"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, February 25, 2009

Marquette Suffers Two Heartbreaking Losses

I don't know what to say here.

I'm not sure the Bradley Center has ever been louder.

And ever been more sad, as news quietly spread from person to person, that Dominic James career was likely over. The guys at MUScoop are chiming in with their favorite DJ memory - -check it out.

The mood could best be described as manic, as Marquette endured UConn's runs, but fought back time and time again, without #1 on the court. Marquette had a fleeting 1 point lead with 7 minutes to go, but UConn, and specifically AJ Price, proved too tough.

When the clock wound down, the sadness was palpable, as fans realized they'd seen the last of James on the court, what that means to him and his family, the team, and the immediate future.

Fate has been so cruel to Marquette at the end of the past few seasons. Travis Diener, Jerel McNeal, now Dominic James, cut down before they could complete the year -- likely aborting a chance at a deep run in March once more.

"We had a small margin of error all year and now that's completely gone," (Buzz) Williams said. "We have to play perfect."


Savwa said...

Losing James is a heartbreaker but even with the loss of James the chance for a W was still there. Going forward I expect Buzz will just start Acker at the point. However,I think it would be wise to consider moving Jerel to the point, Wes to the 2 & Butler to the 3 creating matchup nightmares at each spot and putting 4 guys on the floor who can guard multiple positions. The downside is who is on the bench other than Acker but someone has to step up & the question who will it be?

Unknown said...

Acker, Coobey, Fulce besides Jerel, Wes, Lazar, Burke and Butler will all have to ratchet it up. As Buzz said, now they will have to play perfect which I take as playing smart. In regards to DJ, I hope the injury is a quick healer.

Chris @ IBBW said...

Hey guys,

AJ Price got you too huh? Guy is pretty good.

Sorry about losing Dom. Villanova has had their share of that type of stuff and it's just awful, but most of all for the player.

I always enjoyed watching Dom play, best of luck to him and his family in the future.

Championships Matter said...

The loss of Dominic James was sad for many reasons. He has been a class act and a critical part of Marquette's team. But the sky has not fallen, as you would think it had if you read the Milwaukee media this morning.

Good teams confront and overcome adversity. Marquette will have to as well. In 1977, we lost more games than any other champion in history up to that point and barely made the tournament. We overcame the adversity associated with Al's pending retirement and an otherwise underperforming season and blew our way through the NCAA tournament.

In 1978, we were the number two team in the nation and planning to be in St. Louis for the Final Four when we ran into a bad referee in Indianapolis. We did not react well and we didn't play Marquette basketball. We ended up on a one-way trip back to Milwaukee.

This team has the talent. It's time for Fulce and Otule step in and step up. It's also time to see what Buzz is really made of. A good coach gets the best from his players, even in adverse situations.

There is enough talent still out there to make a deep run toward the Final Four. We certainly showed last night we can stay in the game with anyone, even with Dominic gone. Whether we get there depends, like it did in 1977 and 1978, on whether we play Marquette basketball.

Anonymous said...

The difference now is seeding. With DJ, we probably could have gotten at least a 4 seed in the Big Dance. Now we're looking at a 5 or lower. That means we'll probably have to beat a great team just to get to the Sweet Sixteen.
Buzz chose to develop only Butler this season, going all-in with the seniors Crean left behind. Now he has a difficult bed to lie in.
That being said, we still have McNeal, Matthews and Hayward to carry the load. All of it.

BettorFan said...

Marquette was definitely fighting there. Without James, I think we will see a steep decline in team morale and standings.

- BettorFan

Unknown said...

Let's not jump ship just yet...DJ is a stud, yes. But Acker is going to be just fine filling in. It hurts right now, but we can make it through this. Reese may not bring quite as much to the table in terms of leadership, etc but he's good enough to keep the wheels on the car. Kid can shoot and handle the rock. We're still going to win at least 2 of these next 4 games.

Oliver said...

Buzz needs to do more than just sub in Acker. The downgrade defensively is huge. I would try going a little bigger and play Matthews or McNeal at the point. They basically run a motion offense anyway, so it is feasible. I would also like to see some minutes out of Fulce.

I would split the 35 minutes James played into soemthing like Acker-20, Fulce-5, Cubillan-5 with Butler adding 5 onto his already prominent sub role.