"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

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marquette defeats Chaminade to advance to second round of Maui Classic

It wasn't pretty to be sure, but the Marquette Golden Eagles defeated host Chaminade in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Classic by a score of 74-63 on ESPN2.

The win marked the 5th consecutive pre-season tournament opening round victory in the last 6 years. In each of those previous years, MU had mediocre results against their first round opponent but managed to capture the tournament championship.

2007 MAUI Classic Round 1....MU Beats Chaminade 74-63 (11 points)

2006 CBE Classic Round 1...MU beats Idaho State 59-56 in overtime (3 points)

2005 Great Alaska Shootout Round 1....MU beats Eastern Washington 83-73 (10 points)

2004 Black Coaches Classic Round 1....MU beats Western Carolina 74-65 (9 points)

2002 Great Alaska Shootout Round 1....MU beats Tennessee 85-74 (11 points)

MU was led today by Jerel McNeal's 22 points with Lazar Hayward chipping in 15.

The game was largely in control by MU, but in several instances they let the Silver Swords hang around to cause some angst among the fans. In the first half MU jumped out to a sizeable 14 point lead only to have Chaminade close to within 9 at the break.

The Silver Swords opened the second half with a 6-0 run and trailed #10 ranked Marquette by only 3 points. Slowly MU regained it's footing and held control of the game until roughly the mid seven minute mark when Chaminade again cut the lead down to just three points. Jerel McNeal took over at that point on a missed free throw by Hayward. McNeal came out of nowhere to tip it in with his left hand and put MU up by five points. Chaminade never got closer the remainder of the game.

Concerns from this game remain the same from earlier this year and most of last year. Poor shooting and poor interior defense. MU shot only 2 for 15 behind the arc and were killed by Chaminade's big men. MU was outrebounded for the game, something Tom Crean certainly will address with his club before tomorrow's contest.

Marquette will play the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the semi-finals.


Anonymous said...

I don't think beating Tennessee in the 2002 Great Alaska Shootout qualifies as a mediocre result. Tennessee was ranked around #16 to start that season.

Anonymous said...

Marquette always plays its opponents close. Just look at the first round wins, an eleven point differential is a blowout. I can't explain this phenomenon as the players and coaches have changed over the years I've been watching them but I'd like to think the stress they cause themselves in easy match-ups helps them cope with the stress of playing a good team close.

Gene Frenkle said...

If there's one thing MU's done a lot under Crean it's win...and play down to the competition. They've done this historically the last eight seasons. Let's all relax and if they start blowing these kinds of games in late December, then we can all get concerned.

For now, I'll give the team the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

I suspected at the beginning of the year that this team was vastly overrated -- SI has them ahead of the MSU team that pummeled us -- and I haven't seen anything to change my mind.

James is a great talent, but causes problems in the offense. In his mind, he's the first option, the second option and the third option...always needing to be the center of attention. Unfortunately, the coaching staff has done nothing to rid himself of this attitude.

The team waits to establish if he's playing well before the rest get involved. I honestly think benching him would do wonders for the Warriors.

Anonymous said...

It boggles the mind that after clearly having problems shooting last year that we still had those same problems last night. I'm sorry, but decent shooting guards are a dime-a-dozen...especially with the rinky-dink three point line in college. 2 of 15 three point shooting is just not acceptable in today's NCAA.