"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 12, 2007

Marquette Tops Utah Valley State

After trailing at the half 34-32, Marquette turned up the defensive pressure and pulled away from Utah Valley State for a 66-55 win tonight at the Bradley Center.

With the win, the Golden Eagles improved to 2-0 on the season. Utah Valley State fell to 0-2.

Marquette's win was keyed by a surprising performance from junior big man Dwight Burke who exploded for 12 points and eight rebounds -- easily the best game of his collegiate career. Dominic James led MU with 13 points followed by David Cubillan with a dozen and Lazar Hayward with 11. Hampered by foul trouble, Jerel McNeal was held to just 7 points, though he hauled in eight boards.

Next up for Marquette......a trip to Maui and a game against the Chaminade Silver Swords.

Here's the box score from tonight's game.
AP Photos
Photos from .. my seat
Marquette Recap


Gene Frenkle said...

I've been very, very pleased w/Cubillan's play these first two games. He always looked intense last year, but never seemed comfortable with the ball in his hands or taking it inside. So far, he's doing that and creating when he's out there. And Lazar, not enough can be said about how important he's going to be for MU off the bench or starting this season. He's the one untouchable guy on the squad I think (from a please-god-in-heaven-don't-get-injured perspective).

Anonymous said...

I agree about Cubillan. The international play and previous year of big east ball has given David a lot more confidence and raised his skill level. I disagreed on this blog when it was said Cubillan was the lost man this year. (but no one is perfect)

Anonymous said...

I've always liked David and Lazar seems as cool as a cucumber. The problem with this team, as I see it, are our so-called "Big Three" have been given too much slack. Not a single one of them is a truly talented offensive player. Heck, Odartey Blankson was better than both McNeal and Matthews and Crean treated him as a role player.

Hayward is also more talented offensively than both those guys. McNeal is our only truly "unique" player, but that's strictly on the defensive end. He is a real problem offensively when up against a quicker defender. Matthews continues to confound and James peaked his freshman year.

Anonymous said...

These first two games are leaving me with the same feeling as last year..no real inside presence and poor long range shooting. Crean had better figure out soon that this team will only be successful if it exerts pressure on the other team for a full 40 minutes. It needs to force a lot of turnovers and make a lot of layups.
--Epstein's Mother

Unknown said...

Agree with the flashes shown by Cubie and Lazar.

Lazar looks strong and his touch around the rim looks even better.

I'd say it's too soon to tell if Cube's is a better inside finisher. Both of the teams we've played had little in the way of inside presence. When it matters I fear that his size will still leave him lost when he leaves his feet inside.

As far as the big three go, it's a bit early to tell if they're much better but Jerel certainly showed flashes of improvement on a number of his drives to the bucket Saturday. Didn't see the game last night but the box score seems to show it wasn't a pretty outing for him.

Everyone is saying that this team actually is 8 or 9 games into the season. While those closed gym tune-ups probably helped, I don't think they compare to the work you get on the big floor with cameras and lights glaring.

Can anyone tell me how burke looked last night? His line was Crazy Good.

Here's to hoping Ooze gets in the rhythm. If he doesn't at least start catching and finishing from the short corner and the blocks, we're in trouble...

Anonymous said...

I think with any given game one can find fault with players on Marquette. What we have seen so far is that regardless to a particular player having a less then stellar night (however still playing as hard as he can and contributing where he can, such as rebounds), his teammates can pick up the slack (level of talent and depth of team) and the team produces a victory. All for one and one for all.

Gene Frenkle said...

Regarding the comments on the 'big three'...

"Not a single one of them is a truly talented offensive player."
Uhhh, what? Are the first two games the only ones by them you've ever seen? Are you serious? Is that why you're "anonymous"?

While all three have their faults, they are all capable of posting 20ppg if they were on a team where they were the prime-time targets. But since they all play together, you are going to get inconsistent output depending on the opponent, fouls, etc. per game.

I have been hard on James and I do think that, while it's early, he may have peaked as a freshman. That said, Matthews does everything and to discount his scoring/toughness is an insult. And did you see his left-handed shot last night? Huge bucket. And Crean even mentioned it in the post game. That was purely a result of Matthews' work ethic and striving to be better. And while McNeal does have his off nights, he's the MVP of the team.

Anonymous said...

If any of them were on a team with a singular offensive talent, they'd be role players. They're not what they've been marketed as. Not even close, really.

They're all hard-nosed, but none are particularly talented. That's just the way it is. They play hard, they care, they do their best. But they're not good offensive basketball players. It's why we struggle on offense. If you don't agree, fine. But you're wrong.

If you think the ability to make a shot with your off hand is indicative of unusual talent, your standards for Division I basketball players are too low. Matthews had ZERO points at halftime against Utah Valley State and 6 for the game. Crean mentioned the shot (as if that's some kind of proof anyway) because he's trying to boost Wesley after a terrible game against an inferior opponent.

Gene Frenkle said...

For the sake of not taking up lines of copy, I simply used that one shot as an example of Wes' skills. I think his transcript to date speaks for itself.

As far as none of them being particularly talented, I'll just say, o.k. that's your opinion.

Anonymous said...

So what's going on with Ooz Barro? He's a senior who scored some huge baskets last year against Pitt and a few others, and he seems on his way out of the rotation.

Any sense of the story here? Is Crean simply resticting his minutes to motivate?

Anonymous said...

The first game Crean said that he din't start Barro to keep him out of early foul trouble, but after this one he said he wanted him to compete for the job.

I'm dissapointed by Mo Acker so far though. Even in limited minutes he hasn't been looking like a freshman of the year type of player.

Anonymous said...

Well this is exciting for Crean to feel Burke is at the level of play that Barro has to compete to start and get playing time. This is only good for the team. Crean has always had the policy of rewarding those that show the most in practise. As for Mo, I say give him time. I am sure he has not lost anything and if anything is a better player.