"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, March 13, 2008

McNeal Destroys Notre Dame


Jerel McNeal went off for 28 points to defeat #14 Notre Dame in the 2nd round of the BET, in what is the biggest post-season victory for Marquette in the Post-Wade era. Marquette beat the hated Domers 89-79.

Marquette, down 10 early in the 2nd half, came roaring back to take and keep a 10 point lead. MU scored a whopping 57 points in the 2nd half. MU shot a blistering 52% for the night.

McNeal was beyond superlative, hitting 9 for 16, including 4 for 7 from long range. Lazar chipped in 16 and James 10. DJ had 10 points and you take a line score of 10/6/6 any day of the week.

Mo Acker started slow, missing his first couple shots, but he heated up, collecting 11 points with several daggers in the final 5 minutes.

Barro did a very decent job guarding ND's Harangody, who ended up with 13.

Marquette will face Pittsburgh, as the Panthers upset Louisville, who most picked to win the BET. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel. 8:30 CST, ESPN.

Marquette white-washed Pittsburgh last month, beating them at the Bradley Center by 18 points. Pitt may have some tired legs, using 8 players in their OT win. MU used 11 players tonight, in regulation.

Fire up, Marquette!


Anonymous said...

Could this tournament be going any better! What a performance. I sent a 3-paragraph trash talk email to every Domer I knew this afternoon, but to get the bonus of watching Pitino go of the court after the loss was priceless. The tourney is already a success if it ends here, but we are playing well enough and have the right teams left that we have a shot. - BAMAMARQUETTEFAN

Anonymous said...

Would the couple of people who want Crean fired after ever loss finally admit they are wrong. Yeah, we have trouble with a 2-3 zone, you've made your point, but the game is all about who controls the tempo and 3 out of 4 times we've done it. As wonderful as the 1970s were, back then Al McGuire didn't have to play 8 teams that could beat MU most seasons - if the Big East had been around in the late 60s you probably would have wanted him fired before the NIT, NCAA runner-up and NCAA title.

Anonymous said...

That was Warrior basketball. Great win.

One thing, was it me or were the refs pretty terrible? The most egregious instance, the sequence when McNeal gets his 4th foul, Matthews gets a no call on the layup, and then Barro gets called for a ticky tack going the other way.

Oh well, they did a great job not losing focus and overcoming. Hopefully they can keep playing at this level.

Anonymous said...

I know I will receive no arguements that Al was great in his own special way. I just hate the petty cheap shots taken at Crean on this Blog spot day in and day out. As far as I am concerned those individuals can rot. Go Marquette!

Anonymous said...

Biggest win of the season. Bigger than Wisconsin, since the selection committee was watching. A loss probably meant a 7th seed, but now a 5 is possible.

BTW: the guy who said the refs were terrible must have watched a game where Harangody did not foul out. COME ON. Harangody simply didn't get the calls like he did all year.

Jack 82

Anonymous said...

Nice display of depth. Key contributions from Fitz and Acker. I didn't have a problem with the officiating.

Sometimes it seems Crean is overly conservative with his timeouts, so I was thrilled to see him take a timeout in the final minute after we hit a couple free throws. Notre Dame had scored too easily on the previous few possessions. Crean called a timeout, aligned the matchups he wanted, and that ended the comeback immediately.

Both the coaches and the players deserve credit. The players executed their defensive strategy well...minus those easy dunks in transition early in the second half.

I continue to be impressed with Acker's decision making and shot selection.

Let's keep this thing going!


Anonymous said...

Great win,no doubt. However, the criticism of Crean has been justified based on the experts pre season ranking of MU, what the team accomplished during the regular season and his salary. If Harangoody wouldn't constantly be looking for handouts and play up to his potential OUR half court offense and play of the bigs would not have produced this result. I don't think many have asked for Crean to be fired but just to improve his productivity. MAYBE it will happen. Most critics are pulling for MU and I think Crean --if he is up to it. The jury is still out and rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

This is a great win, and I'm psyched for tonight.. but this is the ONLY "big" post-season win in 5 seasons. So enough with the "see, everything is great" crap. Keep it going, coach. There's another tourney next week that's really important.

Anonymous said...

Fire Crean! He switched to Diet Coke and he still doesn't shut his trap on the sideline. I think he believes he could be in there executing it better for the players. That guy needs some Ritalin. Can you imagine what he's like in closed door practices?

Gene Frenkle said...

Yep. Funny how all the idiots that want Crean fired after every game shut thier friggin pie holes after a loss. Nobody ever wants to give him credit for the wins (we were lucky to win round one in 2003!), but it's always his fault for the losses (he's the worst in-game adjuster ever!).

Great, great win. They are doing well against the zone the last couple games. Getting better. Flashing up at the elbow with 10-15 seconds left in the shot clock and turning to find the open man, or going to the hole. Took a little while last night, but that happens in the course of a game.

McNeal was unconscious. That was great. And how nice to see Acker and Fitz contribute.

We lucked out in having Pitt tonight instead of Louisville so I couldn't be happier. Have a legitimate shot to take this tourney.

Anonymous said...

Great job in getting guys to step up at different times.

Mo has gotten tons of Kudos for his big shots late in the game, but don't forget the impact that Fitz had in the first half with his 7 point spurt that was set up by some good D on his part. I'd like to see that build his confidence because he is valuable when he is on, but often seems to not show up.

DJ had a very solid game getting us on top at the 57-57 point and did a nice job in stepping aside and letting red hot Jerel do his thing.

On a side note - why does ESPN have to continually show Harangody and McAlarneys families? They have done this all year. The wife/parent cam seems to be a trend in sports coverage and it is annoying. Jerel was clearly the star of the game and having a breakout night - is he an orphan?

Anonymous said...

Gene do you have a man crush on Tom Crean? Do you have a life size poster of him at home that you touch every day before you leave for work? For some reason I think yes.

Anonymous said...

Barro had a "decent" game according to this poster? What do you mean? He played perhaps the best game of his night, as he was much more active on defense and did a great job keeping Harangody out of the lane all night.

But, regardless, that was the best MU has played since they beat Kentucky in 2003. Jerel played the role of Dwayne last night.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope there will still be many more Marquette games this season! Go Marquette!

Anonymous said...

Oh, okay Crean's coaching was the reason we won this game. It had nothing to do with the fact that we scored 57 pts in the 2nd half and that McNeal had a carrer night. THE TOURNEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS!! It's nice that we are probably a 5 seed and not a 7 but winning 2 rounds will still be very tough, and this is a team that was preseason 10-15 in every poll. If we lose in the 1st round, which I think is 50/50, no one will give a crap about the BE tourney. The only thing more important than MU winning in the real tourney is ND losing early, so I don't have to see the freakin Harangody family on my screen every 10 secs. Lastly, Memo to Wesley Matthews: When you are 2 feet from the basket and your opponent is behind you it makes little or no sense to pump fake and try to draw contact. I've said it all year if we force TO"S and make 3's we can beat anyone, but you live by the jumper you die by the jumper. Let's hope they are falling next week. One thing is certain Crean's coaching has absolutely nothing to do with the success of this team.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the sentiment that Crean catches WAY too much criticism on this site. The anti-Crean idiots and the people that expect MU to get to the Final Four every year are probably the same people that ran Majerus out of town. Geniuses. Crean has turned the program around. We are an anomoly now..a small private midwest school in a small city that is consistently in the top 25. What more do you want? Crean deserves to be paid big bucks for what he has accomplished.

I think Boheim should be fired because his team lost. He did win it all a few years back, but that was only because he had Carmelo, not because he's a good coach (note sarcasm here).

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time understanding the post from Annony 10:49 It sounds sarcastic - is it?

If you don't thikn that game was well coached, you are out of your mind.

- Shutting down Harangody was due to coaching. We scouted him well and Barro was given good instruction to stay on his left shoulder, which he executed extremely well. Harangody said it himself that he was well scouted and game planned.

- The game turned around in the second half because of the way we were able to adjust and change the pace - coaching.

- Crean called a key time out at the end of the game to stop a very late comeback (remember when we were suddenly up by only 6). He settled the team and stopped the momentum. Many would have franticlly tried to run out the clock.

-He appears to be doing a great job in spreading the minutes by putting in the right subs - Mbakwe and Trend in the game where we were not as threatened inside and using fitz and Mo in a game where we needed a focused effort by Barro to shut down Harangody. Hopefully this will pay of with a rested team tonight.

Just relax and enjoy a nice win. I'm not saying he is a perfect coach, but give credit where it is due.

If you "fire Crean", remember that there are no guarantees on what you would get in exchange (see Indiana, Harvard and so on)

Pessimistic Pete said...

See you guys on Saturday night hopefully! I jokingly told Warrior the other day that I hope WVU and Marquette meet in the finals, and now we're both one game away. Who knows, maybe it will happen. We'll be rooting for you guys, but don't get too excited, we root for anyone playing Pitt!

Eat Sh!t Pitt

Good Luck!

Go Eers!

Anonymous said...

I think we should enjoy the win, and give Crean some credit for his defensive strategy against Harongody but much of what Mr. Bitter said at 10:49 is true. This team still has no inside game and relies solely on outside shooting and transition pts. It all really depends on who we match up with next week. Joe Lunardi has us as a 5 with a potential 2nd rd matchup with Stanford. This would be a nightmare. Let's hope for a draw with Indiana or Purdue in rd 2. As far as I can tell there is little difference between being a 5 or a 4. The first round is potentially easier, but more pressure because we would probably play a smaller school. Go Warriors!!

Anonymous said...

Thinking about Barro's effort last night made me realize that I don't know the last time that he has turned the ball over on a travel. I think I remember getting frustrated with him for that over the last couple of years. Anyone have insight/stats on this?

Anonymous said...

Jack 82 -

You are right. I posted about the refs. In hindsight, overall they were pretty good, My opinion was formed mostly off of a few play sequence, and I could hardly call myself an objective viewer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great posts on the game.

Championships Matter... said...

Well, this team has finally stepped up. While this is written before the Pitt game, one thinks the way things are going, Pitt should be road kill ... but...???

Coach Crean has this team playing excellent ball. They're scappy, committed and, most importantly as was shown in the Notre Dame game, poised.

God only knows how MU would have cut through the Big East if it had a center. Still Barro and the guys are doing well.

Keep it up and we'll be a four seed come Sunday!

Anonymous said...

You guys are all bipolar. Marquette is great, Marquette is doomed...

This team is streaky because they are built on energy and guard-play. That makes them either really good (last night) or really bad (Syr., Louisville). Let's hope the hot streak continues or their experience can offset a bad night once or twice.

BTW, Acker's nickname should be Curly Fry. Curly like the Globetrotters, Fry like a small fry, and Curly Fry like that design on his head last night.

Gene Frenkle said...

For the record, I don't have a man-crush on Crean. I have problems with him just like a lot of people do. My point of that post was there's a strong number of people that want him canned and never give him credit for anything.

He certainly doesn't deserve credit for everything. But things should be balanced and I used last night's game as an example to expand on my point. Thank you.