"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, March 04, 2009

MU blown out at Pittsburgh

After hanging with the 3rd/4th ranked Pittsburgh for 32 minutes on Wednesday night, Marquette had nothing left down the stretch. The Panthers ripped off a frenzied 18-0 run to blow the game open en route to a 90-75 win over MU.

Early in the second half the Golden Eagles gave fans hope with a 21 - 5 run which turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a 57-48 lead with 16 minutes to play. Marquette traded punches with the Panthers for the next seven minutes before the roof caved in on the road.

Jerel McNeal led Marquette with 23 points on 8-24 shooting. Lazar Hayward finished with 22 points and 10 boards. Wesley Matthews, who simply does not not attempt enough shots, finished with 16 points on 5-11 from the field.

The Panthers' big three of DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields combined for 58 points on the night. Pittsburgh connected on 63% of their field goal attempts tonight, a season-worst defensive performance from MU.

The loss is Marquette's third in a row. The Golden Eagles are now 23-7 overall and 12-5 in the BIG EAST.

Next up for MU is the season finale, Senior Night on Saturday against Syracuse.

AP Box Score
Rosiak's blog
AP recap


Gene Frenkle said...

I don't know what book on coaching Buzz refers to not have read this year...but I sure wish to God he'd dust that puppy off and peruse through the "How to use timeouts" chapter. It might help. Maybe. Just maybe.

Matt said...

I disagree, Gene. It's an easy complaint, but the bottom line is the guys are running out of gas, and their not-quite-elite talent is evident up against the BE titans. Not taking timeouts was the least of MU's problems last night.

Who here hasn't seen this coming? TC's recruiting and departure left the cupboard bare when it comes to the bench. We're starting and subbing all positions with kids that don't stand taller than other team's 3s. No amount of hustle last night was going to beat the Pitt muscle.

I was stunned to hear the Burke stat: Of all starters in the BE, he has the lowest scoring average. Couple that with the other stat, MU's bench is ranked 327 in the NCAA in scoring, and the math just doesn't favor MU when going up against top 10 teams. 20 from Hayward plus 20 from McNeal plus 20 from Matthews gets MU to 60....where's the other scoring going to come from?

I'm holding out hope that Buzz and the gang can conjure up some magic for Saturday. These seniors deserve to go out winners with how they've represented the university for four years on and off the court.

John said...

I agree, our guys showed lots of heart and desire, but the Pitt trees were to tall and Pitt knew it. If Buzz can't play any of the following two together at one time, (Burke, Hazel, Fulce, Otule)I fear we will see the same in the NCAA Tourney.

Championships Matter said...

In the three recent games Marquette has lost against the nation's best, the team has been competitive in all three and was beaten largely because of depth. We can blame that on Traitor Tommy. Our defeat in Nashville was depth induced as well.

When Traitor Tommy left, what otherwise was a great recruiting class went up in smoke. Imagine the rotation Marquette could have implemented if they were eight or even nine deep. There's no doubt that when one of our recruits is starting for Kansas, we'd have a heck of a lot more bench strength. Overall, both defensively and offensively, that certainly would have been worth a dozen more points with UConn and Louisville.

Buzz will get us there, but it will take time. And, I'm betting we'll have a REAL center.

In the meantime, thank Traitor Tommy for our lack of depth and a lack of capacity to make a deep run in the NCAAs.

Hunt said...

Can we get a run-down of the scenarios for our seeding in the Big East tournament? Going off ChampionshipsMatter's point, the difference between a 4 and 5 seed in the BE Tourney is pretty big for this team. What does our situation look like now, especially after 'Nova's win tonight?

wisblue said...

Villanova's win over Providence eliminates MU from contention for the fourth seed. MU's first BE tournament game will be Wednesday afternoon against Seton Hall, St, John's, or Georgetown. If they win that one they will face Villanova on Thursday.

bamamarquettefan1 said...

Last night's game was the first time I've been to an MU game at which I believe I was honestly the ONLY MU fan in the arena. I yelled encouragement everytime Wes, Jerel or Lazar nailed a three. I actually had one guy come up to me (since I stood out as the only MU fan) and say, "hey, I graduated Marquette in 1982 - of course I'm rooting for Pitt."

The two problems I see is that Dominic used to engage the other point guard so far down the court, that the other guard could never look down the court to see where the angle to the mismatch was underneath. Then, when the defense rotates and the other team shoots from anywhere near the right baseline, we sometimes end up with Acker being asked to box out an opposing center. With Dominic, at least we had the chance he would just sky above them and take the rebound away.

The offense looks disjointed too without DJ, but we have the big three that still can improvise and put up points. But we do need some kind of magic to stop a good team on defense.

Tim Blair said...

Hunt -- Marquette has claimed the No. 5 seed in the upcoming BIG EAST Conference Championship, regardless of the team’s result Saturday afternoon against Syracuse.

Should the Golden Eagles defeat the Orange and improve to 13-5, Villanova earns the tiebreaker for the fourth seed. The two teams split the season series, but the Wildcats’ victory over Pittsburgh earlier this year gives Villanova the edge in the league tiebreaker system.

MU will face the winner of the No.12/13 matchup on Wednesday, March 11 at 2 p.m. ET in Madison Square Garden. Potential opponents include Notre Dame, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Georgetown.

John said...

I would favor starting Coobey over Acker. While Acker is a good ball handler,Acker give way to much up on defense. Coobey has the muscle, height, defensive tennacity and ball handling capability to play the point well. Also, while it would of been great to get the 4th seed for the BEAST tourney, I am more in favor of playing the extra game and having this DJ less team gel more.