was NOT a good MSU team. Sorry to say.

For the third time in Crean's four NCAA trips, his team did not show up in the first half, setting the tone for the game. Just a bunch of uninspired guys who didn't know what they were doing. Burke was atrocious, going up with the ball wide open down low with the speed of a turtle in the first half. Hayward missing bunnies early. James with two assists FOR THE GAME! (wonder if he'll go pro now)

And I don't care if he led the team in scoring. Two three pointers when you are down 17 in the final four minutes is nothing. Where was he in the first half? How many times did he ever penetrate and dish or draw a foul? As I've said before, he doesn't have to score, but he has to control the offense and make something happen. It runs through him. MSU ran a zone, but it wasn't the first time MU had seen one all year. For God's sake, this is the team's 34th game.

This is a team that put up 79, 75 and 76 pints in the last three games without McNeal too. Utterly abysmal.

Barro picking up two quick fouls when you KNOW that was the one thing MU could not afford to do versus this state team. Take out Barro, mix in terrible shooting, and add a pinch of MSU's depth down low and MU's weak D down low and poof...there was your game.

McNeal missing hurt, no doubt. But I'm sorry. Next to UW and OSU, the Big Ten was brutal this year. MU lost to an inferior team tonight. For God's sake, Neitzel had 12 points and MU lost.

MU MUST get/develop someone that's tough down low. It was never Lott and it certainly was never Kinsella. Burke was terrible the last four games and I don't know if he'll ever be a big-time contributor. We need a banger down low that can hold his own and not pick up dumb fouls as Barro did the last month of the year. He always stayed out of foul trouble until the final month of the year.

A good season for MU for sure. Had a ton of fun at the BC this year too. A great conference-game atmosphere is definitely taking hold for B.East games.

All things considered, though, it was a disappointment, especially compared to last year. I'm still extremely psyched for next year's squad, but I don't think they'll be too highly ranked coming in after the last two NCAA performances. Crean, though, will have more heat on him next year - fair or not, that's the world we live in now. The fact remains he hasn't won an NCAA game w/out Wade.

I'm not about to say he's a bad coach. I love coach. But, I can't say I'm not a little concerned. It would be nice, though, to see what would happen if one of the team's top two players wasn't injured in practice for the sixth straight year.

I think Crean will hear the grumblings all summer long from arm chair QBs about how he can't do it w/out Wade and maybe that's good as it will eat at him all summer I'm sure.

Great site guys and keep up the good work next year.

Gene Frenkle said...

Just a note on Patrick's message.

Yeah, free throw shooting wasn't great, but it got better as the year went on. You could say that we lost one game because of it (L-ville) and won two because of it (Pitt).

Fitz and Cube both shot over 42% from three point range too so that wasn't too bad. If anything, MU relied too much on that shot early on in the year.

I think it all starts at the point guard. When MU struggled this year, it was when James struggled. It's a combo between poor PG play and a lack of a down low presence that can score w/his back to the hoop that cost us this year.

MSU had three big guys in foul trouble and lost one to a dislocated elbow. If we had someone that could score 6-8 ppg on the post w/a man on his back, it would have changed the complexion of the game (and season).

Anonymous said...

they should be ashamed and embarrassed of their performance. i'm certainly embarrassed. how do they not come out with any fire or passion in an NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME. the only player who did anything was culbillan. also what the hell was with crean's game plan. why did mu not pressure and full court press when they were down. why did they not push the tempo and attack the basket? crean spent more time talking about his friend izzo than preparing his team for the god damn game. i never thought we would be one and done at the beginning of the season. this has been the most dissapointing season to say the least

Anonymous said...

Why Crean still "allows" DJames to take 3's is beyond me. OK, he hit that 25 footer but it certainly wasn't effective.

We've been pretty crappy all year against the zone...watching tonight, any time that one of our guards made a move, the defense played off him and was able to thwart the drive.

Bah, terribly played game. Maybe next time that Izzo and Crean talk five days before the game and Crean tells Izzo his game plan, he should change it so that his team can succeed.

A -fond- farewell to the "Offensive weapon" that is Kinsella. Nice 60 minutes played this season, big guy.

drunk midget said...

crean sucks. cant win any postseason games anywhere without D. Wade. he makes NO adjustments ever. what a waste of talent. just like last year.

Anonymous said...

I will take the direction this program is headed any day. Crean isn't perfect but he is by far the best coach Marquette has had since 1977. Next year we are getting some fresh talent to mix in with the seasoned uppper class that has plenty of talent. We will have shooters and slashers and I am confident bigs that will crash the board. Put things in perspective, it was a great fun year. Thanks Marquette, Coach Crean and the Players for a great year.

Anonymous said...

Trying to watch the game from Nebraska, I missed the second half as the game was so dull and the network had so little faith in MU making a comeback that they switched away from it never to return.

I am shocked that with a week to prepare, MU does nothing but sit outside and launch threes. DJames is supposed to be the slash and dish guy but now you can add that to his "I'm cold right now list" and chaulk up the loss. I am so tired of the comment, "when he is hitting his shot, he is one of the best gaurds in the country." If I had a couple billion dollars, I could be one of the richest guys in the country. Being the best is showing up to play. Now that his shot is off, he can't drive or dish, I wonder if he expects to start next year. Maybe he'll just heave up another three.

I can't complain too much about the season. I know I had plenty of fun watching, even if they ran out of steam down the stretch. I love seeing Bubby step up to make Tourney threes, very Diener in DWades first disappointing trip to the Dance.

Everyone is right to assume that a ranking will be hard to come by at the start of the season but with this teams grit, they'll earn one a week or so in.

Go Marquette, I love you no matter what!

pb said...

Crean = outstanding recruiter, terrible game coach. After watching another disheartening first-round flame-out, I'm convinced that Crean doesn't have it come tourney time (unless of course he happens to have one of the greatest players of our generation putting up a triple-double against Kentucky).

Anonymous, you're right... why is D James still launching 3's? Where's the discipline on this team?

I can remember James launching a 3 almost immediately OUT OF A TIMEOUT! That's our set play coming out of a timeout? James launching a 3 right away?

And how about the stupid high screen-and-roll that Sparty ran OVER and OVER and OVER? Where was the adjustment? Why couldn't we cover one of the most basic plays in basketball?

I've loved Warrior basketball my whole life, but I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of gametime prowess that Coach Crean possesses.

That said, this program is still in great shape, and Crean pulls in some of the most incredible talent. Hopefully James comes back, and we actually make a deep run into the tourney next year with the same starting five... yet another year older, another year wiser.

We're the WARRIORS!!! said...

In response to the last poster...how can you say Crean pulls in "incredible talent." That's just not true. I actually think he gets more out of average talent than others, although I think he gets them so wound up and nervous for the NCAAs (INCLUDING 2003) that they fall over themselves for the first 20 mins.

The bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, is that will all the resources Crean is given by Marquette recruiting has GOT to improve. There are Horizon League teams with better talent than us.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing play by MU, especially in the first half. I thought I was watching a High School squad for a moment. Still, I think they had a great year.

Thanks to Tom and the rest of the team for a fun season. Good teams can win any games, great teams win the games that they must. Let's hope MU goes from good to great. Nice site, by the way. Just discovered it.

Gene Frenkle said...

"There are Horizon League teams with better talent than us."

C'mon. Do you even watch basketball? That's asinine. Matthews, McNeal and James were big time recruits and that class was ranked #14 in the country. Hayward and Cubillan were 4- and 3-star recruits. Incoming Trevor Mbakwe is a 4-star. Give me a break.