"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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Issue with an MU signee?

From the Friday, June 29 edition of the Waterbury Republican American, page A2 - Public Notice section:


DAMIAN SAUNDERS, 18, of (address withheld on this blog), possession of a controlled substance other than a narcotic or hallucinogen, or under four ounces of marijuana.
Per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, MU's Damian Saunders was in fact arrested on drug charges in Waterbury, CT. Its unclear how this development will effect his eligibility at MU.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And the envelope says ...

The 3pm major announcement was about the new Marquette Soccer Stadium project, which was announced 3 weeks ago with a kick off donation of $1M from the Klein family.

Details & reaction from MarquetteHoops.com.

Full Press Release

Edit: I'm going to editorialize for a moment. Since the $1m donation from the Klein family was already old news, the new piece of information at the presser was that Coach Tom Crean and his wife Joani were donating $100k for the project.

There's been lots of internet reaction about this, mostly negative, for one reason: It was described as a "major announcement" and that has news-starved basketball fans wringing their hands. In truth, that was my initial reaction too.

But after some reflection, I'm going a different direction. This act should not be sullied by a choice of words (major), disappointing the internet crowd:

Thank you, Tom and Joani. This shows your deep commitment to Marquette, it shines a light on another rising sport at MU, and that's a great thing.

MU to hold press conference today

Details below courtesy of MarquetteHoops.


WHAT: A major announcement regarding Marquette ’s Department of Athletics.

WHEN: Thursday, June 28 @ 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Al McGuire Center – Media Room

770 N. 12 th Street

Talk about it at MUScoop as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jordan Theodore commits to Seton Hall

bummer, but good luck to the young man. Kristie Ackert breaks the news this afternoon on Dick Weiss' blog.

MU looked to be well-positioned with Theodore earlier this year, but will now have to turn all of their attention to Iman Shumpert.

Adam Zagoria offers this perspective.

Many thanks to the fan who commented with this scoop below!

Memories refreshed: SI looks back at the 1977 NCAA Champions

Sports Illustrated's 'Where Are They Now' feature jumps into the wayback machine and lands in Milwaukee this week with a look at one of the most memorable teams in the history of college basketball, the 1977 Marquette Warriors.

You know, that Bernard Toone vs. Al McGuire episode never gets old. Nor does that shiny championship trophy, MU's sublime second half run, the picture of Bo piercing through the net at the Omni, or the photograph of this one-of-a-kind team decked out along side a classic car.

The article, which will appear in the July 2 issue of the hard copy, can be found here. In looking at the present-day vocations of these fellas you'd have to say that this truly is one special group of guys.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jamil Wilson among nation's elite; Crittle & Theodore updates

Jamil Wilson is ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

After an impressive showing at a series of camps and tournmaents this spring with his AAU program, Racine Horlick junior Jamil Wilson is the consensus choice as the top player in his class within the state -- and one of the top 15 in the nation.

Here's a feature on Tom Crean's #1 recruiting priority for the 2009 class from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here's some encouraging news........ the Bullseye Brothers report that MU "could be sitting pretty" with 6-8 Chicago strongman Josh Crittle. Crittle visited MU this past weekend --- he'd be a huge get for TC. Despite reeling in Mbakwe, Saunders and Hazel in 2007, MU will lack girth and strength on the baseline without a player like Crittle to solidify the rotation.

Courtesy of Adam Zagoria, Paterson Catholic PG Jordan Theodore will not transfer from his current school. Theodore recently tabbed SHU as the leader for his services -- but has not ruled out MU as an option.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mo Acker

Happy Birthday, Mo Acker!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Retro MU Wallpaper

I've recently been scanning in the covers of the Marquette Media Guides for the MU Wiki and placing them in their respective years' summary pages. (Examples: 1980 1987 1995)

Some of these make outstanding retro wallpapers for your PC screen. Click here for the full list.

I'm slowly building my collection of old media guides, mostly through eBay. If anyone has media guides that need a new home, I'd be happy to help you out! (hilltopper@inbox.com)

And, of course, it's always a good time to plug the wiki. Over the past two months, it's experienced explosive growth, nearly doubling the number of pages of information.

Just a sampling of the great information that can be found on the wiki. And, of course, we need volunteers to contribute. If you know something about Marquette history, just click "edit this page" and type it in! -- If you need help, I'm happy to take your info and upload it properly. Just email it to me. (hilltopper@inbox.com)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Blogger's View of MU

........a very early preview of MU that is, courtesy of Zuch over at From Way Downtown, the successful spin-off from the world-famous Yellow Chair Sports.

Zuch is counting down the nation's best basketball teams this summer, and slots MU in as the #8 team in the country. Read all about it here at From Way Downtown.

Jordan Theodore: SHU leads

According to various reports Jordan Theodore, one of the point guards MU is pursuing for its 2008 freshmen class, now favors Seton Hall University following an unofficial campus visit earlier this week.

We'll have to see if his AAU coach is correct here -- that a verbal commitment might be on the horizon in the next few days. If Jordan fails to commit in the near term, perhaps MU can take advantage of his patience and get the talented PG to Milwaukee for a visit. Previously Theodore listed MU, Memphis and Gonzaga as his leaders.

In terms of recruiting priority, it appears that MU is pursuing Jordan Theodore and Iman Shumpert as options A and A1 for the PG slot in the 2008 class. It seems that MU is still recruiting Rotnei Clarke as well - - but his geography and Big 12 offers (not to mention Kentucky) will make him a tougher commit.

Should MU wiff on Theodore and Shumpert, we might see Max Kenyi emerge as the fall-back option in the backcourt. Per Scout, MU has offered Kenyi who is a 6-4 wing with improving range and a weak handle. Still, MU has already secured a verbal from 6-4 wing/potential 2G Nick Williams for the 2008 class -- do we need another when TC only has three tenders and a gaping hole on the baseline and lacks a true SF?

Lets hope MU can get this fella --- Iman Shumpert:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

George Koonce new Senior Associate AD

Marquette hired former Green Bay Packer player George Koonce as "Senior Associate Athletic Director". Koonce will be primarily involved in fundraising, community relations and student welfare.

Koonce joins Marquette from the Packers front office where he served as director of player development. In his role, he assisted players in acclimating to their roles as Green Bay Packers, both on and off the field, especially in terms of their expected contributions to their teammates, the community and team chemistry. The former linebacker also oversaw the Packers' wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families.

Read the entire press release here.

Quintrell Thomas and Josh Crittle: updates

Adam Zagoria has the latest on one of MU's key targets for the 2008 class. New Jersey's Quintrell Thomas, one of the the top power forwards in the 2008 class, continues to list Marquette as one of the programs he's interested in. Thomas, who recently completed an unofficial visit to Maryland, seems to have a strong interest in going to school away from home.

Thomas already sports offers from Maryland and Marquette (among others) as well as burgeoning interest from Kansas, Wake Forest, RU, SHU, WVU and Pitt. FWIW, his mother likes Wake Forest.

As we reported yesterday Josh Crittle, the top power forward in Chicago for the class of 2008, will visit MU this weekend. MU is the early favorite for the big fella with Kansas State, Indiana, Baylor and Iowa still in the mix.

With Crittle coming to campus soon, hopefully MU can secure a visit from Thomas later this summer. Landing one of either Josh Crittle or Quintrell Thomas seems like a near-must for MU.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here come the pre-season rankings. MU top 10

Fox Sports released their pre-season basketball rankings today now that players have decided nationally to stay or go in the draft.

Marquette is ranked 10th in the Fox poll.

CBS Sportsline also has Marquette ranked 10th

ESPN's Andy Katz has also released a poll....Tom Crean's club comes in at number 13 for the 2007-08 season.

Rosiak tidbits

Todd Rosiak updates us on a few key recruits -- and on Nick Bennett moving on from MU for an assistant coaching position.

These recruits have visited or will visit MU shortly:

  • Jared Swopshire, a 6-7 wing player from IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL (2008 recruit);
  • Evan Anderson, a 6-11 center from Eau Claire North, visited on Sunday (2010 recruit);
  • Joseph Bertrand, a 6-4 guard from Sterling (Ill.) HS, visited yesterday (2009 recruit);
  • Josh Crittle, a 6-8 jr forward from Chicago Hales Franciscan, visits on Friday;
  • Brennan Cougill, a 6-8 forward from Sioux City (IA) visited last week (2009 recruit).
BTW, here's a video of Bertrand that's worth a look.....seems like a tenacious player.

DJ's denouement

Now that Dominic James is back at MU, it's time to exhale. I'll give him credit. DJ went all-out to try to make it to the NBA during the last two months. And despite a consistent chorus of neutral to negative reviews on his skills and play during the evaluation period, James decided it was best to run through the finish line rather than pulling up lame and heading back to Milwaukee before the competition was complete. At the end of the process, James made the right decision -- despite fears that he would not.

As I've pointed out several times, James appeared to create distance between himself and MU during this process, content to trust his own judgement and instincts. In hindsight, DJ's seemingly independent pursuit of his NBA dream created agita for this blogger, but it turns out I didn't give the kid enough credit all along. When the final buzzer sounded, he made the right decision -- something that many others in his situation have failed to do. The poor judgement of others clouded my confidence in DJ's decision-making process; ultimately an unfair characterization. Simply put, James refused to succumb to temptation or hubris. Time and ability are on his side, and he knows it.

So while others will mock DJ for returning to MU with a bruised ego, I'll give him credit for returning with a passion to succeed, the wisdom to make tough choices, and new-found knowledge of what he needs to do to improve his game.

In the end, James demonstrated why he remains on track to graduate early from Marquette. Smart kid.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dominic James returns to Marquette

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Dominic James is returning to play for Tom Crean and Marquette for his junior season.

MU is one over the scholarship limit as a result of this announcement. Look for that to rectified in the next few weeks.

Todd Rosiak's complete story from the Monday edition. UPDATE: More on this story from Rosiak's Blog.

Palladium-Item note on DJ's decision.

Quick AP blurb.

GoMarquette.com offers this report.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mike DeCourcy: Nick Williams one of the gems of 2008

Nice to see the 6-4 guard from Mobile listed here with a number of other talented kids from the class of 2008, including MU target Iman Shumpert. DeCourcy says,

Although 6-4, Williams' jump shot probably isn't reliable enough for him to project as a shooting guard. He is viewed as more of a scorer than a shooter, an excellent athlete with toughness and a taste for defense. He uses his strength to survive as an inside player for his high school team but will move comfortably to the wing when he suits up for Marquette.
Sounds like more than an ample replacement for Wesley Matthews.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Iman Shumpert Update: Bullseye Brothers

Not much new here - - but it is good to see that MU remains closely associated with Iman Shumpert, class of 2008.

....there are presently four schools that Illinois Prep Bulls-eye clearly believes are at the head of the pack when it comes to Shumpert's recruiting list--Illinois, Marquette, Georgia Tech and Clemson. All four have been there from the beginning and have offered scholarships. When Shumpert completes his trip to the University of Illinois this weekend, he will have taken unofficial visits to all of these schools.

............Shumpert has already mentioned on numerous occassions that he feels he enjoys an outstanding relationship with Illinois' Bruce Weber, Marquette's Tom Crean, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt and Clemson's Oliver Purnell.

Here's the link to the complete report.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rosiak reports

Rosiak's blog has a few updates, most notably this succinct assessment of Dominic James' NBA draft prospects:

Considering James hasn't yet hired an agent, turned in a subpar performance at the NBA pre-draft camp and has conducted just one abbreviated individual workout for an NBA team, all signs would seem to point to his returning to MU for his junior season.
We'll see if Todd's sound logic holds up in the coming days.

In reading Todd's recap, I was struck by the apparent distance that has emerged between Dominic and Tom Crean on the point guard's NBA dreams. There's nary a mention of Crean and James sitting down together to go over the results of the evaluation period. In fact, TC points out that they both spoke with the NBA's Stu Jackson ..... separately. That strikes me as odd, just as it did when TC was nowhere to be found when James announced his intention to test the waters. Crean is a coach who is constantly at the side of his players, counseling and supporting them through big-time decisions like this.

Other notes from Rosiak's blog:
  • James will join Matthews and McNeal for the Pan Am Games tryouts later this month (assuming he smartly returns to school);
  • Jerry Sichting's assistant coaching slot has not yet been filled;
  • Crean will practice the team as a group a few times this summer in preparation for the exhibition trip to Canada in September.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Scout.com Top 100 for 2008

Per IWB on Marquette Hoops, Scout.com's updated top 100 for the class of 2008 is out. A few highlights on MU targets:

  • Iman Shumpert is #15
  • Matt Humphrey is #59
  • Quintrell Thomas is #69
  • Rotnei Clark is #78
  • Nick Williams is #90 (verbal)
MU is not mentioned with Chicago big man Michael Dunigan (that's disappointing) or Willie Warren (MU has enough 2Gs in the mix anyway). JaMychal Green - - adios.

MU target Maurice Sutton does not appear on the list -- methinks he squeezes out a spot on the list when its updated later this year. Other MU targets including SF Luke Fabrizius, PG Jordan Theodore, SG Max Kenyi, and SG Colin Chieverton also landed outside of the top 100.

MU remains in the mix for Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert, one of the fastest rising prospects in the class of 2008, is slowly whittlling down his list and MU remains in the mix. Per this report on Windy City Hoops, Shumpert was impressed by Clemson and Georgia Tech on unofficial visits this past weekend and will find time to visit Illinois, Bradley and Notre Dame in the next month. After that, Shumpert will pare down his list and schedule five official visits.

Specific to MU, Shumpert offered this: “The Big East is hoops 24/7 and Tom Crean is very cool,” said Iman. Shumpert visited MU unofficially a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tick Tock, Mr. James

Dominic James has entered the final week of his NBA audition, and today will workout for the New York Knicks along with Ron Lewis, Trey Johnson and Taurean Green. James, who has until June 18 to make a final decision about his draft status, has struggled to positively differentiate his skills during this evaluation period, and was recently outplayed by fellow draft hopeful, PG Sean Singletary of UVa.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan recently used the word “unbelievable” to describe Singletary’s performance against several other draft-eligible players, including Marquette’s Dominic James.
Earlier reports indicated that James and Tom Crean could speak with the NBA's draft advisory committee as early as this Wednesday to understand where the MU point guard stacks up against his draft-eligible peers. A decision on whether or not to remain in the draft could come soon after this review. James has indicated that a second-round guarantee would be enough to convince him to leave school.

The Knicks are an interesting team for DJ to work out for. The Knickerbockers do not have a second round pick this year, but as The Knicks Fix points out:

As you all know by now, Isiah Thomas feels he can take a chance with his No. 23 pick because he feels he already made one first-round selection by signing Randolph Morris right out of Kentucky. Go further with that thinking and you figure with Morris, who is 6-9 and projected to be a power forward, Thomas got his big. You might think he'd go with a guard, then, with the next choice.

Selecting (Taurean) Green would be the kind of move that would fit in the Knicks' plans. He's not someone who would have to play right away. In fact, he might not get much burn at all for two full seasons. But consider that Stephon Marbury's contract expires in two years, as does the contract of Steve Francis (if it remins on the books)
James worked out with Green today in front of the Knicks brass -- and while Green has elevated his stock in the last month, I guess DJ can hold out hope that one never knows with Isiah Thomas. Heck, nobody saw Renaldo Balkman as a first-rounder last season.

NCAA to bloggers: Off to the Gulag

While even the most staid of corporate cultures have wholly endorsed the benefits, power and usefulness of new media, the bass ackwards NCAA refuses to see the light. Courtesy of CNET,

According to the Courier-Journal, staff blogger Brian Bennett was approached by NCAA officials in the fifth inning of a game between the University of Lousville and Oklahoma State, told that blogging "from an NCAA championship event 'is against NCAA policies (and) we're revoking the (press) credential and need to ask you to leave the stadium.'"
But the NCAA was not content with simply stomping on the First Amendment. In legendary KGB fashion, they went on to threaten the University of Louisville with severe penalties --
Courier-Journal representatives were told by two members of the U of L athletic staff that if the school did not revoke Bennett's credential it would jeopardize the school's chances of hosting another NCAA baseball event
If this wasn't the NCAA, I'd find this story unbelievable. When in doubt, threaten the members of your own Politburo -- that appears to be the mantra from Comrade Myles Brand.

The NBA and MLB have seen the light. Consider that Dallas Mavericks opened a wiki to allow fans to chronicle every single game in real-time. MLB allows media partners to 'glog' on games in real time (and encourages registered fans to jump in as well). Heck, the NBA live blogs during the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express-News has a live blog during the NBA Finals -- btw, does anybody think David Stern will send his henchmen over to shut these folks down? Not a chance in hell.

Yet the NCAA refuses to enact a smart, enlightened policy that would actually increase interest in the championship events it is chartered to foster. That's pure insanity, especially given the undeniable benefit that new media vehicles provide in reaching a fast-growing audience even as traditional newspaper readership and network television viewership decline precipitously. In fact, during the first six months of 2006, newspaper circulation in the United States declined at the fastest rate in at least 15 years. That decline is rosy compared to statistics revealed by The Audit Bureau of Circulations several weeks ago which indicated that "daily circ fell 2.1% while Sunday tumbled 3.1%" despite "easing comparisons". Cooking the books doesn't even help the dinosaurs.

So, while new media readership expands at a nearly unprecedented rate, the NCAA battens down the hatches to protect a doomed patient on life support (even if the patient in this case is trying to evolve in order to survive). Brilliant!

Here is Rick Bozich's article on this mess.

Deadspin clobbers the mental midgets at the NCAA. Baseball America jumps in a well.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jamil Wilson selected for USA Basketball festival

Congratulations to Racine's Jamil Wilson , one of just 30 high school underclassmen selected to compete in the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival later this month in Colorado Springs.

Wilson, who looks to be Tom Crean's top recruiting target for the class of 2009, has already had a strong spring and is ranked as one of the top 10 players in the nation for his class.

In addition, MU target Willie Warren of Fort Worth, Texas will also compete in the festival.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Big East offenses: How the teams stacked up

Here's the latest Cracked Sidewalks contribution from Ray Floriani of Hoopville.net and Basketball Times:

A couple of weeks ago we looked at the defenders of the paint. Simply, the Big East squads who were the stingiest inside the three point arc.

And as mentioned before, not all attempts inside the arc are in the lane, but a surprisingly high percentage of them are. Speaking of offensive production inside the arc, the ranked list of Big East teams follows. Remember only regular season conference games are calculated.

Two Point Offensive FG %

  1. GU -- 58%
  2. WVU - 55%
  3. PC ---52%
  4. Ville -- 50%
  5. Pitt -- 50%
  6. DPU -- 49%
  7. USF -- 48%
  8. ND -- 47%
  9. SU -- 47%
  10. MU -- 46%
  11. SHU -- 44%
  12. Nova -- 43%
  13. Cincy -- 43%
  14. SJU -- 43%
  15. UConn -- 41%
  16. RU -- 41%
Notes and observations:
  • How did West Virginia finish second in the conference with a 55% field goal mark inside the arc? Simple, their style. The Mountaineers were not afraid to get out and run which translated to easy baskets. Their marksmanship and willingness to fire from beyond the arc also extended enemy defense and opened the lane up for back door cuts.
  • Georgetown, with Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green doing damage inside and their ability to get backdoor layups logically explained their inside dominance.
  • Thought Pitt might be higher with Aaron Gray inside.
  • Syracuse had some good inside players but also had the ability and tendency to hoist a number of treys on a given night.
  • The optimist in me says Marquette was middle of the road inside but the realist says help was needed in the paint.
  • Seton Hall and Rutgers both struggled inside. St.John’s had a nice low post presence in Lamont Hamilton but no one else to consistently help him out and the numbers show.
  • Not surprised too much by perimeter-oriented Villanova, but UCONN’s figure was an eye opener. Especially with 7’3” Hasheen Thabeet in the middle. On closer inspection Thabeet didn’t get a great deal of touches while two guards (Jerome Dyson and A.J.Price) were among the Huskies’top three in field goal attempts. Chalk it up to having a dozen first or second year players on the roster.
The next installment will have the average two and three point attempts per game with a few interesting insights.

---Ray Floriani

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A ducky time with a DraftExpress guy

I had the priviledge of attending last nights Stanley Cup final where the Ducks grabbed Lord Stanley's Cup in a 6-2 win over Ottawa. A great experience. At the game was my pal who is a contributing writer for DraftExpress. We talked during periods about Dominic James for a bit and then at the after party spent a good 15 minutes on the topic.

Not a lot new to report, but he is guessing (as others have) that DJ might stay in the draft no matter what guarantees are given over the next week. No solid evidence that he has heard, but rather a gut feeling on his part. He sites that James has come off his "first round" guarantee statements from a few weeks ago as well as his interviewing of agents (though he has yet to sign with any). 60-40 chance he stays was the feeling. A few weeks ago that would have been a 10-90 chance because of his statements it was First Round guarantees only that he was interested in.

His basic take was that DJ is a phenomenal athlete that could probably excel at many things like defensive back, track and field, running back, etc. He's gotten by throughout his playing career on just being a better athlete then most others. He kept coming back to the question of how good of a basketball player is he? That's the rub. We both agreed that DJ is a good basketball player, but is he a great basketball player or just a great athlete? A good basketball player is one thing, a great basketball player is typically needed to go to the next level especially at his size. However, his tremendous athletic ability does help to hide a few flaws in his basketball game.

The one thing he has going for him as the kid never quits. He's always been told that he wouldn't succeed at the next level but continually does. That determination at a minimum has led him to this point in his life....trying out for the chance to be in the NBA.

MU loses assistant coach to the T-Wolves

Marquette assistant coach Jerry Sichting will be going back to the NBA according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Sichting coached under Randy Wittman for the T-Wolves two years prior to coming to MU to work on Tom Crean's staff. It is expected that Tim Buckley could replace Sichting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A handful of updates

Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports blogs on MU in his latest entry - - with info on Dominic James, Tom Crean and new Northeastern assistant coach Todd Townsend,

"He’ll be a head coach at a young age,” Marquette coach Tom Crean said. “He’s overcome a lot of adversity and has always been successful. He treats people the right way, has great work ethic and is very smart. It was a good move for him so he could be a full-time coach and go out recruiting.”
Here's the link to Goodman's blog.

Also of note, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews were invited to participate in the USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team Trials July 12-14 in Pennsylvania.

Marquette is just one of six schools to send a pair of players to the trials. 30 players were invited to try out for the team, which will be coached by Jay Wright. Congrats and good luck to Jerel and Wesley!

Congratulations, Abel Joseph

Yesterday, Marquette University alum Abel Joseph was named General Manager of the ABA's Montreal Royal franchise.

Congrats, Abel and good luck with the Montreal Royal.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Rosiak Report

Todd Rosiak blogs away at the MJS and offers up interesting nuggets on Jerry Sichting (who might be on the move -- and his replacement would be Tim Buckley, something we predicted here), Dominic James (individual workouts with a handful of teams), Nick Williams (fast-rising MU verbal commit) and a few other notes. Still no update on Trend Blackledge's eligibility though - - maybe that's coming on or about June 18 (hahaha).

Read it all here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Coach Rab cracks the top 25

Congratulations are in order for Marquette assistant basketball coach Jason Rabedeaux, who was named one of Rivals.com's Top 25 assistant coaches.

A well-deserved honor for Coach Rab. Congrats!

Dominic James and the NBA

After an up and down performance at the NBA pre-draft camp last week, Dominic James will begin individual workouts for NBA teams soon. Considering the mediocre reviews at the camp last week (there were no glowing accounts of his play when all was said and done) it seems that James is a long-shot to be drafted at this juncture, but ESPN's Chad Ford is not sure being drafted will prevent DJ from going pro:

Several underclassmen may have hurt their chances of being drafted. Marquette's Dominic James, Fresno State's Dominic McGuire, Texas A&M's Joseph Jones, Virginia's Sean Singletary, Nevada's Marcelus Kemp, and Clemson's James Mays need to return to school. They didn't play well enough to warrant a first-round selection, and even a second-round selection is questionable for some of them.

That may be a problem for James and McGuire, who are rumored to be unwilling to return to school.

Maybe Dominic is hell-bent on moving on to professional basketball, even if Europe is his final destination. Regardless, James is smartly indicating that he's 'all-in' for now - - you don't chase your dreams halfway.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Marquette #14 in attendance for 06-07 season

Marquette averaged 15,345 fans per game last season (20 home dates, 306,893 total). MU ranked third in the Big East in average attendance per game. Syracuse was #2 in the nation at 21,516 per game and Louisville clocked in at #5 overall with 18,488 per game.

Nice work by MU fans, very nice indeed.

The full report can be found here (.pdf).

BTW, word around here is that Murffieus will contest these numbers in a thread on a message board near you.

Dominic James bounces back

Dominic James turned things around a bit last night at the NBA pre-draft camp. His performance was an improvement over Wednesday's effort, but in the eyes of draftexpress it's still not enough to warrant staying in the draft:

Although he certainly played a lot better than yesterday, Dominic James’ second day performance definitely left a lot to be desired for a player who seems to be adamant about keeping his name in the draft. He overdribbled badly on numerous possessions, driving into brick walls with his head down and showing an inability to read defenses and react based off what was thrown at him.......At this point, there is a legit possibility that James doesn’t even get drafted.
Hoopsworld.com begs to differ - -naming James as one of the ten players from the Orlando pre-draft camp who will be selected in the upcoming draft:
He's an amazing athlete, the best at the point guard position in Orlando. In fact, he told me on Wednesday his vertical leap has been measured at over 40 inches on more than one occasion. He's not 100% NBA ready right now, but he's the type of athlete who draws the attention of scouts. Remember how the stock of Gulliermo Diaz -- draft by the Clippers in 2006-- rose last season because of his athleticism? Expect the same thing to happen with James.
CSTV spends time evaluating draft options for James and Ramon Sessions against the backdrop of a weak PG class in the draft:
(James is) using this camp as a barometer to see if he's better off heading to the pros now.

"Most definitely, just from the feedback I'm gonna be getting back from my coaches and the people I have within my circle," James said. "They're talking to the decision makers in the league and just getting a report back from things I need to get better at. It's a win-win situation for me. I feel like if I go back to college, I'm gonna be a lot better player. And most definitely if I make it to the NBA, it'll be a dream come true."

Here's a thread from MarquetteHoops that chronicled DJs' performance in the late game on Thursday.

Crean: "I'm happy at Marquette"

While just yesterday, when Florida's Billy Donovan was headed for a job in the NBA and Tom Crean's name was linked to the UF opening, it would appear he's taken his name out of the running.

From ESPN:

Earlier at the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Memphis coach John Calipari and Marquette coach Tom Crean both said they are not candidates for the position. If Florida were to go outside of the family, meaning not VCU's Anthony Grant, then Villanova's Jay Wright is expected to be on the radar.
From Gainseville.com:
"I'm happy at Marquette," Crean said Thursday. "They gave me a job eight years ago and I've enjoyed every minute of it."
This is amazing. So many other openings through the years, the Warrior faithful have had to endure days or weeks of waiting for colored smoke to come out of the Al Center chimney to see what Crean will do.

This time, hours after his name is linked to the opening, he says those 4 magic words:

"I'm happy at Marquette."