"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

Friday, February 25, 2005

Some encouraging news at a discouraging time

Many Marquette fans have given up on this season, and one couldn't totally blame them, as Travis Diener is out for the year. But based on the hustle and determination with which the Marquette team played last night, it appears that the team itself has not given up. And as a Marquette fan, that is extremely encouraging.

Down nearly 30 and being physically dominated last night, the MU team could have given up. Instead, they made a nice comeback, cutting the lead to 7 points with under 2 minutes to play. The team ended up losing by 12, but it was wonderful to see an undermanned team come back and be competitive in a hostile environment like the Shoemaker Center.

Steve Novak's 25 points stand out first and foremost. After airballing a three in the first half and hearing about it from the fans the rest of the game, Steve was on fire near the end of the game. In fact, Novak has now reached 974 career points, placing him within clear striking range of the 1000-point mark by season's end.

Also of note was the aggressive offensive plays of Dameon Mason and Joe Chapman, who scored 17 and 13 respectively. This is encouraging news when one looks at Marquette's chance at an NIT berth this year, and the need for other leaders to step up next season. Maybe this time sans Diener will actually help make better leaders of the veterans we will need to rely on next season.

By the way, here's an extraordinary column by John Feinstein about Travis Diener from today's Washington Post. Its worth the free registration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent post. And with nearly a week to prep for the Houston game, Crean's guys will have a good opportunity to hold serve at home despite the loss of Diener