"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, January 17, 2008

MU Lays Powder Blue Egg @UL

Marquette rolled out its 4th uniform of the year for a big road game versus Louisville on national TV. If you like that color, it was the only bright spot of the game. The Cardinals owned Marquette tonight, with a final score of 71-51.

In short, Marquette couldn't shoot and couldn't rebound. MU hit a meager 30% from the field, and big goose-egg 0-12 from behind the arc.

UL out-rebounded MU by 13. Marquette has a serious rebounding problem, being bested by 13, 10, 4, and 12 over the past 4 games.

Finding a player of the game for Marquette is tough. McNeal had 16 points on 7-17 shooting .. but he also had a whopping 7 turnovers. Blackledge is my personal best off the bench winner. He's consistently added energy on both ends of the floor for several games now, and one wonders why he isn't getting more minutes.

To add injury to insult, Dominic James, in an off-balance attempt at a circus shot, braced his fall and re-injured his bad wrist. No report has been filed on his condition, but with the UConn game three days away, on the road, I would be surprised if DJ heals in time.

So, what does this all mean? Losing at Louisville is not surprising. None of us here at CS predicted this game as win. However, something is to be said about the way in which we lost. Horrendous shooting from long, medium, and short range, which was nearly the opposite of MU's performance 5 days ago vs. Notre Dame. Being out-rebounded each and every game, however, is more of a concern. We've gone .500 being out-rebounded, and I'd expect that to continue if it isn't addressed.

AP Recap / Box / Play by Play


Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the boos were not directed at an injured player. They were in reference to a phantom foul call on Padgett in a pattern of no calls on major contact for both teams. It seems the only whistles tonight were on inbounds plays.

Anonymous said...

I was there. The boos were at the replay showing that there really shouldn't have been a foul called on Padget. The boos immediately followed cheers when James got up and went to the sideline.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who was at the game will tell you that very few Card fans boo-ed when James went down

and that the ENTIRE crowd clapped in respect when he got up OK-- as we do with all such injured competitors.

Frankly, the fans weren't boo-ing James--they were boo-ing because no one on the Marquette bench made any move toward James for a longggg time--What's up with that?

Crean didn't seem to care if James was hurt or not...didn't even say anything to him


Kevin Buckley said...

Ok, ok. I've removed that from my post. From TV-land, it appeared differently. -- I can accept that.

Can UL fans accept that "At least Pitino didn't yell to James 'stop faking' like classless Crean when Ellis Myles went down." is a total myth, as well?

Anonymous said...

Let's just say I sit close to the floor, and it sure sounded like Crean was yelling that at Ellis

BTW, Is Deane giving the finger the to crowd a "myth" too?

(Before you type... I was there)

Anonymous said...

When can we finally face the fact that Crean is one of the most overrated coaches in the nation? He is the highest paid private university coach out there yet hasn't won a tournament game since '03. He seems incapable of figuring out a way to break the zone and does he really expect this guard heavy team to compete with the likes of G'Town, Louisville, etc with it's glaring lack of quality big men?
Dwyane Wade aside he's been all sizzle and no steak, after DWade left he couldn't even coach a tourney win with 2 NBA players on his roster (Novak and Diener). I have no idea what the solution may be but Crean is what he is, a slick salesman who has set himself up for life based on the success of one season. What have you done for me lately?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, we must admit that Crean has been out-coached lately - WV, UL, prob with UC too on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, there is in all likelihood no Marquette team with a top 25 ranking without Crean. It's the players with the horrendous shooting. They appeared to be rushing their shots last night which I give credit to Louisville for making them do that. I do not know the background of Marquette assistant coaches, but I believe they were NCAA Division I head coaches, so there should be no lack of coaching intelligence on the Marquette side. We sound like how we sounded after we lost our first two Big East games last year. Louisville is a good team and we were on their home court. With a high ranking also comes a big bulleye on you. Hang with the team and enjoy the season.

Kevin Buckley said...

card 1: BTW, Is Deane giving the finger the to crowd a "myth" too?

Yes, I can believe that. As long as you believe that the crowd had been excessively hostile and had thrown items at him and the MU bench during the game.

Anonymous said...


Ditch the Powder Blue - it just looks weak.

Give Trend more time - he has not missed a shot in 2 games and 9 fouls, 1 rebound and no points from the other centers is not much to talk about.

Stop the weave and penetrate.

Forget the game - with just average shooting, we would have been in it. It seems that if we miss our first shot it is over with. Why does that happen?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else feel that the assistant-coach turnover shows itself in the lack of big-man development? Crean obviously prefers working with and grooming guards, and no big man under his watch (that I can think of) has developed into anything other than a slow-footed, stone-handed, non-swatter. See: Scott Merritt, Chris Grimm, Ousmane Barro, Dwight Burke. The jury's out on Mbakwe, I know, but I have to believe that a lack of continuity among assistants — or specialty coaches — factors into this lack of progression.

Gene Frenkle said...

Here we go. The harangue Crean group is back.

Enough of this tried-and-true complaint he can't figure out a zone. MU HAS done o.k. against the zone this year. Maybe, just maybe, the loss had to do w/the fact they couldn't shoot straight and got out-rebounded by a good team in one of the tougher places to win.

MU lacks a lowpost scorer. Anyone following the team knows that. Lazar is the best option down there and I've said many times, as he goes, so will MU. What did Hayward do last night? Answer: Nothing. Toss in a streak w/one basket for 23 or 24 attempts and there's your recipe for a loss.

The play of Burke and Barro has been disheatening. Burke, more so to me becasue he brings nothing to the table. At least Barro is an option when MU is running and penetrating the lane.

Let's just give Louisville credit for this one and not hit the panic button just yet. I'm disappointed that this seasoned team responded so poorly after cutting the game to 4 in the second half, but again. I don't see how Crean did anything wrong last night. He was trying to find a scorer.

If anything, people should focus on the lack of production from the bench.

And, I agree that Blackledge deserves more minutes. He doesn't add anything to the offensive flow as he just sits outside on the line, but he's athletic enough to know to go crash the boards as soon as the shot goes up.

While the loss last night sucked, this year's team hasn't lost to poor teams like last years squad (yet?). Losses AT Louisville and WVU aren't exactly cakewalks and to hold Crean culpible for them is kind of nuts.

For Crean's rep, this team does need one win in the NCAA, though. Just so he can save face. But we've all been down this road. No Crean, no top 25, no Big East, no good recruits coming back.

Newsflash - MU is 3-2 w/two losses to two good teams on the road. It's the Big East. It happens.

Now...if they come out and play like this again in the next week, we'll see a pattern. But for now, I'd say the loss was poor shooting and rebounding.

Anonymous said...


More cowbell, less panic

Anonymous said...

Every team can expect a poor shooting night. I was pleased to see Crean continue to run the offense and look for seams despite being down 12,14,16...
We eventually found some gaps in the zone and then missed the gimmes or got fouled and couldn't convert on the 3-point-play.

Let's not forget the team's gritty performance in Madison. Talk about the Big East home-court advantage all you'd like but Freedom Hall is a poor man's Kohl Center.

Anonymous said...

Tell Harbaugh that Standord Cardinal Red is pretty much Louisville Cardinal Red.

Anonymous said...

Blame for lack of production from the bench or the players falls squarely on the shoulders of the coach in the college game, he is the one that put them on the team. For all of these "top recruits" we are getting it has amounted to no tournament wins in 4years. You can not definitively say another coach would not do better at MU on a consistent basis. I will enjoy the season but if this year is another one and done at what point to we say his contract is not justifying the results?

Anonymous said...

No time to panic, for sure. But the lack of consistency (win by 20, lose by 20) is somewhat alarming. This bipolar personality, even early on, does affect the tourney resume. The next month on the schedule is favorable to get a run together (no Pitt, no Georgetown, no Villanova). Not panicking, but who wouldn't feel more comfortable if we looked more competitive in the last two losses (not to mention the Seton Hall game)? Would the real MU please stand up?

Gene Frenkle said...

Can we please put the "no tournament wins" talk on hold until after this season? If they don't get one this year, fine. It is definitely open for debate that Crean's not worth it.

As for him being responsible for the poor bench play, the one thing I get upset about is the lack of plays for Fitz the last two games. But, realistically, that's a mix of coaching, penetration, and Fitz' confidence. In the second half, both him and Cube's had shots that they would have taken in the past but I think they were rattled by the poor first half.

Let's hope they bounce back at UConn on Sunday. Then, the next three games look like good match-ups for us. If this team can run off three more Ws, it will be 6-2 and people will hopefully calm down. But...one game at a time.

Louisville exploited what MU gave them last night, or at least, they exploited what MU doesn't have...a dominant force down low. When Burke/Barro can't stop anyone and the PGs can't shoot, it shouldn't be expected that we win the game.

Anonymous said...

More cowbell, less panic.

Remember the win at Wisconsin (who is quickly rising). Remember the ND whipping 6 days ago. Don't blame the coach for missed no-footers.

And MORE POWDER BLUE. They LOOKED awesome last night.

Anonymous said...

Is it fair to say that the one decent low-post, big man we have had since TC has been here has been Robert Jackson? A transfer who spent three years somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

At least we didn't lose to Cleveland State...
12. Butler - 52
Cleveland State - 56

Anonymous said...

I think the poor play was Bart Miller's fault. He was sitting directly behind Crean and the team was playing like Miller did at Marquette (awful).

Anonymous said...

Was Bart Miller the one who was mis-identified in the ESPN graphic as "Tom's wife Joani"?

Anonymous said...

I agree it was only 1 game, and with West Virginia, it was 2 games. They beat Wisconsin and ND, and that's great.

But, sorry Gene, when you accept the salary of $1.3 million per year, you accept the accountability of your record, and Crean has 0 NCAA wins w/o Wade.

As far all this 'No Crean, No top 25" business, quick: who is the coach of SIU, Butler, Dayton, Gonzaga, or 5 other teams w/o a name coach? They all have pretty decent records.

Crean's not a volunteer, and given the annual tuition at Marquette, he needs to be accountable.

Anonymous said...

Hey homers Crean is a horrible game coach and can't recruit a single inside player. To reiterate what another has said "one of the highest paid coaches in the nation". I think he is 3rd. W/out Wade zero tourney wins!! How about an adjustment attacking zones?? How about less gambling on defense and stopping penetration when the other team is not turning it over? How about boxing out occasionally? They have extremely quick guards on the perimeter there is no reason why they can't take good shots almost every posssesion. We all know they have no inside players on both ends of the floor but they can't just stand there and take up space. When they're not hitting jumpers there half-court offense is anemic unless they force to's. They always seem to be in a rush especially on the road. That is inexcusable with the talent on this team. If they go one and done this year are will still going to talk about Crean being a coaching God? Next year they have a top 20 class coming in and I expect D. James to be back. They better make a run next year or Crean should be canned. Let's not forget MU was a perennial top 10 team under Al McGuire. No reason they should be less successful than Butler and Soutehrn Illinois and they have been during Crean's tenure. Is there any MU fan who is a realist that would rather have Crean than Bo Ryan? I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

If Bo could recruit like TC or TC could coach Xs and Os like Bo, that would be a lethal combination.

Anonymous said...

...and they would not be coaching in the state of Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

Crean is not a bad coach, unfortunately he is a poor recruiter of big men. In the Big East if you don't have strenght upfront this is what happens .We are too one deminsenial. I blame Crean for failing to make getting a big man an absolute priority, no excuses no questions asked.

Anonymous said...

I think it was 3:52PM Anonymous post was Bo Ryan - bitter about making a fraction of TC's salary.

This article regarding coaches salaries is interesting:

Remember when TC's name was thrown about during some open coaching vacancies several years ago? Illinois? Kansas? I remembe the feeling of relief when he announced he was staying. It is this allegiance alone that makes me think he deserves the $$$.

As far as recruiting I think he does very well considering the competition from UW - Wes Matthews and Christopherson are two recent noteables.

Gene Frenkle said...

Please, ease up on Christopherson as "notable". We'll see about that one and how it plays out.

My point about the Crean bashing, is that...here we go again. We lose one game all the crazy Crean bashers come flying out of the woodwork.

Look, if you wanna bash the guy's postseason record, you aren't being original. Many of you out there have done so. But...we understand that record. All of us that follow MU know it. Post-Wade, it isn't good. So, instead of beating it to death again after a loss, let's just hold off until after the season. It gets really friggin' tiring reading the same "Crean's not a game coach," or "he's overpaid" remarks already in the early part of the big east season.

For God's sake, lets let the season end before bringing out this topic that's become as annual as "Will Brett retire or won't he".

And...I am critical of his record post-Wade. But I'm also fair about it. Some of the reasons for this record are his fault, some are way out of his control. As for his failure to get a quality big man, every coach in this country tries to do the same thing year in and year out. Very few get one. Crean's struggled with it. Crean's no different.

Love seeing all these comments. Proof that a loss always brings out the critics more so than the big wins.

Anonymous said...

That's because the "big wins" are far and few between, please see ZERO tourney wins since 2004.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gene your point about few coaches can get a quality big man is true if you mean NBA prospect big man. As has been said perviously name a single inside player MU has had under Crean's tenure other than transfer Robert Jackson? I'm talking about anybody who brings anything to the table offensively or defensively. I love Ooze cause he's worked hard and improved but he's still a stiff, and they all have been stiffs other than R.Jackson. All we need is a guy who can rebound, block a shot occasionally, and make a layup. That's it. Hopefully Mbakwe is that guy. If not this team will have trouble advancing in the tourney next year as well.

Anonymous said...

Ever consider how fickle fate can be ???? If only Brian Butch had opted for MU he has all the qualities we need up front to go along with the three amigoes and our quality depth (except upfront of course!). Top 10 team every year with his post scoring and rebounding. Than the big Crean dilemma would be moot!!!!

Anonymous said...

Merritt was supposed to be that "big time recruit" inside guy, but it didn't work out that way. Good? yes. But not dominant inside
Unfortunately, I think there problem has been 2 issues. Attacting talent: They are unable to get the talent because they don't have a recent history of developing big men. Coaching staff: Since the loss of Dwayne Stephens as an assistant coach they don't have a coach to lead by example.

Anonymous said...

Crean is solidly building the program. Step by Step. Next year we will have Trevor, Fulce and Otule. And next year Eric Williams already committed. We are raising our talent level in the front court. Wish people would have patient. You don't become a top 15 program over night. There is an aweful lot of competition to get the best players.