"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, October 06, 2010

Preseason Roundtable - Part Two

First things first... thanks to everyone that contributed to Al's Run. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Marquette fans, we hit our fundraising goal. Of course, how much fun is it to simply meet expectations. We're all about exceeding expectations, so don't forget that there is still time to donate before the event this weekend. The new goal is $3,281, which is what we raised as a community last year (plus a buck).

Now, let's return to our preseason roundtable. Missed Part One? Go check it out here. In today's roundtable, we look at "How will the team play?", or as I like to call it... the true/false section.

True or False – this year’s team will continue to feature a 6.5 person rotation.

Tim - FALSE. Butler and DJO will log the most minutes followed by Cadougan, Blue, Crowder, Fulce and Smith. A combination of minutes from Otule/Jones/Williams will round out the deepest rotation the program has enjoyed in years.

Steve - False. Is this a trick question? There is NO WAY this team only has six or seven potential contributors. If we feature a 6.5 person rotation, I suspect we'll hear a lot of griping--some of it might even come from the locker room.

John - False. I believe Buzz will be awefully tempted to play a Razorback 40 minutes of hell line-up of 10 men deep in certain games. We still aren't big, and the incredible turnover/steal advantage we have will become very powerful when we can up the tempo without fear of two of our 6.5 fouling out or running out of gas.

BMA - False. Again I think it's lineup/strategy dependent, but I don't see it being less than 8 unless someone gets hurt and it could go a bit higher than that. Cadougan/Smith is essentially the PG rotation. DJO/Buycks/Blue is the 2. Butler/Fulce/Crowder have the front court, with the possibility to add Williams or Gardner or Otule depending upon the lineup.

muwarrior92 - False. Don't think that's possible if Buzz wants to continue to recruit. He's going to need to get these guys out there playing in droves. 8.5 man rotation.

Rob - Yet again everybody thinks Buzz goes deep. Just to be a contrarian, I am going to say TRUE. Honestly, I believe this because of Buzz's insistence on protecting the ball, as outlined by Dr. Blackheart. I can only count six players that are guaranteed to get PT (Butler, Fulce, Buycks, DJO, Crowder, Cadougan). Every other player, even Otule and Blue, has question marks. Can they protect the ball well enough to see time on the court?

True or False – Marquette will continue to have a minimal inside game this year

Tim - TRUE. Even with great improvement from Otule, nobody will gameplan to stop a traditional post-up game for MU. That said I expect MU to be one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the BIG EAST this year thanks to Butler, Crowder, Fulce and the freshman guards.

Steve – True. We only have one player listed on the roster taller than 6'8".

John - True. I believe both Otule and Gardner will have a couple of games with some points, but can't see them being regular scorers. However, protecting the hoop on defense will improve.

BMA - If you mean a traditional low post scorer, true. Otule is getting there, but I think he's still a year away. I don't know if Gardner is ready to play major minutes because of his conditioning, but he's got the post moves to contribute. Scores around the bucket are still going to come from drives by the wings, with the occasional dump off to whomever is down there.

muwarrior92 - True, but not quite as bad as last year. I don't think our 3 point shooting will be as good so our interior play will need to improve.

Rob - False. Now I'm just being difficult. With the overall average height, we will have a legit inside presence simply by being able to play a "length" lineup. Better said, our height probably won't kill us this year, even without that traditional low post scorer. Also, on the defensive end, I believe we will be better defensively by virtue of our length.

True or False – we have enough PG depth this year

Tim - TRUE. The roster has enough backcourt talent to mix and match.

Steve - False. Its a fair expectation that Cadougan and Smith can give us 40 mpg at the point. On the other hand, MU seems to be hit with more than our fair share of injuries. Either of those two players go down, and we're in trouble--until someone else proves capable. Blue might be that man. I hope we don't resort to letting Gardner bring the ball up.

John - True. Because Vander can play the point too, and some combination of Smith/Cadougan will work.

BMA - Can you ever have enough PG depth? If Junior gets hurt again we're in a bad spot. Smith is the only other PG on the roster, and he's not really a true PG yet. Of course, we only had one PG last year, so if Junior stays healthy I don't think it will matter much.

muwarrior92 - False (editor's note - short and sweet)

Rob - False. I agree with BMA. If Junior gets hurt, we are really in a bad spot. I'm not convinced in Smith, Blue, or Buycks running the show.


Thanks again for the contributions. Stay tuned for Part Three of the roundtable.

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