"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, October 02, 2008

2008-2009 Expectations

If nothing else, it was nice to see the passionate reactions to yesterday's post. There were plenty of comments both here and in the MUScoop.com thread. Before we move on, let's be clear about a few things.

Again, we recognize what Buzz meant when he said "I don't know how good we'll be." I'm sure he expects the team to win plenty of games. Yet, despite the returning talent and experience, there is limited post depth plus new coaches and a new system to learn. Still, expectations are high among the fan base, and we believe he wants to manage those expectations.

In the comments section of yesterday's post, Championships Matter raised a fair point. Times are good. We are a returning top 25 team with three 1,000-point scorers. Marquette is likely bound for its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. We play in the best conference in America. Furthermore, basketball kicks off in 15 days! There is a lot to be excited about and the team should be good.

Even with the flaws on last year's team, they were successful. 25 win seasons are rare and ought to be appreciated. Barring injury, I think it's reasonable to expect that the Warriors will end up with 22-24 regular season wins (we were 22-8 in regular season last year), finish somewhere between 2nd and 5th (11-13 wins) in the BIG EAST, and win their first game in the NCAA tournament. It's not a great season, but it's still very good, and Buzz should expect that the team is at least that good.

What are your expectations for the 2008-2009 season? Weigh in with your official predictions for the season.

edit: revised regular season forecast


Championships Matter said...

My expectations are for 22-27 wins; a Sweet 16 spot in the NCAA and an expectation that he recruiting is coming along very well.

Perhaps the more interesting question to ask is where do we think we will be three-to-five years from now. It's too early to tell, but I'm feeling good vibes.

Buzz may not have been our first choice, but I expect he will surprise more than a few of us -- maybe even Richard!

Oliver said...

I expect 22-23 wins, 5th or 6th in the Big East, and one win in the NCAAs.

That may be lower expectations than some, but I also think this year will be enjoyable. Our obvious lack of an inside game makes our team pretty interesting. Due to our unconventional makeup, teams will have to game-plan for us and will hate playing us.

That record makes us a beast of a 6th seed in the NCAAs.

Nathan said...

I expect 25 wins, 3rd in the Big East (behind UConn and Louisville), a win over the Rodents and 2 NCAA wins. Beating ND would be nice too!

HoopsMalone said...

I think there is plenty to be excited about this year. First of all, the X's and O's coaching cannot take a hit becasue Crean never really wowed anyone with that. There really was never a game where I thought to myself, 'wow, that was a great coaching move by Crean.' He seemed like a good motivator, but with the experience on the team, they should not need a motivator. Also, Buzz strikes me as a guy who will put in the hours to have his team prepared.

Secondly, after Georgetown last year, the team kind of shifter from James' team to McNeal's team. McNeal was the focus of the offense, not James. I think this will work out better for Marquette because McNeal can do more with the ball and his jump shot is really improving. If James does not feel like he has to do too much, he might be better also like when Novak was out there with him.

Third, our team is essentially the same if not better. Burke and Hayward have improved every year tremendously. Hopefully they can come back just as strong. Hayward needed more consistency last year, and hopefully he can bring that this year because he is a mis-match. These JUCO guys can hopefully give us some strength and athleticism for when we play Louisville and other teams with size and speed. Ooz, Fitz, and Blackledge were solid contributors, but hopefully these guys will fill it in.

I can't wait for the season. I think we have a realistic shot at going into conference undefeated and having a really strong start in the Big East. Those last five games are going to be tough so we better start strong. We will do at least as well as we did last year.