"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, February 04, 2008

Marquette v Louisville, Round 2


Just to recap: Round One went to Louisville via a viscious TKO. The judges scored the bout 71-51 in favor of the Cardinals. BTW, Louisville fans are ready for the next rev.

The Cardinals (16-6, 6-3) swoop into Milwaukee as winners of three of their last four games. Earl Clark and Terrence Williams each delivered double-doubles in Louisville's 87-50 mauling of Rutgers on Saturday. The Cardinals are the most offensively balanced team in the Big East, with five players averaging in double figures. Terrence Williams and Jerry f@!@#$g Smith each average a shade over 11ppg, followed by Earl Clark, David Padgett and Derrick Caracter at 10ppg. The Cardinals are a ferocious defensive team, one of the best in the nation particularly inside the arc. It is no surprise that Louisville held each of its last three opponents to 40% shooting or less.

After Saturday's impressive 75-60 road win over Cincinnati, the Golden Eagles (16-4, 6-3) return home on Monday night where they are 12-0 this season. Marquette's win was keyed by the inspired play of the reincarnated Ousmane Barro, who contributed 19 points (9-10 from the field) and 10 boards off the bench. Barro's effort complemented another fine performance by Lazar Hayward (19 pts, 5 boards), who's fast becoming one of the Big East's best forwards. The outburst from the frontline helped MU out-rebound a team for the first time in nearly a month.

With back-to-back road games looming at Notre Dame and Seton Hall, a home win is essential for MU if the Golden Eagles expect to compete for one of four first round byes in the Big East tournament (if not the regular season crown itself). Louisville owns two conference road wins, though the Cardinals lost their most recent road game at UConn.

A few other random notes:

  • Dominic James is just not the same player since the Jamar Nutter hard foul back on January 8. Since then James is only hitting 37% from the field and has failed to score in double digits in four of his last five outings - - the worst stretch of his career.
  • What is going on with David Cubillan? He played just seven minutes against Cincy and failed to score, and in 21 minutes of action against USF he came up with just three points. As well as Ville defends the paint, MU could use a productive Cubillan tonight.
  • Lazar Hayward scored in double figures in each of the last four games, which is no surprise.......the 6'6" sophomore now leads MU in scoring at 13.7ppg and leads the team in double figure scoring games with 17.
  • Wesley Matthews has rounded into form. Since struggling to a season-low four points against Seton Hall, Matthews is averaging better than 13 points per outing.
Tipoff for tonight's matchup is scheduled for 6pm CST on ESPN's Big Monday.

Media Updates
Top Five Numbers Preview

When we did our preview the for the last game, the key areas to watch for were Louisville's Defense, especially at limiting 2-point FGs and on blocked shots. We've already covered that, and not a lot has changed on the Louisville Pomeroy Scouting Report. True to form, the recap of the last game showed that Louisville was better than Marquette at almost every facet of the game. MU was even victim to several season lows in offensive efficiency, effective Field Goal Percentage, and defensive Free Throw Rate.

8 - Louisville's National Rating at Defensive Efficiency
  • Louisville holds opponents to a score of 85.5 on the defensive end
  • Last time we played, they were ranked 11
  • Holding Marquette to an efficiency of 78.0 helped there
11 - UL's rating at effective Field Goal (eFG%) Defense
  • Louisville holds opponents to an effective Field Goal Percentage of 43.1%
  • As mentioned above, a lot of this is from inside the arc, where opponents only achieve 40.7%
  • That percentage is #9 in the country
30.4% - Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) achieved by Marquette in the last game
  • This was a season low, and our next lowest was 40.2% against Seton Hall
  • Expect Marquette to fare much better (especially from three) in front of the home crowd
59.2% - Defensive Free Throw Rate allowed by Marquette against Louisville last time
  • Louisville got to the line 60% of the time that they had a Field Goal Attempt
  • Will Marquette be able to keep this percentage lower? Louisville only gets to the line 23.9% of the time on average.
69% - Our predicted chances of winning according to Pomeroy
  • Of course, we were also given a 66% chance of winning the last game, and we all know how that turned out
Last time, there were plenty of season worsts for Marquette, but we don't expect that those results will happen a second time. Even if Marquette gets closer to the season averages for Louisville's Free Throw Rate and effective Field Goal Defense, this is a different game. In front of the home crowd, look for Marquette to win.


Anonymous said...

take it easy on cubes. his stat line didn't show it, but he played a great game against usf. the last two games he's played great defense and he's been a big help in actually running an offense...something that still seems beyond the capabilities of dj and jerel this season. imho, our best line up this season has been mo, cubes, wes, lazar, and ooze.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Brice could probably dribble the ball a couple times and pass it back up top on the perimeter. Cubillan hasn't shown offense since the first month of the season. Luckily his defense, by default, is better than Acker or Christopherson at this point.

Gene Frenkle said...

I think Cubillan has been o.k. He really hasn't had a ton of shot attempts of late. He's definitely improved running the offense, but he hasn't been driving to the hole nearly as well as he did earlier in the year. We need him and Fitzgerald to step up tonight. I predict double digits for Fitz tonight. Just a feeling.

As for mo, cubes, wes, lazar, and ooze being the best MU lineup? You have to be crazy to not have McNeal out there, struggles withstanding.

Anonymous said...

Is Christopherson the new spark plug for shooting slumps?

Or was his insertion due to frustration w everyone else with a better than expected result?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention Marquette's request that fans wear gold to the game.

I'd rather wear a swimsuit.

TB said...

.....Take a look at the top right corner of the blog, Mr Swimsuit :-)

Anonymous said...

Crean said the matchup was their to put Scott in against UofCin. And he delivered. Will that matchup be there tonight? I do not know. We need our A+ game tonight. Louisville will be a beast.

Anonymous said...

More concerned with Fitz's lack of productivity than I am with Cubillan. A quick stat check shows that Fitz has made 8 threes in his last nine games - with six 0-fers. He's made none in the last three games. And seven of those eight makes came in two games. He's attempted 57 shots this season, and 49 of them are threes.

I suggest that Cubillan didn't get minutes in the Cincy game because the guys on the floor were playing so well together in the second half. Jerel had one of his better games, too, and typically DC replaces JM and MA replaces DJ. As Crean pointed out after the USF game, he mixes and matches according to matchups and needs. So it stands to reason that he sticks with what's working.

Having such depth at the guard position is a good problem to have. As a huge Cubillan fan, I'd still rather see him on the bench because the team's playing well, than have him out on the floor to try and pick up the slack or spark a run.

Monumental task tonight. Can't wait to be there!

Sean Lafferty said...

I think we'll see a lot of Cubes tonight. I think we'll see a lot of rotating and different combos of Cubes, DJ, JM, and Mo as Crean looks for fresh ball handling against Louisville. They put a lot of pressure on the ball and it will take a very steady and low-mistake game on the point to have a chance.

I also see Crean trying to get Barro, Hayward and perhaps either Burke or Trend involved early making cuts to the basket on repeated pick & rolls. Once the Cards collapse their zone down a little tighter inside, hopefully Cubes and Fitz can knock down some shots.

Should be a good one, usually is. Pitinio's guys give MU problems every damn time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of taking martial arts classes Crean should worry about installing an actual offense. The passing around the permiter for 20 seconds before hoisting up an absurd shot just isn't cutting it. And why in God's name does Burke start, he makes John Mueller look like Hakeem Olajuwon!

Anonymous said...

Wow we look awesome. What a joke. One and done in the tournament. I would've said that before watching another pathetic start by the Golden Eagles.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to harp on this topic over and over, but Crean really is a horrible in-game coach. I'd love it if he could get these guys to finally figure out a zone. Hopefully the Crean supporters are woken up after tonight.

Also, how is that the Dynamic Trio still hasn't figured out what constitutes a "good shot" after two and half years of college basketball?