"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, May 19, 2019

Results of Marquette 2003 vs. Georgetown 2007 and Cincy 2002; Nova 2018 Dominates

The scoresheet below was supposed to be of the Georgetown 2007 vs. Marquette 2003 team which brought back so many memories of going to my first Marquette game in 20 years. However, let's just say I'd forgotten just how bad our Final Four team's defense was at keeping opponents away from the hoop and off the glass and Roy Hibbert took full advantage. However, MU did manage to survive the second game despite 24 points by Cincinnati's Steve Logan and Coach Huggins great defense, so here are the early standings of my replay and the full game scoresheet further down.

Of course, Cincy, Butler and MU were really not in the Big East yet and Louisville has since left, but I've shuffled to make six 7-team conferences.

Big EastWonLostScoredAllowed
Villanova 2018108960
Louisville 2013107461
Georgetown 2007107462
Marquette 200311135136
Cincinnati 2002016273
UConn 2004016174
Butler 2010016089
(I am playing Syracuse 2003 and Pitt in the ACC, keeping all 6 conferences with 7 teams)

I never went to the Bradley Center until March 1, 2008, and decided if I was going to pay for a trip form Alabama I was buying seats three rows behind Tom Crean to see Georgetown - a year off a Final Four - come to town. It was my first time in the lower bowl of a college game, and I was stunned at how impossible the it seemed to even complete a pass against the speed and length you could only appreciate from this close to the action.

The heart break of fellow Alabama native Jonathan Wallace fouled by Dominic James on a 3-pointers in the final second to send the game into overtime where the Hoyas won was still exciting enough to start me on my 11 year streak of season tickets and making all March Madness games. I thought starting my Value Add Basketball game Big East play with the 2007 Georgetown team against the team that started making me watch Marquette on TV again - the 2003 Marquette seemed fitting.

Wallace even repeated being fouled on a three and hitting them all. Let's move on from that game and instead present the scoresheet from Marquette's second game.

Until late, it looked similar to the five games played between the two teams during Dwyane Wade's two years - during which the average score was Marquette 70, Cincinnati 67 as MU ended the Bearcats 20-game winning street as one of three wins.

Here is the scoresheet Cincinnati and the running score for the final 6:14 and 10 possessions of the first half, and then possessions 33 to 22 to start the second half. The numbers to the left show which possessions each player will play unless someone fouls out or a strategic change is made. The 5 "starters" are really "finishers," so Logan (who I ranked as the best player in 2002) can play "all" 44 possessions we play in the game, while McElroy can play possessions 39-1 (his card lets him play 39 possessions without being tired). You can see on the backups, Barker is down to play possessions "44-40." We start the game assuming all players have played about 11 of the first 22 possessions and the score is tied 22, so a player with a 39 really averaged 50 possessions that year, etc.

While we show total points for each player, we only record "contested" rebounds each player gets - since every other possession the rebound simply goes to the defense to keep the game moving - but the cards give all players the ranges to average the correct number of rebounds overall by giving offensive players twice as good a chance as they would really have of getting a rebound every other possession.

You may notice I choose to "start/finish" Steve Novak even though that just means he plays the final 14 possessions (14 to 1).  This is not because I am judging him better than Townsend, which he was not yet as a freshman, but if MU is down late in the game I'd rather have him as the best 3-point shooter of all 42 great teams in the game, and if MU is holding a lead late, I'd rather have him as the best free throw shooter in the game. However, you will notice Townsend had 9 points, 2 steals and a blocked shot to help key the win.

Logan cut the lead to 66-62 on yet another poor defensive play by Marquette, but Cincinnati could get no closer as they missed five straight shots after grabbing 4 straight offensive rebounds as well as Wade stealing the ball twice on plays that would have otherwise been made 3-pointers (which we only know in the game because we roll all the dice at once).

Cincy then had to foul Diener who hit both, and Novak hit a three with 1:15 left and MU scored on its final possession to end on a 7-0 run.

In the other games:

I was curious if Louisville's insane defensive pressure or UConn's dominant big man play would win out, but in this game Louisville stole the ball on 7 of UConn's first 11 possessions I played and Dieng gave Louisville enough rebounding to prevent a comeback for the 74-61 win. Siva, Smith and Hancock all had 3 steals - more like 4 or 5 since we don't track the first third of the game through the 20-20 tie. Eight of 9 Cardinals had steals, and the only one who didn't was the games leading rebounder Dieng who won 6 contested rebounds to offset UConn's size inside. Behenan fouled out trying to guard Okafor and then Harrell game back in and came within one foul of fouling out as well, but Okafor hit his average 50% of free throws (1-10 on 20-sided die) with 7 of 14 from the line.

Villanova appears the most dominant team in the conference, but Butler hung around to stay within 58-48 with Bridges picking up his 4th foul. However, between then and the 6:05 mark Nova went on one of their crazy 17-4 runs with a 3-pointer by DiVincenzo, 3 by Spellman, Brunson dunk, Bridges rebound and score, Pascall 4-point play and another 3 by DiVincenzo. Bridges never fouled out and finished with 26 points with a game-high 6 contested rebounds (we don't include the half of the misses that just go to the defense or those in the first 22 possessions) and Brunson added 19. Hayward scored 15, Mack 17 and Howard 18 for Butler in the 89-60 blowout win.

Finally, Green was dominant for Georgetown, getting past Marquette's defense early and often for a game high 28 points and 4 blocked shots (really like 6 blocks over all 66 possessions). Roy Hibbert started hot by blocking Jackson's first three shots and grabbing a game-high 5 rebounds, however Jackson turned it on in the second half to finish with a game-high 22 points to help Marquette make the final reasonable at 74-62.

No surprisingly, Kentucky is 2-0 in my SEC conference, and I have not started the Big 12, Big Ten, ACC or Pac-12 seasons yet.

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