"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, January 05, 2011

Marquette win makes road teams 5-14 in BE play

Marquette finally showed some zone busting, going 7 of 11 on treys in the first half including contributions from the big men (Jae Crowder hit his first three treys, and Joe Fulce his only attempt). Road teams were only 4-14 in Big East play before Marquette’s win, and even when the road team was the higher rated team they were only 3-6. Here are the road results by biggest win to biggest loss so far this season:

1. St. John's beat West Virginia 81-71
2. Marquette beat Rutgers 73-65
3. Pitt beat Providence 83-79
4. St. John's beat Providence 67-65
5. West Virginia beat DePaul 67-65

6. Georgetown lost to St. John's 61-58
7. UConn lost to Notre Dame 73-70
8. West Virginia lost to Marquette 79-74
9. South Florida lost to Connecticut 66-61
10. Providence lost to Syracuse 81-74
11. South Florida lost to Seton Hall 64-55
12. DePaul lost to Georgetown 86-75
13. Notre Dame lost to Syracuse 70-58
14. Georgetown lost to Notre Dame 69-55
15. UConn lost to Pittsburgh 78-63
16. Rutgers lost to Villanova 81-65
17. Depaul lost to Cincinnati 76-60
18. Seton Hall lost to Cincinnati 70-53
19. Seton Hall lost to Louisville 73-65

Marquette overcame an uncharacteristic 12 first half turnovers by once again drawing fouls including getting four on Rutgers’ tough big man Gilvydas Biruta by early in the second half.

MU did again leave too many 3-pointers open, especially by James Beatty (24 points) who kept Rutgers close.

However, the fast pace favored MU throughout, as Darius Johnson-Odom (29 points) and Crowder (15 points and 6 rebounds) dominated play for a second straight Big East game. Jimmy Butler was again clutch when he needed to step up (16 points, the one player hitting clutch free throws at the end while the rest of the team missed). Junior Cadougan dished out 8 assists to top his 7 assists against Duke for an all-time high.

Vander Blue was finally matched up against Beatty late in the game to stop him down the stretch. Blue also made a great “senior” like play when he made a bad pass for a turnover, but ran to the other end of the court to go to the floor and steal it and call timeout to stop a potential comeback by Rutgers.

Last year Marquette started the season 0-5 on the road but tonight's win gives them a 2-1 record, with the only loss being by one point in a very tough venue at Vanderbilt.

Because RPI credits 1.4 wins for a road win and only 0.6 for a road loss, so in RPI calculations MU is 2.8-.6 on the road, and would only drop to 2.8 – 1.2 even assuming they lost at Pitt Saturday.

This win will most MU into a projected finish in the 50s in the final RPI, as even with the missed free throws late they easily out performed the 4-point spread as well as ever computer model, all of which picked a win by a few points or an 8-point loss (Realtime RPI).

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