"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

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ARRRRRRRRRRGH..........

gut-wrenching loss on a remarkable shot in overtime......heck of a game. I am sick to my stomach.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, a great year, with 25 wins and some real national impact. Lots to build on, and to celebrate all summer.

Or you could be like me, a Columbia fan....

Congrats on a terrific year (and a really entertaining blog)

Anonymous said...

Of course, Crean never tries to adjust and at least make the entry pass to Lopez a little difficult. Letting him catch and shoot in his favorite spot is inexcusable in OT (and it happened over and over and over again).

And why did McNeal heave the 3 at the end of regulation. There was plenty of time to penetrate and pull-up for an nice jumper or dish off. But MU never seems to get a good shot off at the end of a game (or the end of the half, for that matter).

This was a very winnable game and MU did not win it. No glory in close losses, imo.

BTW, when was the last time MU won a game on a last second shot?

Anonymous said...

The last one i remember is either jerel mcneal in south florida or dominic james at valpo. Both last year

Anonymous said...

"BTW, when was the last time MU won a game on a last second shot?"

Sour, my friend?

MU lost a tough game to a terrific team. A rough end to a successful season

Anonymous said...
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Brian said...

Biggest problem here everybody, is that we're going to have the same problems next year. I loved our heart, I loved the way we battled down to the end. But in the end it means nothing. We will continue to get abused by bigger teams, and there's really nothing we can do to beat them, unless we shoot 50% from three.

As a student, I just want to come back to campus after spring break... AND JUST ONCE, still be in the NCAA Tournament. So we can feel the electricity on campus, and to share in the camaraderie with our classmates. This team is destined for another year of 11-5 in the Big East, and a first or second round exit in the tourney. They're going to meet a team with size, and will be hurt by it.

Anonymous said...

".......Tommy Crean"

Please return to Racine, Mr Woeflel.

Could it be that an NBA lottery pick made an NBA-caliber shot to beat MU in the waning moments?

Or did Crean give it away.

How pathetic.

Anonymous said...

great game.... very disappointed in the loss but enough of this crean bashing.... I suppose you'd rather have a coach like Bob Dukiet coaching us? He was a good game coach, but couldn't recruit any talent!! I'll take Crean and his staff any day! Great season MU... tough one to lose... you'll be back better and deeper than ever next season!

Anonymous said...

What would you have said at the beginning of the year if someone told you MU would:
--beat Wisconsin on the road
--win two out of three against ND
--have another strong Big East showing in the regular season, and played well in the tourney.
--win a first-round NCAA game and was very close to winning another in a tough matchup.

Let's have a little perspective, here. For the most part it was an enjoyable team to watch and they played with a lot of heart.
And, oh yeah, MU has a great record of graduating players.

Could it have been better? Of course. But consider this -- take a look at the tightrope the 2003 team walked to make it as far as it did. Or just about any team that goes to the Final Four for that matter. A lot of luck is involved. If Lopez misses that shot ... what would you be writing then?

I'll take this team, and this coach, over what MU was putting on the floor 20 years ago ... when making the NIT was an achievement!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If Bo Ryan is coaching MU, does he make any adjustments in this game?

Anonymous said...

"If Bo Ryan is coaching MU, does he make any adjustments in this game?"

Ask Marquis Estill

Anonymous said...

For you Crean supporters spin this any way you want, but it's hard to swallow this loss without questioning what everyone else has already alluded to. Fouls really killed us in the 2nd half and I also attribute this to Crean and his staff Very few hard doubles during the game, and Dominic coming off of the point made no sense unless the post was fronted.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the three pointer at the end of regulation was not the shot they should have been looking for. But this team did everything they could to put themselves in a position to win. And for what it's worth, Dwight Burke did everything he could to force Brook Lopez to make a difficult shot. Unfortunately, he got the soft bounce off the rim, and that's how it went. I think that even though they lost, the team showed that they can compete with anyone if they can take on two 7 footers, despite the tremendous disadvantage in the frontcourt, and have the opportunity to win. Also, give Tom Crean a break, the team picked up 25 wins, and was a game winning shot away from a huge upset and a sweet sixteen birth. They'll be back next year.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest, when was the last time Marquette won a close game? A game that went down to the wire and meant something? Marquette was out-coached again. It is inexcusable to field a team that can win games against major basketball powers and have them coached in a second rate manner. Its time for a change or we will be watching even assistant coaches coach the pants off of Coach Crean. Marquette Warriors deserve better than this mediocre act.

Anonymous said...

Two attemped alley oops in a close game. Hard enough to execute with nobody guarding you. Stupid decisions/called plays.

Anonymous said...

Let's face the facts that Tom Crean had not either studied the opponent carefully enough or is too arrogant to admit his gameplan was flawed as demonstrated by Lopez owning the paint all second half and OT. Definetely not enough ball pressure which allowed easy passes inside. Crean has been an excellent recruiter historically, however I cannot believe with his skill in that area he cannot get a blue chip big man to go with the perimeter strength of the team.

Anonymous said...

The only thing we can salvage from this loss is that Notre Dame got crushed. Did anybody see that picture of Harangody the other day on the back of the Sun-Times? Oh my god he may be the ugliest human being on the face of the earth. I'm so releived I don't have to see him or his family for the rest of the season. Please, for all of us enter the NBA draft.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"Lets be honest, when was the last time Marquette won a close game? A game that went down to the wire and meant something?"

Stanford must have been due.

They had not won a game that matches this description in more than three years.

Fire Trent Johnson and his assistants

Anonymous said...

Too bad Bo couldn't make enough adjustments, despite having a strong inside player, in the loss to MU this year.
And same with Brey at ND with the Big East player of the year twice this year.

By the way, be thankful you're not a fan of DePaul, Loyola, St. John's and Seton Hall -- to name a few programs that MU could be at the level of right now.

Anonymous said...

Sure, MU will be back next year and they might scratch out a single win in the NCAA's, but I just can't see anything more that that with Crean as coach. As others have mentioned, end of half or end of game situations seem to unnerve Crean and he has that confused and perplexed look on his face and the players have got to see that and get nervous themselves.

Burke did pretty much all he could do defending Lopez on that final play, but why not have somebody double down on him and force another guy to beat you? If somebody else makes the shot, then tip your cap and know you did all you could do in that situation. But MU just let Stanford execute the play exactly like they wanted to, which again comes down to coaching.

This game really hurts.

Henry Sugar said...

During the game, I also saw Crean kick a puppy and throw away the cure to cancer!

Anonymous said...

"By the way, be thankful you're not a fan of DePaul, Loyola, St. John's and Seton Hall -- to name a few programs that MU could be at the level of right now."

Ugh, is that the standard now for MU basketball? Be happy that we're not the bottom feeders of the Big East? So we're in the middle of the pack...big deal.

BTW, Trent Johnson is not known as a particularly strong game coach, so Stanford might have actually done better without him tonight.

John said...

Sometimes the other team wins. Especially when they have a future NBA lottery pick playing center.

Sure, MU could have tried to double-down more. (I expected him to late in the game.) But as a somewhat neutral observer I thought Marquette was prepared well enough and played well enough to win against a team that is legitimately among the Top 15 in the nation.

You don't pick who you play. So enjoy the memories of this season (and hope Jerel McNeal doesn't use the past 5 games to justify bolting to the NBA), it was one that almost any other program would be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it is a big deal to do what MU has done.

Too bad you can't enjoy it. I will, and look forward to next year.

Anonymous said...

"Yep, it is a big deal to do what MU has done."

Really, what did they do that was so extraordinary? They were far from the best team in he BE and far from the worst. They beat a good team on the road in Wisconsin and they got the crap kicked out of them by other good teams on the road. They had a lousy record against top 25 teams. I don't know, it was an OK season, but nothing more than that. The BIG THREE still haven't taken the team to another level, but part of that is Crean's refusal to get a decent big guy in.

NY Warrior said...

Despite high expectations, MU still had a very good year.

There's no shame in an OT loss to a higher seeded team....on a great shot. Sometimes you lose games u have a few chances to win.

This team gelled late, won 25 games, beat MU's biggest rivals, won a pair of games in the BET, got the monkey off their back in the NCAAs -- and it ended with a heartbreaker.

Sign me up for 25 wins next year and a couple of chances to get to the next level - - one bounce away.

Quite an effort

Henry Sugar said...

Cracked Sidewalks hopes that everyone has a wonderful Easter!

The Marquette community may not always agree, but we are still family.

We Are Marquette

Anonymous said...

How many games in a row has Fitz had a very soft foul on a guy getting a layup? Why not just hack the guy and make him make a few FT's. You would think Crean would notice that and stress the point to him.

Crean's postgame remarks seem to indicate that the team didn't exactly follow instructions on defense...ball pressure, doubling down, etc. Something just seems to go wrong with his teams in big spots in the game.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like many of you were just begging for that last shot to go in so you could be 'proven right'.

Tell you what - next year, don't buy season tickets, don't watch the game and shut up. I fo rone got my money's worth. Great season.

Championships Matter said...

Hey look, the team played their hearts out. Nobody feels worse for them than they do and for most of the summer they'll be asking what if..?

This was the game that worried me most all the way to the Final Four. Had they won today, they could have matched up well against Texas and Pitt (forget it Memphis, you won't be there). The two Gomez zombies scared me and with Barro guarding them and sympathetic referees, God himself wouold have had a difficult time.

Coach Crean and the guys -- thanks for a great season. We'll be back in the fall and following throughout the summer.

Go Warriors

Anonymous said...

WELL SAID NY WARRIOR!!! I'LL SECOND THAT.... GREAT SEASON!

I SEE BIG THINGS COMING FOR THIS TEAM NEXT SEASON!

GO MARQUETTE!

Anonymous said...

Some of these sour comments by Marquette "fans" are embarrassing.

Congratulations on a great year Maruqette.

Anonymous said...

Since when does a single victory in the NCAA's warrant a "great season" comment?

Crean is an interesting coach. He seems to have solid, sometimes very good, overall gameplans. But in specific game situations, he seems to be lost and nervous. At the end of the Georgetown game, there was plenty of time to get a decent shot off, and it was another rushed, desperation attempt by DJ, iirc, that was nowhere near close. At the end of regulation in that same game, the had the ball on their half of the floor and a few seconds left and got off another crappy attempt. Today, McNeal throws up a 3 when a simple two-point FG wins the game. Heck, a simple FT wins the game at that point. Contrast that with Stanford getting the exact shot they wanted to try and win the game at the end of OT.

Anonymous said...

I think the last minute of the first half really was crucial. MU had a double digit lead and could have literally blown the game open right then and there and instead gives up a wide open 3 and a layup and loses all momentum going into halftime. That seems to happen a lot with Crean's teams.

Anonymous said...

have you people ever thought that maybe it comes down to execution. Even with a perfect game plan your players still need to hit their shots and rebound and do everything right to win, no matter how great a coach you are. To blame this one Crean is absurd. If McNeal hits that last shot he took with 15 seconds left in OT, we win. It was a clean look and he missed it. How is that Crean's fault? He drew up the play that got McNeal a good look. Isn't that the whole point of the coach...to put your players in position to execute as best they can. He did that and sometimes the shots fall and sometimes they don't. I don't think we needed to double down low. We just needed to push the twins away from the basket. When we did that we were successful. But they're also two great players and Brooke is probably the best big man in the tourney. Sometimes, dont you think he's going to get good position. Crean could put 5 guys on him and force him to pass but then you all would be crying about what poor strategy that is. Crean has brought this program back on the national map. And let's face it, we aren't a Duke or a North Carolina or a UCLA. I know we all want to be but to be getting top flight recruits and among the top teams in the toughest league in the tournament should stand for something. Do you think Pitt fans want to fire Jamie Dixon because he couldn't beat Mich St. And to say Crean refuses to recruit Blue Chip Bigs is ridiculous. Every year how many truly elite bigs are there...5-10. Most of those leave after one year and go to schools like Duke, UNC or UCLA. Those that don't probably have shady side deals going on with coaches. If you want that, then follow Kansas St. Yeah it's been a frustrating year with ups and downs but the team played with heart and determination down the stretch and isnt that what you want. Sometimes a team loses a game and sometimes a team win's a game. Tonight Stanford just won the game. Give them credit. In the final few seconds, they executed and we didn't. That had nothing to do with coaching. Just a great player making a great play.

Anonymous said...

"Tonight Stanford just won the game. Give them credit. In the final few seconds, they executed and we didn't. That had nothing to do with coaching. Just a great player making a great play."

Letting Lopez get the ball in his favorite spot with no ball pressure and no doubleteam is 100% coaching. And not having a better play than Jerel throwing up a 3 pointer in a tie game at the end of regulation is 100% coaching.

Coaching matters greatly in tight games like this. Taking out both Lopez twins at the same time to give them rest would have been the story if MU had won the game. As soon as they left the court, MU had a lead within a few minutes.

Random1 said...

All of these negative posts from supposed fans are a complete joke and just plain comical. I have never posed before but reading some of these comments makes me embarassed. Don't you find it sad that you are dogging on student athletes, not to mention young kids on an internet site. If you are so upset with the program or Crean why don't you stop spending so much time on the internet and make your presence felt in a positive way toward the university so maybe someday someone in a position to make a change will actually listen to you. In the meantime go waste you time doing something else like playing Halo against 12 year old kids across the pond while sitting in your parents basement.

Gene Frenkle said...

"Crean's refusal to get a big guy in."

Yeah, great f-ing quote there anon. You are sooo spot on. Crean just doesn't want to get a big guy, that's it. And it was all Crean's fault that their bigs made three very difficult shots to end the game in o.t. All Crean. They should fire him and get the closest community college coach to take over the team.

I know you people that are commenting hate being fans of the team with the most wins in the big east the last three years. Or a team that's make it to the NCAA and the last three years, a) lost with a bunch of freshman and saw a senior miss an open three he made all year, b) lose in the first round when their best player was out, and c) lose in friggin overtime to a team that was THREE SEEDS HIGHER and was the absolute worst match-up possible for MU.

You guys are so spot on. It's all Crean's fault for this loss.

Jesus.

Let's give credit where credit is due. To Stanford for making three huge friggin shots in o.t. in the last two minutes. I've railed on Burke all year, but his D on the last two shots was spot on. Those weren't layups people.

If anything I was disappointed in it was Jerel's pull-up at the end of regulation. Why he did that I don't know, but it must have been Crean's fault. He should have benched him after that, I guess. Also, I am surprised Mbakwe didn't get a couple minutes in there. But Crean usually rewards players that have been bringing it, and minus a true stud big man to take on Stanford, Burke had been playing well. Unfortunately, Barro fell into his habit of too many fouls.

Anyway, it was a good season, overall. Disappointing in the regular season, but a tough loss in the second round. And for those of you who would rather give up 20+ wins and a shot at a deeper post-season run in exchange for any new coach who brings nothing but "change", well, you should spend your time inventing a time machine so you can go back to the 1980s and enjoy your MU season tickets.

Great job Cracked Sidewalks. I can't wait for next year as it should be another one filled with great opponents and wins.

Lastly...for those of you with severe cases of "what have you done for me lately" regarding MU at the end of a game or half, go back to Thursday's game and watch the big open three they got from Hayward to end the half. Oh, I forgot, that was all Hayward, not Crean.

Seriously, you anti-Crean guys should go get tix for UWM.

Gene Frenkle said...

Sorry...I'm not done yet.

To the staff at Cracked Sidewalks, I implore you to implement a new rule next year.

For those that b!tch about Crean needing to be fired, I ask that if you make such a baseless statement, "anon" posters must meet a requirement of naming at least ONE person they'd hire to replace him. And they can't just say "Coach K", or "Rick Pitino". It has to be someone that would come to MU to take over Crean and this squad and that would be an improvement over what we currently have, and what we will have in the near future based on Crean's outstanding classes coming in.

It's been a year and a half and I have yet to see one person give a name of an actual, viable candidate that would be an improvement over Tom C. And keep in mind people...we are in the Big East now. Not with the CUSA and Southern Miss.

Hugs and kisses.

Cowbell

Anonymous said...

"To Stanford for making three huge friggin shots in o.t. in the last two minutes. I've railed on Burke all year, but his D on the last two shots was spot on. Those weren't layups people."

The first 2 or 3 made baskets by Stanford in OT were simple layups. The same play, the same spot, the same result...with no change in defensive approach from Crean.

Anonymous said...

Brutal loss today. It's pretty remarkable that MU was able to outrebound that team--I think it speaks to a team that was well prepared. That was a hell of a shot at the end. I didn't think it was that poorly defended, but was simply a talented player making a big shot. If either of Jerel's shots at the end of regulation and the OT dropped, everyone would be talking about him instead of Lopez. And he made plenty of them--that's the way it falls sometimes, even for the best programs/players out there.

I hope people appreciate how difficult it is to compete at the level this team has their first three seasons in the B-East. It takes awhile to build a consistent winner, but this program is clearly well on its way. Difficult as it is to think about after a loss like this, I have no reason to think they won't take a step or two further next year.

Anonymous said...

Burke didn't defend the play badly at all. In fact, he probably did all he could with the non-existant coaching strategy to help him out. He could have bodied Lopez a bit further away from the hoop, but that's about it.

I really don't see MU going anywhere unless a superstar comes in, ala Wade. There just isn't the necessary execution (mental and physical) on crucial plays to win the close, tough games, imho. The coaching staff just seems to be lacking.

Anonymous said...

The loss stings. They always do. Personally I'm happy. reason 1, I wantes them to get out of the first round. Accomplished. The second thing, I think this game showed that the team matured. In other games, when the game turned into a fight, I felt this team backed down. I didn't see that tonight. They punched back. The way I look at it. It was a boxing match, and they lost on a split decision. Hopefully the core returns and we can build off of it.

Finally, Ooze, will be missed. It is a shame his careere ended on a bad ticky tack call. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a lack of coaching, given the way they outboarded Stanford and were obviously very much in the game with them. Clearly, this junior class has established very high expectations b/c of their outstanding freshman year. If you look at a team like Duke, what do they have something like 7 or 8 McD's All Americans, but they got bounced as a 2 seed b/c they didn't have a strong inside game? I don't think that makes Coach K a bad coach. If Louisville loses tomorrow b/c Pitino can't design a defense that stops someone from making a big shot at the end of the game, I don't think that makes him a bad coach. If MU doubled on Lopez at the end and an open guard got the ball and drove for an easy basket or a 10 foot jump shot, it would be the same criticism--it would still look like a bad decision.

Bottom line is this--if one of those missed shots at the end fell for Marquette, the story line would be what a great coaching job Crean did to knock Stanford off.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you could get that upset if some role player beat you with a jumpshot because MU took away their first and best option on the play. Lopez was the one guy you didn't want to get the ball in that situation, and not only did he get the ball but he got it in his prime spot.

This failure to execute in crunch-time moments didn't occur for the first time tonight. It's almost becoming a trademark of Crean coached teams. Reading the postgame comments, it seemed like Crean expected more ball pressure, etc, on that last play, but it sure didn't look like the players had any clue what to do other than for Burke to do his darndest to get a hand in Lopez's face.

BLEED BLUE said...

Hey guys I hope you all are really proud of your team. The win with class and lose with Dignity. I am a die hard UK fan. I hope you guys know that we all were pulling for you tonight against Stanford. Good luck next year. The whole state of Kentucky hopes that we don't have to face you again in the first round or ever for that matter. After the UK vs. MU game your player showed alot of class and we appreciate the good things they had to say about our players. Stanford was lucky down the stretch and now I will pull for them. You guys have a great basketball school that we really admire in the state of Kentucky. Great season and I wish you and your players all the best next year!!! GO CATS, BABY.

Anonymous said...

I'll be back next season. :-)

That was a hell of a fight tonight. I'm not sure if my heart has slowed back down yet.

WE ARE MARQUETTE.

Thanks for the great season, boys. Until next year...

Vinnie said...

Ummm... Since when is ANYONE'S "favorite spot on the floor" falling out of bounds toward the baseline and shooting from behind the plane of the backboard? And apparently, some of you were too busy proofreading your list of Tom Crean grievances to catch Burke forcing Lopez into a couple wild fallaway jumpers late in the game. Going by the reactions here, I'd have guessed Lopez shot 90% from the field if I hadn't watched the game.

Was I baffled and frustrated by Jerel's threeball at the end of regulation? Of course. But he's also the biggest reason we had a chance to win there. Also consider a) it was a pretty good look, b) it eliminates the chance for a buzzer heave to beat us, and c) we'd been offensive rebounding very well, so a putback off a long rebound was a plausible outcome. And of course, if the shot drops, we're all running the streets kissing strangers and clicking our heels instead of criticizing the decision.

That's not to say I entirely condone the threeball, nor the fact that we chucked up 29 others, but I also like to think that they treated us to a phenomenal game and a tremendously entertaining and successful style of ball all year. (The Georgetown game was the best live game atmosphere I've ever been a part of, and if that counts for nothing in your mind, you should stop watching sports.) Honestly--Why can't it ever just be, "The circumstances didn't pan out as I hoped, and I'm sad over the outcome." Why does someone always have to be blamed? Not everything in life is someone's "fault." It's ok to admit you're sad over something you can't control. Go have a good cry or play with your dog or whatever it is you need to do. But don't get all hostile toward Tom Crean or whoever else on the team because it's unfair to them, and it's bad for your health.

And guess what--You know how many teams appear in the Final Four each year? That's right--four. But I don't know... Maybe the committee should be, like, "Hey, your school won a championship in the '70s. For that, you get a 1-seed and a free pass to the Final Four each year." In fact, they should do that for all teams with any history of success whatsoever. Especially UTEP. I mean, shit, they had a movie made about their championship team. Every year, we could have 57 teams in the Final Four, all coached by Rick Pitino. They'd play one huge game with 30 basketballs (plus 5 moneyballs) in a six-acre warehouse. There'd still only be two baskets, but you'd have "safety pods" at different spots on the floor, and the team who occupied the most pods when "Pop Goes the Weasel" ends would win. I think then, and only then, would every college fanbase get what they "expect" from their program.

My point being: We should totally fire Crean and bring in Coach K. I'm sure he'd leave Duke in a heartbeat. Plus, he's an awesome game coach. Just look at his last four tournament games. I mean, if we're willing to judge Crean that way, why not Coach K? Wait--he's 1-3 with that only win being a one-point win over Belmont? Well, shit. Fire him too then, and hire Belmont's coach.

Anonymous said...

Vinnie basically addressed this, but I had to comment about the people saying Lopez got "exactly" the shot he wanted in overtime. Yep -- in the huddle, I'm sure the Stanford assistant coach drew up a play for Lopez to hit a falling-towards-the-baseline one-hander in the huddle. You people saying that need to get over yourself.

The buckets in overtime that hurt us the most were, IIRC, the first two. I don't know if it was coaching or if it was Burke himself, but why was Burke playing over-the-top of Lopez in the early going of overtime? Lopez was able to catch the ball, drop-step and basically have a lay-in. The one weakness of Lopez was that he didn't have a move going towards the middle of the lane, such as a hook-shot like Hibbert has. That's not to say he's bad -- and a lot of it had to do with gaining position, and I imagine that's mighty tough on a guy who's 7"0, 260 -- but that's just nitpicking, really.

Talk about a gut-wrencher. I don't even want to see the highlights -- I'm just now seeing the replays on ESPNNEWS as I've avoided the NCAAs after the loss. Ugh...

-Keith

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable game, could the Lopez kid with the hair look anymore like a punk? What an A Hole. I thought the refs were a little out of hand with the off the ball fouls on MU in the 2nd half, Stanford got to the bonus way too quick. I've been down on this team and Crean all year but I they really showed me something in this tournament and I think/hope next year is going to be a great year. Those twin towers were just too damn big and talented to contend with.

Anonymous said...

Here are two interesting questions:
1) Where in the heck was Mbakwe in this game? He burned his redshirt to play in a gam elike this! He has the strength to not ALLOW those twins to get deep in the post and wasn't even given a chance to make it happen. Unaaceptable!
2) What are we going to do when Jerel goes pro? It is a done deal people, he is gone! He will never be any hotter than he is right now..

Anonymous said...

With all of these great comments there is one that no one can argue. Paraphasing: "There is a difference between a Warrior fan and a Golden Eagle fan". Warrior fans aren't satisfied with one tourney win in three years against a mediocre team. Warrior fans remember a program that was 2nd in success to only UCLA in the 70's. Golden Eagle fan accepts losing, bad coaching, and being proud of a 25 win season. Also, fans have a right to bash Crean as much as they want. A lot of is justified and if you "Golden Eagle" supporters accept a 1st or 2nd round exit, then you have no comprehension of the history of our University and basketball program. And no you can't learn that when someone lists the top MU players of all time on Cracked Sidwalks by having Travis Diener ahead of Tony Smith. Next year a preseason top 10 team so what are your expectations Golden Eagle fan? 28 wins? A win over Tennessee? A 4 seed? I'd like to thank all of the Warrior fans who completely understand the frustration and refuse to accept mediocrity.

Championships Matter said...

This is nuts folks. I'm a Warrior fan from the early days of Al and, folks, wake up. Al lost a heartbreaker and his first chance at being mop-up for UCLA when a guard named Rick Mount hit a jumper with three seconds left to give Purdue a 1969 berth in the final four. And that game was in Madison too. And Ric Cobb missed a free-throw in regulation that would have given MU the game. Did anyone question Al for not focusing on fundamental free-throw shooting? They wouldn't dare!

Then there was the famous Allie game against Ohio State in 1971 when Allie McGuire stepped out of bounds against Ohio State and cost us the game. Did anyone question Al for playing his son rather than "Sugar" Frazier? They wouldn't dare!

Or the 1972 Chones-less tournament when Jim Chones left for the pros. Did anyone question Al for not being able to hold his team together? They wouldn't dare!

About the only thing I ever remember Al being questioned for was the double technicals in the 1974 NCAA Championship -- and we were going to lose anyway. That was an incredible NC State Team.

This "Warrior" remembers a lot of heart-ache and pain in the NCAA tournament -- against teams that clearly weren't as good but happened to be hot on a given night. We tend to remember 1977 (or 1974 for that matter)and forget losses to Ohio State, Purdue, Alabama etc. We tended to win our first game in those days because we played the Coppin States of the world at that time in our first game.

Look, maybe Coach Crean could have done something different. Maybe the guys could have hit a jump shot they missed. But, dammit, this has been a fun season. They played well when it mattered and I for one am delighted at where Coach Crean has this team. You guys who think we HAVE to win an NCAA Championship every year -- well you ought to move to North Carolina. Oh yeah, they don't win every year either. Last I checked, Coach K and Duke are in exactly the same spot MU is -- good team, good season and tough loss in the second round.

Grow up guys and realize we have a good thing going here!

Anonymous said...

"Was I baffled and frustrated by Jerel's threeball at the end of regulation? Of course. But he's also the biggest reason we had a chance to win there. Also consider a) it was a pretty good look, b) it eliminates the chance for a buzzer heave to beat us"

Nonsense.

McNeal shot so early that Stanford did get a final half-court shot. It was a terrible shot in a tie game. Did Crean give ANY instructions in the huddle between the FT's? And this crap goes on whenever MU has a chance to win or tie the game. They were clueless at the end of Georgetown and clueless last night, and that's the fault of the pathetic Tom Crean.

Anonymous said...

You have to be proud of the way these guys fight, and how well they represent Marquette.

It'll be fun to see how this team comes back next season. We'll miss the departing seniors, but you have to like a starting lineup of the three senior guards (if they're all back), Hayward, and Mbakwe. I suspect Christopherson will see more pt next season, the outside shooting threat of Fitzgerald will have to be replaced.

The interview posted here with Crean mentions playing for seed--that's the key. Playing a second round game against a 6-seed or 5-seed next year (as a 3-seed or 4-seed) wouldn't be a bad place to be for this team. Just gives them a legit chance at a deep run, and that's what it's all about--having a chance to make a run year in and year out.

Should be more excitement in the BC next season--each year's a building process for the next, and I'd expect that to continue. It'll be a challenge next year working in some of the younger players so they can lead the team when the class of '09 moves on.

Gene Frenkle said...

We are 61 comments...now 62...and not one person has failed to mention Hayward's abysmal game, and Dom's poor shooting. Maybe....justtt maybe....had those guys hit a couple more shots too, then MU would have won.

Having a night to sleep on it, it was a fantastic game. MU's strength wasn't as good as Stanford's strength.

And great comments on Lopez getting the ball right where he wanted it. Please. It was an insane, pressure shot where he was falling away and his body was behind the backboard. Can't ask for more than that.

Looking forward to Williams and Otule next year. Should be sweet.

Anonymous said...

IF what Crean said is true about the team not following his instructions on the last play there is something mighty wrong!!! Do they tune him out because of all of his shouting??? Fitz's crazy fouls and McNeal's choice of a shot with time running out makes me think there is dysfunction on this team and that Crean is the one who needs to make the changes!

Anonymous said...

We played a great game and I credit Crean and the players. Here is to next season and winning the close ones.

Anonymous said...

Next year will tell us still more about Crean. Hopefully we'll have BIG men with talent but will need to be developed. Not a Jackson who already had skills. I hope not Scott M. who never reached his full potential under Crean's coaching. Have the three juniors reached their full potential as juniors? And what about Fitz?

Anonymous said...

Lopez likes to turn that way. I've watched Stanford quite a bit this season and he's much weaker being forced to go to the middle. The shot looked tough, but that's one of his signature moves.

MU didn't do a good job at all overplaying his comfortable side and forcing him out a bit and to the lane. But that's all coaching. Burke did a good job considering.

Anonymous said...

Good point Gene on Hayward and Dominic. They were 6 for 24. Wes took 6 shots and despite McNeal's brilliance he was the only one looking for a shot in OT. When you look at what we did on the glass we really should have won this game and I question a lot of Crean's decisions like the rest of us but it comes down to hitting shots. I will say that no Marquette fan feels confident when we a playing in a close game. Anyone who says they thought we would pull this one out is lying. This is where coaches make their salaries, and assuming Jarel and Dominic are back we have to make a run next year. The most incredible stat looking at the box score were 12 three pt. attempts by Jarel and a total of zero free throws. Also, Brook Lopez had 28 pts in the 2nd half and OT. The coach has to get the ball of his hands at some point.

Anonymous said...

Next year should be great! We dont lose all that much (assuming the James, Matthews and McNeil return) and we have an incoming class of recruits that is probably the strongest class Marquette has seen in 15 years. Otule, Williams, Taylor and Fulce. I hope we find space for all four

Anonymous said...

If you don't understand that we got out coached last night, then you do not understand the game of basketball. There...I said it.

Letting Lopez consistently get the ball in his favorite spot with zero ball pressure and zero defensive adjustment the whole night is inexcusable. And his inability to make anything comprabable on offense in big situations is just as big of a crime.

If I have to watch Dominic James throw up a prayer in an end of game situation with no organization again, I will be crushed.

I'm afraid that either Tom Crean should start earning his salary (one of the highest in the NCAA) or be gone.

One win in the tournament with the amount of talent we have is a shame.

Anonymous said...

I think the tanning bed has fried Tom Crean's brain.

Anonymous said...

We play hard, but rarely smart. Unforunately, I think ultimately that is a reflection of the man in charge.

I also think that the blind unquestioning love of Tom Crean from Marquette nation is not productive. The final four was 5 years ago and can almost single handedly be chalked up to one great player.

I personally think he should take a little bit of heat and maybe it will force him to make some adjustments, because obviously some things need to change (by his own admittance).

I think a little bit of criticism is fine. He has his millions of dollars at home courtesy of us to comfort him anyhow...

Anonymous said...

To the people that are upset about people criticizing Crean, seriously get over it.

This isn't little league...this is this man's job and he gets paid handsomely for it. If I am underperforming at work, I expect to hear about it and so should he, especially considering his position.

Blind loyalty is not always the best policy and personally, I think we could be a lot better. If I were him I would use the criticism to motivate become a better game coach.

I think he is a good coach, but he doesn't always have the guys mentally prepared-we often start slow and finish worse.

There obvious limitations: James's shooting and low bball IQ; the lack of a credible/big game big man, Fitzgerald's soft defense, etc...

Yet, there are also many things under his control: knowing that he needs to force Lopez to the middle, having and practicing an idea for end game situations, clock management, etc...

I love Marquette, but I also understand basketball and a little constructive criticism thrown towards Tom Crean's castle may not be the worst thing in the world.

Anonymous said...

For so called "Warrior fans" versus "Golden Eagles fans", basketball isn't what is was back in the '70s. Comparing teams and coaches from very, very different times isn't fair to anyone.

Some of you are beginning to sound like Kentucky fans from the past few years, an d I don't think I need to day anymore than that. Who wants to be compared to Kentucky fans (except maybe the one nice one who commented earlier on this blog!)?

Always, always remember that these are kids of usually no more than 22 years old. If they could always execute what their coach wanted, then they wouldn't be in school learning on and off the court. It is very easy to coach in the comfort of your armchair with the added benefit of hindsight. Shut up and sit down if you think that you could do better or find better than what Crean has done in his 9 years at our school - which, by the way, he knows and holds very dear the tradition you claim to be fighting for. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Quit the whining about Crean already! MU lost to a bigger, better team and played well enough to take it down to the wire.

Besides, who else do you think you will get as a better coach?

Yeah, maybe Bob Dukiet is still available...

zerg said...

Why is it that all the criticisms of Crean come back to his salary? Your tax dollars DO NOT pay his salary -- Marquette is a private institution. Who cares what he makes? Marquette can pay him whatever they can afford to pay him.

The entitlement mentality by the posters here and on other sites is ridiculous. It's either people that don't like Marquette with some kind of agenda, or deluded Marquette fans thinking that they are entitled to a final four run every single year.

Marquette made the tournament THREE YEARS IN A ROW for the first time since the late 70's. If you don't see that as a great accomplishment, you are a complete and total moron.

I am a proud marquette graduate and fan. Tom Crean has done a fantastic job here. We would be lucky if he stayed another ten years. All the haters are either jealous or deluded.

Anonymous said...

Not jealous...but deluded? Yeah, I'd say so.

Crean is not perfect...no question. But he's still pretty good. This sort of reminds me of some dopes I saw on a Duke blog who are suggesting they fire Coach K since they haven't won a national championship in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Have some pride Marquette fans and do not accept mediocrity.

I bet you are the same people that think every kid should get a trophy even if they suck.

Being positive and being realistic at the same time is a possibility.

Hopefully Crean learns from this and will learn to make adjustments, know his opponent, and instill some higher basketball IQ in his players.

We will have a ton of talent next year and despite what these "fans" say, not being in the sweet 16 or further next year will be a complete let down.

Oh, and Crean's salary does matter. If you are being paid the way he is, you are expected to perform. If I was paid the way he is and was chronically underperforming, I would be embarassed. If you don't understand the correlation between salary and accountability, I really can't help you there.

Anonymous said...

Some in the Athletic Dept. refer to Crean as a "poser". I tend to agree. He is great at public relations and brown-nosing the students. But he is piss-poor at coaching late game situations and that bit MU in the butt a few times this season.

Crean has been at MU long enough to know this is what he is. MU will get to the tourney more often than not, but will do little or no damage unless a Wade falls into their lap.

Anonymous said...

Okay I'm going to try to be positive (although I fall on the Crean is not a good game coach side) and look toward next season and beyond. If Otule and Mbakwe can give us anything inside and Burke is a little better we will make a run next season as either a 3 or 2 seed. All this is contingent on whether Jarel or Dominic leaves but I don't see that happening.
Here's what I do know we will have one of the most talented and deepest perimiters in the country. I expect Nick Williams to play a lot and Cristopherson to improve and be a 3pt threat. Not sure where Cubillian fits in (he has clearly regressed) but Acker is solid as a backup point and Tayshawn Taylor can play the 1 or the 2. Obviously, Otule and Mbakwe determine our season. Erik Williams will be huge for us in 2010. Assuming he recovers from his ankle injury he will be our first legitimate inside player since Robert Jackson. Even with the loss of the "big three" the year after next we are looking very good for the next 4 seasons. I expect a top 15 team until 2012 and who knows who our future recruits will be. Patience is a viture Warrior fans and the future is very, very bright.

Anonymous said...

Okay I'm going to try to be positive (although I fall on the Crean is not a good game coach side) and look toward next season and beyond. If Otule and Mbakwe can give us anything inside and Burke is a little better we will make a run next season as either a 3 or 2 seed. All this is contingent on whether Jarel or Dominic leaves but I don't see that happening.
Here's what I do know we will have one of the most talented and deepest perimiters in the country. I expect Nick Williams to play a lot and Cristopherson to improve and be a 3pt threat. Not sure where Cubillian fits in (he has clearly regressed) but Acker is solid as a backup point and Tayshawn Taylor can play the 1 or the 2. Obviously, Otule and Mbakwe determine our season. Erik Williams will be huge for us in 2010. Assuming he recovers from his ankle injury he will be our first legitimate inside player since Robert Jackson. Even with the loss of the "big three" the year after next we are looking very good for the next 4 seasons. I expect a top 15 team until 2012 and who knows who our future recruits will be. Patience is a viture Warrior fans and the future is very, very bright.

Anonymous said...

The rebounding speaks for itself to a very gutsy game by our team, but to expect guards to shoulder this responsibility because Crean can't effectively recruit good big men is totally unfair to why these guards were recruited and detracts from their development.

His mantra of "working to get better" is becoming meaningless.

His deal may be too sweet for there to be any incentive too improve.

Troubled in Chicago said...

there are $2 million-plus reasons why Tom Crean should be held to a very high standard. he is paid like a top flight coach and he needs to deliver during the game (not just during recruiting and firing up the students before games). I won't complain about the state of the program (it's nice to be competitive every year) but there seems to be a general lack of basketball acumen with Crean.

I'm not saying that he can't be a good coach for the program but he needs to recognize that he and his current staff don't have the skill/experience necessary to coach in tough situations. He needs to find an experienced x's and o's guy to come sit as his second and I think things can get better.

Zuch said...

Thankfully, I'm guessing a fair amount of these anonymous people would be posers despite it being very believable that we have so many stupid fans (just come here after a loss to see the idiots wandering around). You want to a replace a consistently successful coach, just ask N.C. State how that has worked with Herb Sendek. 9-23 in ACC without him, despite bringing a high profile recruiting class, with the team's most talented player going pro and the next best player lost in shuffle and a likely transfer candidate. It's funny that most fanbases always bring up Crean as a potential candidate when they need a coach, yet ours does not recognize his value to the program. Maybe, just maybe you'll get your wish and we'll find another Deane or Dukiet to trot out a roster of farmboys that compete with Rutgers and DePaul every year. Meanwhile, I will enjoy winning 25 games, 10+ conference games and making the tournament year and know that we have a coach who works his ass off to improve things.

Finally, to some of these people, the 70's ended a long time ago and things would be much different today. Run off Crean, and you'll get a repeat of the wonderful 1980's run.

Anonymous said...

The people Crean chooses as coaches are invariably people who are in some sort of difficult position and not someone who brings a needed expertise. To me this suggests insecurity and ego.

Fired? No. Change in approach? YES

Anonymous said...

And with Wisconsin looking like it has a decent shot at the final four, MU's season looks a whole lot worse.

James said...

I was rather baffled by the defensive decisions by Crean in allowing the post feed (again and again and again). But on rare times MU went to double, Stanford did hit the open three. Also, the vociferous twins were quick to put up their shots and didn't allow a double team to properly rotate to them. They are skilled and they were well coached in not allowing our guards to strip the ball in the post.
Could Crean have put in a gimmick D in for the last play, sure. But it would have been worse to lose the game on a blown assignment rather than make a skilled player hit a very difficult shot under pressure (plus, that was a bounce you couldn't duplicate if you tried that shot 40 times). Crean picked his poison early on and it nearly worked.
I am proud of this team and their effort. It was a fun season and I'm already looking forward to the fall.

JMK '87

Anonymous said...

No realistic MU fan would say that we didn't underachieve this season. Question the coaching all you want but the inconsistency of the players is what really dumbfounds me. Is this because of coaching? I'm not sure. Early in the year Dominic was explosive and then came the injury although this is just an excuse. Jarel was awful early in the season and Hayward was coming into his own. Mid-season Hayward was our best player by far, Jarel was still a no show, and Dominic was well bad. Closing the season Jarel was fantastic, Dominic was inconsitent, and Hayward disappeared. Wes was consistent but pretty passive throughout the season. Clearly, our team was inconsistent and this need to be adressed. Of greater concern, hammered on this site time and time again is the inexplicable reason we cannot get a serviceable inside player. The top 8 teams in the Big East have at least one we do not. Every team in the sweet sixteen with the possible exception of Davidison and WKU has one we do not. We're not looking for Kevin Love or Hansborough. Serviceable is all we ask. Next year we have a team with great talent on the perimeter but only 3 inside players on the roster. 2 basically are Freshman and one has been basically a scrub. What happens if one of the three gets injured next year? How can we only have three players taller than 6'7? Can you think of any other major college basketball program that has had a total of 1 maybe 2 inside palyers (if you include Scott Merrit) in a ten year period? It's baffling and until we can get someone, anyone, who can make a solid contribution inside we will struggle to win 2 rounds in the tourney. Next year we have basically 9 guards on the roster.

Anonymous said...

Man, you Marquette diehards are spoiled. Face it, you lost to a better team -- and it took a terrific shot (and a charitable bounce off the rimm) by an NBA lottery pick to put the Golden Eagles away.

AND, your team had two chances to win the game -- once in regulation, once in OT -- and both times had a good look at the basket.

Lay off Crean, unless you think your team can get a better coach. As an outside observer, I think you can't do much better, and that you will be back in the tourney for a 4th straight year next season, with a legit chance for a sweet 16 spot. An awful lot of schools in some very good conferences would trade with you.

Once you finish whining, you'll see that you had a good season. Or do some of us a favor and encourage Crean to leave ... so there are more opportunities for the rest of us in the tournament.

Anonymous said...

"Or do some of us a favor and encourage Crean to leave ... so there are more opportunities for the rest of us in the tournament."

LOL! This reminds me when Wisconsin coaches, players and fans would compliment Kevin O'Neill non-stop since they kicked MU's ass every year when he coached! I'm sure the opposition would love Crean to remain at MU since they will win any close game against him.

And with 64 teams being in the tournament, just making the field means little to nothing in this day and age.

But, hey, Crean does a wonderful job saying how incredible the fans are! And he does an even better job telling us to wear the dreaded GOLD. But trying to coach a game...uh, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Given our team makeup and strengths, to say that that game was a difficult coaching assgnment would be an understatement. We continued to answer the bell through the game and forced them to make a diffuclt shot at the end - all you can ask.

I agree with previous posters that devising a trick D at the end would have meant a blown assignment and easy basket. We saw the double down result in open three's and you did see Burke improve in forcing his man farther from the basket as the OT continued. The D was the right call, but there is also a reason you will see those Lopez twins in the NBA.

Bitch all you want and embarrass yourselves. The people who matter know that firing Crean sould be sheer stupidity, hense it will not happen and I will have an even better team to CHEER for next year.

Great job MU! Sorry others can't see it that way.

MU Hokie said...

A fellow MU alum turned me on to crackedsidewalks earlier this year, and I must say I am astonished at all the Crean bashing that goes on here! You Golden Eagles fans have way too short a memory to call yourselves Warriors. To all you Crean haters out there I offer the following facts:

Tom Crean has more NCAA Tournament appearances (5) and NCAA Tourney wins (5) than the previous four coaches combined (Majerus-Dukiet-O'Niell-Deane) going back to the 1983-84 season. O'Neill was the only bright spot in there, bringing us to one Sweet Sixteen berth and our first Top Twenty-five (in both polls) season end ranking in fifteen years. But alas, O'Neill was run out of town by angry MU fans after DNA tests proved that he was not Al McGuire. Are you trying to do the same to Crean and usher in another Mike Dean era, someone who will break down the system and return us to a 14-15 record in just four years? And speaking of Mike Deane, didn't the Stanford coach's ejection in Saturday's game evoke horrid memories of Mike Deane being forcibly removed from a losing NCAA Round One effort after he would not go quietly with 2 Technicals?

Here's another bad memory for you. MU losing a first round NIT game, on home court in front of a crowd that only filled 1/3 of the Mecca.

Which brings me to another point - Why where there so many empty seats when we played Louisville at the Bradley Center this year? That should have been a packed-house screaming revenge match. Where were you "fans" then? At home typing your Crean-hating blogs, I suppose.

What kind of fans are you anyway? The ones who booed your own team on home court during an 11-18 1990-'91 season? That was the freshman class that went on to the Sweet Sixteen in '94 by the way. Way to welcome them into the MU community.

And just in case you think great coaching is all about NCAA victories, take a look at two-time ACC Coach of the Year (2005 & 2008), Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech, who both years took his team to the NIT. After being jilted from the Big Dance this year, do you think the Hokies fans turned sour and went home writing blogs calling for Greenberg's head? No, instead they packed the Cassell Colliseum and cheered their team on to victory in the First Round of the NIT. After 20 + years of calling Virginia my home, I've learned alot from the Hokie Nation about fan support. You too could take a lesson from them.

Why don't you find something more productive to do with your time than writing hate blogs against the best coach we've had in 25 years? Like maybe form a committee to find us yet another nickname. Our fans have neither the pride to be called warriors, nor the intelligence of a bird.

I'm done with CrackedSidewalks. For the rest of the post-season, I'll enjoy the memories of this fantastic MU team's successful year, root the Hokies on to more NIT victories, and look forward to an ever improving MU Men's Basketball program under Coach Tom Crean.

mu_hilltopper said...

MU Hokie: There is a chasm of difference between the FOUR of us who write CrackedSidewalks (the blog), and the umpteen people who write the comments from which you have taken umbrage.

Don't judge CS based on the peanut gallery.

Note the disclaimer at the top:
"The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the CrackedSidewalks Team."

Gene Frenkle said...

Since the comments keep flowing, thoguht I'd add one more thought (if the site administrators aren't tired or me):

Everyone knows our low post game isn't much. But we faced some insane big-men competition this year, namely in what could be argued as our biggest games of the year: G-town at the BC, ND B.East tourney, Stanford NCAA Tourney.

The results of those games were:

- Beating ND with BEast POY Harongody (twice, mind you)

- Losin in OT to G-town on a terrible decision by D.James. This team also had lottery pick big man Hibbert too.

- Losing by one point in overtime to the second best team in the best conference in the country. Oh...and that Lopez kid is also a lottery pick.

Yes, we were 1-2 in the those games but the point I'm trying to make is that this program and team are much closer than people realize to being outstanding.

Sure, I'm disappointed we didn't beat Stanford and lapsed in the middle of the b.east, but all you clowns with no memory or respect for where we are now versus where we were is just insane.

And again...for those that say Crean needs to go...only one of you "anon" posters has given a name of anyhone that would help lift this fragile, depleted, talent-less program out of the depths that it now finds itself in.

muwarrior92 said...

If Bo Ryan was coaching this game he would be playing a 15 seed as that seems to be their typical luck year in and year out. Bo Ryan has NEVER won a game against a team seeded hire, Crean has twice and lost this last one with 1.3 seconds left. Ryan has NEVER, I repeat, NEVER beaten a team seeded better.

muwarrior92 said...

From the IP addresses, looks like one of two of the same guys just posting multiple times.

The warrior vs golden eagle thing is absurd....where were these warrior fans when we were blowing chow for 30 years?

Be careful what you wish for. We lost to a twin 7 foot team with 1.3 seconds left. The same Stanford team that took UCLA to the wire twice in the last 2 weeks. This is a very good basketball team and MU had to play it in a west coast hostile gymnasium. Meanwhile the other 6 seeds in the tournament got routed.

Some MU fans are pathetically sad...truly. It appears they are even more cranky because of Wisconsin's good fortune of getting double digit seeds all the way to the Elite 8 again...well too bad. Luck is every bit part of the NCAAs as being good. Who you play, where you play are every bit as important as how you play.

Be careful what you wish for.

rainbowtrout said...

"The people who matter know that firing Crean sould be sheer stupidity, hense it will not happen and I will have an even better team to CHEER for next year."

An "even better" team? LOL...MU finished in the middle of the pack in the BE, stunk against top 25 competition, and you act like they achieved something this year. They won a SINGLE NCAA game in the Big 3's Junior season, for a total of a SINGLE win in 3 tries. This team has achieved nothing worthy of kudos, and unless a Freshman can make a huge impact underneath (TM isn't big enough), they'll continue to struggle against good teams.

NYMetUrk42 said...

This is from Jay Bilas on espn.com, a basketball mind smarter than anyone who's posted on this site before, and one the of the smartest guys around. I'll trust his views over any anonymous poster around, including mine:

"Best Coaching Job, Overall: Tom Crean, Marquette. The Golden Eagles won 11 Big East games for the first time ever, and they reached the Big East semifinals for the first time ever. And Marquette should return its entire backcourt, Lazar Hayward and a healthier Trevor Mbakwe. Crean is always prepared and always dialed in, and his team responds to him. That guy can coach."