"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 18, 2010

Novak in the house, team about to walk through for sendoff - tip off 2 hours away!

It’s my fourth year of following Marquette to their NCAA city in March, and by now I know how the anxiety builds. The Marquette faithful are gathering in San Jose – St. Joseph’s City the day before St. Joseph’s Feast, so you better believe I didn’t miss Mass this morning!

I won’t even try to describe the zone players and coaches are in as they pass in a lobby – laser focus.

And an extra treat this morning as Steve Novak came through and chatted with some alums. Novak didn’t play in the Clippers win over the Bucks last night, and is on the first of three days off. Hopefully he can bring Marquette, and particularly our 3-point shots, the same good luck that Wesley Matthews did when he came to the Bradley Center.

Passed Buzz on his cell phone this morning, didn’t say anything. These guys are locked in and ready to go.

In getting some of the scoop, it really sounds to me like it’s all length of possession. As covered in the preview of the game, Washington loves to turn the ball over and score at the other end. They love to drive to the basket, so it will be them trying to get Lazar and Jimmy in foul trouble and make the game up tempo by stealing the ball.

So far MU has been excellent at protecting the ball, especially when Mo and David are controlling it.

That could be the key because what Washington does not do well is play defense for 35 seconds. Make them be patient on defense, and we will eventually get a breakdown.
Pomeroy says it’s the most evenly matched of the opening round, Marquette the 28th best team in the country and Washington 29th. However, Washington is much more erratic than MU.

When Washington steals the ball they destroy you, winning conference games by 12, 14, 15, 23, 28, 29 and 33 points. However, when they get frustrated they can fall apart, losing by 11, 12, 17, 17 and to former Marquette coach Kevin O’Neill by 26, who completely frustrated them like MU needs to do.

If we control the tempo, I’ll take our 6-6 superstar Lazar Hayward against their 6-6 superstar Quincy Poindexter. They are supposed to go two spots apart in the NBA draft this year.

If we control the tempo, I’ll take our 5-8 guard Mo Acker against their 5-8 guard Isaiah Thomas, even though Mo is a passer and Thomas is a driver. I’ll trust our 6-footer David Cubillan to show the same tenacity against their 5-11 scorer Venoy Overton that he did against Scotty Reynolds.

They do have one big guy advantage in a pretty good 6-9 Matthew Bryan-Amaning, but with Fulce’s improved play we just need our “big” guys to avoid fouling and adding the foul when he gets the easy two.

It’s gut check time. The tension is unreal, but so is the excitement. As one alum just said to me, “I thought I was finally going to take one March off for this rebuilding year, I can’t believe we’re back in another NCAA city.

Game time 2 hours away. The team should be walking through any minute now for our sendoff and the place is going to explode. GO MARQUETTE!


Tigidal said...

Pondexter not Poindexter.

Michael said...

Another blown lead. Wash. hitting the lane and banking shots off the glass with ease. GLARING NEED FOR A BIG MAN. Yes, it was a bonus to be here at all this year, but we blew it again. Stanford, Mizzou and now Washington. Why can't we hold at lead?????