"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

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

MU tops the Chippewas

A balanced attack that saw four Golden Eagles turn in double-digit performances keyed Marquette's 81-67 win over Central Michigan last night at the Bradley Center. With the win Marquette moves to 6-1 on the season, and now turns its attention to Saturday's battle with the Wisconsin-Madison Badgers.

Wesley Matthews paced Marquette with 18 points, followed by Dominic James with 15. Jerel McNeal and Lazar Hayward each dropped in 14 points. Marquette led by nine at the break, despite a sloppy first 20 minutes. The Golden Eagles gradually extended the lead in the second half, holding the Chippewas to 40% shooting on the night despite surrendering 18 offensive rebounds to CMU.

Media updates:

Video Highlights:

Burke's Follow-up Slam:

Alley-oop to DJ:

Rob Frozena's Big Minute of Fame:


Gene Frenkle said...

While I'm happy the team decided to show up on the defensive end in the second half, I walked away from that game with way more concerns than I did "atta-boys".

Our defense is not good. Guys are getting open looks left and right. Hell, even the Chips were outrunning us in the first half. I don't know if it's they aren't practicing D as much this year and more focused on offense or what...but it's not good and it's not going to help come Big East (or this Saturday).

Yeah, I know we got two bigs out, but our guards aren't guarding well. Dwight Burke is the worst starter I think I've ever seen for MU. He can't contribute anything on either end of the floor.

I am thankful the bench showed up and that - again - it took one garbage half to wake the boys up. But if that Chips team were the Badgers or another top 25 team, they would have rolled up a huge lead on us in the first half.

Sky isn't falling, but I don't like what I'm seeing from a senior-laden team that used to be known just as much for it's D than its offense. Against a great coach like Bo Ryan, I'm fearful that he's going to find a way to punish us down low this weekend.

Oh, bring on Bucky!

Gene Frenkle said...

I should add some positives:

- loved that they weren't jacking it up left and right from three.
- I said at MU Madness that Wes looked like a new man and he's just been awesome. Continues to take the rock to the hoop.
- DJ's 5 assist to 1 TO is nice to see. He seems to be more PG-ish than ever so hopefully that carries over to the BEast.
- I liked Butler's contributions, and he has the prettiest free throw stroke on the team

John said...

Thank you for the video highlights. Burke's tipslam was sweet. Frozena should be teaching how to shoot freethrows.

Championships Matter said...

There are two take-aways from the Central Michigan game. The first is the fact that the team is more patient, working the ball inside and looking for something other than a quick three.

That was a weakness last year and every opponent knew that if Marquette got into trouble, the Three Amigos would start hurling bricks.

Secondly is the free throws. You can't miss as many as Marquette did against Dayton and expect to win. Buzz is right! With a senior team that has more than 1,000 points from three starters, practicing free throws should be unnecessary and unproductive.

One final thought: We're used to Defense first at Marquette. It has been that way since Al. Buzz apparently is a different kind of a coach if the first few games are an indication. You have to remember that he's playing with Crean's recruits who've been here for awhile and they were recrutited for a system that no longer exists. As seniors, they should be able to adjust but that may be easier said than done.

I hope Gene is wrong, but when Tom Crean left, I kinda reduced expectations for this year. The Crean weakness, no center, is glaring, and the defensive emphasis necessary to cover for this weakness apparently has been modified.

Matt said...

Gene and CM: For what it's worth, Buzz says during his postgames that their practices are defense-intensive. According to him, they spend more time on defense than on offense in practice.

Gene Frenkle said...

Matt...if that is the case, something is not working. Whether it's the more-free-flowing offense or less-coach-controlling offense that has some guys out of position after missed shots...I don't know.

But in the three+ years we've seen of Matthews, James and McNeal, I don't ever recall seeing them beat down the court and letting so many guys get open. It's just just those three, I'm just bringing them up from comparison's sake.

I hope this is a short-term trend. But I'm really fearful of what a good coach (Bo) and the best opponent they'll face for the season to date (Bucky) will do to them this weekend. And on top of that, should things go bad for our Golden Eagles, it could be a bad set-up for what's to come.

To me this weekend's game is as simple as - if Lazar gets in foul trouble early, we're done. If we have to rely on Burke and Hazel down low with Bo Ryan on the other bench, we will probably lose. I hope to God I'm wrong. That's just my take after what I've seen so far this season.

I can't believe I'm longing for the days of Mike Kinsella defending down in the low post.

rugbydrummer said...


Kinsella... or Chris Grimm? Now there was a fine 4/5 player if you saw one . . .

Championships Matter said...

Look, perhaps they are defense intensive. But if that's the case, something isn't working. Given Marquette's opponents to date and the comparative talent levels, a defensive intensive practice means opponents' game scores should not be out of the 60s.

The real issue is whether the mix of players now on the roster is right for Buzz's system. God bless 'em, the Amigos have been great. But they hurl bricks well enough to build big skyscrapers in Milwaukee and there's no inside presence to cover for them.

The only way a no-center line-up works is a combination of high shooting percentage and significant take-aways. Best I can tell, we have neither this year.

Instead of turning Bucky into roadkill, I'm scared we're going to be turned into Eaglemunch.

Matt said...

Here's some pictures from the game