"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

Monday, February 04, 2008

A sickly performance by Marquette

Dominic James had the flu and did not start for the first time in his career. It appeared as if the entire team had the flu. A performance that was sickly in every regard as Marquette was again routed by Louisville for the second time this year. It was MU's first home loss of the season.

The performance looked like many of the recent games by MU this year. They struggled to beat South Florida, played very poorly in the first 16 minutes at Cincinnati, and tonight on national television were outclassed at every turn. The game was over in the first five minutes.

Louisville strolling to the rim with the greatest of ease as MU missed defensive assignments in their matchup 2-3 zone. After about the 7th or 8th uncontested basket, Crean bagged that plan but it didn't help much. While Louisville's shots became a little tougher against the man to man, the Cardinals had no problem down low or going deep from beyond the arc. MU's shooting woes only added to the stench coming from the rotting patient.

So here we were, a national tv audience and a chance for retribution with 3rd place in the Big East in site. Two hours later, a blowout and another horrid performance begs where this team is heading. Sure MU is still in fantastic shape for the post season, but there is something seriously missing from this team the last three weeks of the season and no end in site where that something is coming from.

The team that handled Wisconsin in Madison, the team that crushed nationally ranked Notre Dame, the team that came within one possession of taking out Duke.....not sure where they are, but they are AWOL. With tough games at Notre Dame and at Seton Hall up next, MU better hope to find something soon. The patient is sick and the drugs ain't working.

One thing is for certain, when the coaches picked Louisville to win this conference as co-champions, they weren't far off the mark. Now that they are healthy they look very good.

The final score....71-57 in a game that wasn't that close at all. On a positive note, Bobby Knight announced his resignation today during the first half of the game which means tonight on ESPN and elsewhere the attention will be paid to him and not this dreadful performance.

The loss knocked MU's RPI from 18 to 32 and put the Golden Eagles into a muddled mass with 4 losses in conference play.

Recaps of tonight's embarrassment:


Anonymous said...

The CONSTANT shouting of instructions by Crean seems rediculous. I would think the players would hate this. This is the sign of a good coach????

Anonymous said...

Crean was outcoached once again. Where is our half court offense???

Anonymous said...

For those keeping score, the same guy has posted all three anonymous rants. You know, you don't get points for multiple posts.

Anonymous said...

It's time to get real on expectations. How is this Team different than the Team that got blown-out by MSU in R1 last year? The answer: No difference. Moreover, when will Crean get the courage to tell James to look to pass and not to shoot? He's a terrific athlete and ball handler but also a brick layer.

Anonymous said...

To me, Marquette looked worse than when I was watching UConn run it up. I thought they would be able to fix some things from that loss. From what I see is a lack of intensity and a lack of focus in the early start. I know Mike Deane would blow through a timeout to wake them up in the first minutes, but Crean just lets them fall behind by 10 hoping that some outside shots will fall. If not keep firing and watch the margin get to 20. What happened to the scrappy, hard nosed, lets get after it and win 4 minutes at a time?!? The team needs that fire and focus or a swift kick because they were slow and off target all night.

Anonymous said...

National TV, home game, revenge game, and the team came out very flat. They also came out without a game plan. Or a clue.

Acker looked every bit like a Mid-America player until the meaningless 3's at the end.

Chistopherson was so lost, he evoked pity rather than anger.

Jack 82

Gene Frenkle said...

Yeah. Not a good game at all. The defense was abysmal. Ooze was terrible on the defensive end. Burke was his typical pitiful on the offensive end.

And I don't know if it's me, but Lazar spent way too much time tonight cruising the three point line.

But, the whole team didn't have any fire tonight. Don't know why. When they cut it to 8 to open the second half I thought things would be o.k., but then boom...two threes and that was that.

And for all the talk I've done about thinking the team is better w/out James, I think we saw that answer was "no, they aren't". Two games ago he was great. Tonight, I do think it was more of him being sick, but he often times tries doing too much.

Give Louisville credit. They look really, really good right now that everyone's healthy and off suspension. Still. You're at home. That kind of effort, especially on defense, is horrific. Let's hope we get it corrected by ND.

Side note - anonymous - I know that Crean's always at fault for every loss...but criticizing Crean for barking direction at his team? That's a new one. I mean, it's not like he's the COACH or anything. And, if anything, he takes it too easy on the guys sometimes.

Sean Lafferty said...

I was really disappointed in the early half-court game. Why is Lazar Hayward putting the ball on the floor and trying to penetrate against a 2-3 zone from the top of the key?

I saw a little spark when Acker got into the lane and dropped it down to Ooze on the baseline once Padgett committed, but of course "on the baseline" isn't supposed to mean "ON the baseline".

I really thought we'd see more dribble on the perimeter and into the paint from Jerel and Acker and more rolls down to the basket early. But no, nothing.

And when James entered the game, we did see a little dribble into the paint for an easy basket or two. So agree with GF that this team is definitely much better with DJ on the floor.

And I have to echo the lack of defensive intensity. I actually had to bow to Jay Bilas's comments when he said he hadn't seen this MU team get beaten for so many easy baskets all season. There was no help. There was no shutting down the passing lanes. And far too many shots went uncontested - inside and out.

Awful, putrid game. Another stinker and MU falls out of the national rankings. They lost the benefit of the doubt on national TV last night.