"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

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

James leads MU past Nova

Dominic James' scintillating 25-point performance led MU to an 85-75 win at Villanova, the Golden Eagles' fourth road win in Big East action. James keyed a 53-point offensive outburst in the second half as MU overcame a seven point halftime deficit, forcing 23 'Nova turnovers in the process. James had 4 assists and a season high 6 steals.

Lazar hit for 15 with 9 rebounds, McNeal for 14 points. Mo Acker was the surprise firecracker off the bench, scoring 12 points in 13 minutes.

With the win MU improved to 21-6 overall and 11-5 in the Big East. Marquette has now won five straight and next hosts Georgetown on Saturday.

More to come later, but here are some media recaps......a great win for MU.

Media Updates

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great win, congratulations Marquette.

Anonymous said...

Good game, Warriors! I hope the role continues against the Hoyas and the Orange.

Gene Frenkle said...

The fact that the team is playing some of its best ball in late Feb for a change is great to see. Tells me the players are getting it.

Tough place to get a W with 'nova playing so well of late, and basically playing for their post-season lives. MU took their punches, and countered every time.

Another solid, solid game. Can't wait for Saturday. Should be an electric atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic win...can't wait for the Georgetown game.

I see there's more paranoia about media bias on the Scout board. If it wasn't so frightening, it might be amusing.

Anonymous said...

Great win. The team looks very solid and confident, but we are now going to have to go back to a mismatch game, so we will see if the team has truly rounded the corner. If we can shut down GT and their big men, this team will go far.

Mbakwe came back to shore up our game against big men and this will be his first real test. Barro seems to be showing what he did last year, so hopefully they can work together to shut it down.

Crank it up guys - this is for real now...

Anonymous said...

Awesome win last night! I was in attendance and Marquette looked great. The 'Nova fans lived up to there Philly reputation and were total jerks. It was perfect payback to sit back and watch MU get it done!

MQ said...

Great second half. The first half had the makings of another disaster. McNeal turning the ball over, no one penetrating, everyone heaving threes, defense allowing easy baskets. Nice adjustments at half, loved the increased intensity on defense and a commitment to get to the rim in the second half.

Anonymous said...

The telecast mentioned that Crean schedules Fl Gulf cost in an effort to improve the 'last 10 game' performance measure. This seems that it would be transparent to the selection team. I thought it was just a scheduling snafu. It will actually hurt our RPI.

Kind of a bummer that beating Vill means that they get knowcked down and no longer count as a win over a top 50 RPI team. We are still 3-6 v top 50.

Tie breakers appear tough for us all of our losses have been to top teams.

Here is a question - would you trade a win over Louisville for a bad loss such as Rutgers to improve tie breaker position (and wins v top team) given that we have no bad losses thusfar?

NY Warrior said...

"The telecast mentioned that Crean schedules Fl Gulf cost in an effort to improve the 'last 10 game' performance measure. This seems that it would be transparent to the selection team"

I think that is halfway correct. I believe Fl Gulf Coast committed to play in the Blue & Gold Classic......but when the tournament fell through, MU owed them the game and slotted it into the grid to meet the commitment

jce said...

I really liked when they had Acker running the point and DJ playing the #2. They went on a big run in each half with that lineup on the floor with either McNeal or Mathews playing #3. Very quick and I think gives DJ a little bit of a break from handing the ball everytime.

They still have problems underneath though. They really need Ooze, Mbakwe...one of their bigs...to step up and get some rebounds. Nova had way too many second chances. Fitzgerald is just lost out there and frankly should rarely see the floor.

All in all a great win though.

Anonymous said...

This was a solid win but I still have some major concerns. Dominic had his best shhoting game in a long time and by long I mean years. Nova turned the ball over over 20 times which lead to easy scoring opportunities. Acker was fantastic. This is a guy who has rarely played the last 10 games. I was really impressed with his speed breaking the press. Once again the worry is rebounding and lack of a threat inside. Defensively our bigs over-extend time and time again. I don't understand why our coaching staff doesn't position Ooze/Burke/Mbakwe where the show on the screen but then recover. Wes and Lazar have to attack the glass on both ends. Our bigs need to stay out of foul trouble which is somewhat dependent on our guards stopping penetration. We are clearly quick enough to do that. Nova got away with moving screens the entire game but that is still not an excuse. When MU is making jumpers we are very dangerous. When we make jumpers and force TO's we can beat almost anyone. Ooze, Mbakwe and Burke have to contribute in the tourney. If Ooze and Trevor can give us 10 pts and 15 rebs collectively we can go far if not we'll lose early. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Tie-breakers are tough, BUT if MU takes care of business and beats GT and Orange then we only need one game of help - Louisville beating GT in finale.

Remember the nice thing in Big East tiebreakers is that our 0-2 against Louisville counts the same as another teams 0-1 against Louisville if they are in front of us in the standings. It only kills us if Louisville is tied with us. So if Louisville were to lose to both ND and GT we are screwed for a bye - man I hate having to root for them. The other ways we get in assuming we win out is 2 losses by EITHER CT OR ND, in which case we would no longer have to root for Louisville against GT.

Anonymous said...

Crean admitted to the broadcast crew why he scheduled FGC. We didn't "owe" Florida Gulf Coast anything. That's nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Yeah we didn't owe FGC crap NY Warrior. Where do you get your info? The Marquette Tribune?

NY Warrior said...

ah, the calm voices of MU fans after a win.

Looks like FGC was scheduled as intended and I confused the points below:

"One byproduct of the elimination of the Blue and Gold Classic is it allowed MU on March 4 to schedule Florida Gulf Coast, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference which will be entering its first season of Division I play.

"We made the decision last year that we wanted to play a game at the very end inside the (last) 10, because that hurt us a little bit," said Crean, referring to MU's seeding in the NCAA tournament."

http://blogs.jsonline.com/muhoops/archive/2007/09/05/mu-releases-schedule.aspx

Anonymous said...

Pomeroy now has MU 3 pt favorites on GT and +4 on Syr, so tight but good. Then GT +3 hosting Lville, so an upset there gets us in. If not our two chances are:
-CT loses two out of at Rut +12, WV +2, at Prov +4 & Cincy +11, OR
-ND loses two out of at Lville -8, at DeP +7, St. J +18 & at SF +7.
We win the tie-breaker with ND becasue we split, so it would then go to our record against No. 1, then No.2, then No.3, and in one of those scenarios we would have beaten GT and they lost to them, while neither of us would have beaten UConn or Lville, so the tie-breakers aren't a killer, assuming of course we beat GT Saturday. If not, we can just settle on a 1st round BE tourney game.

Anonymous said...

At least folks are griping over the FGC game rather than trying to fire TC again...

Gene Frenkle said...

Regarding wins/losses and who they were against...MU has has not lost to anyone that won't be in the NCAA tourney (barring a WVU collapse). I'd rather have that resume than a win over Louisville and a loss or two agains Rutgers or St. Johns.

Anonymous said...

As it turns out, the FGC game addition will help our 'last 10' record - if we lose in the 1st round of the BE (the Lousiville loss is pushed out and replaced w a Win and if we lose in the 2nd round, the ND loss is pushed out).

Sounds crappy, but in those board rooms, I think they often try to use measurable means to seperate teams rather than intangibles. Good coaching includes good scheduling.

Of course as this becomes popular, they will eventually change the criteria (as they should)

Anonymous said...

In addition, if you were to take the RPI average of our last 10 games, FCG would be washed out and the average would stand up against anyone's.

Anonymous said...

think it was Acker who was yelling in the huddle during a first half timeout. It worked as it seemed to light a fire in the team. We fought thru the first half, and broke it open in the second half. This was a quality win for MU, and on the road which was a problem for us before the Cincy game. If UConn can lose another 2 games, and MU beat Syracuse and G-Town we'll have the bye for the BE tourney at MSG.

Anonymous said...

Here in NYC, Daily News college B-ball writer, Lenn Robbins, was on Big East Weekly taped Sunday (2/24)on the SNY network. Asked if he was buying or selling MU's stock, he said he was SELLING because Dominic James' play has regressed since his freshman year. He said DJ's must be believing in too much of his press clippings!

I didn't care for the criticism, but upon reflection there is some truth to it. I have expected more from DJ in terms of production by his Junior year, but some things aren't measured by numbers alone. Ultimately, we would be worse off by not having DJ this year. The team looks to him for leadership, and he usually delivers. I cringe a bit when he takes 3's. His game is driving the lane to make his own shot.

Yes, I saw Acker's tirade in the huddle at that timout. I agree it had the team focused to answer Nova's runs, and distance MU from them in the 2nd half. Outbursts from teammates can be good provided it comes at the right time. It was a close game, and I assume Acker was saying we are better than Nova so no more screw ups. It worked!

Anonymous said...

Right now I am buying.

We may still have a tough time w big men and may have a problem against GT, but this team will be seasoned going into the NCAA and will not face that strong a front court until the sweet 16. Even then, we do have the capability to beat strong front court teams, its just on an inconsistent basis and as we know the NCAAs belong to the team that show up that day.

As far as DJ goes, I think he is moving in the right direction. First the 12 assist game and now the point production. He hits that first shot and it is over for any opponent (but he has to hit that first one).

Anonymous said...

I think people should get off Dominic's case. The guy is a fighter. He has been playing hurt and gives it his all. No way we are better without him. Acker is great coming off the bench, but he is no James. Appreciate what we have here. I hate to think of the team without his leadership.