"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

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MU Sets Record for NBA Players for 3rd Straight Year; 5 of them play in Playoffs

Two years after FIVE Marquette players played in the NBA in the same season, Marquette had FIVE players play in the NBA PLAYOFFS in one weekend including three starters and Jae Crowder, who had a +16 in just 12 minutes to help the Mavs almost upset the Spurs.

Marquette set a record for players in the NBA for the third straight year. For all the glory days of the past, the fact is Marquette never had more than three players in the NBA until Chris Crawford joined Tony Smith, Amal McCaskill and Jim McIlvaine to make it four in 1998, and then never topped that figure until FIVE played in the NBA. Then it was SIX in 2013 and EIGHT this season:

MU in NBAYears
41998-2001, 2010-2011
31971-1975, 1980, 1984-87, 1992, 1995-1997, 2004, 2007-2009

In 2012, Jimmy Butler joined Dwyane Wade, Steve Novak, Wesley Matthews and Lazar Hayward to make it five for the first time in Marquette history.

In 2013, those five were all still there and one of the greatest duos in Marquette history, Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, set a new record with SEVEN Marquette players seeing action. DJO just had a few minutes on the court, but Crowder made the Mavs rotation.

This year Vander Blue joined DJO in getting a few minutes on the court and Dwight Buycks pocketed a nice $700,000 contract and got some real court time with Toronto (including 22 minutes in the season finale Wednesday) to set a new record with EIGHT Marquette players seeing action.

Buycks has the best chance of those three to play against next year. On the flip side, Marquette has three playoff STARTERS on the court this weekend in Dwyane Wade (Miami), Jimmy Butler (Chicago) and Wesley Matthews (Portland).

Steve Novak played only briefly Saturday for the Raptors but hopefully can continue to find a team that needs a tall three-point shooter for situations.

And that leaves Jae Crowder, who went from not being in the Top 100 prospects prior to his senior season, to finishing as the 2nd ranked player behind Anthony Davis at www.valueaddbasketball.com, to the Mavs rotation. In 12 minutes Sunday, Crowder was a +16 - meaning the Mavs won by 16 points while he was on the court, as he made the most of his quarter of play by hitting both three-point attempts and grabbing four rebounds, a steal and blocking a shot.

The +16 is not everything - 2nd team players mainly face other 2nd team players - but Crowder seems to be establishing himself as a player who could be around for a while.

Eight could be the peak, as it is unlikely all eight will play again in 2015 and the next two Marquette players listed in the Top 100 prospects in their class are freshman JuJuan Johnson (53rd) and Deonte Burton (67th). However, Crowder's line makes it look like MU has four solid players until whenever Wade retires and we can hope for the other four to find a steady spot.

Jae Crowder, SF16122 of 32 of 20 of 0134011036

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