"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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3rd Annual EOY Predictions

For the last couple years, after Marquette hung it's final "L" on the schedule, I've written out predictions for the next year.

Let's see how I did last year:

2008-09 Predictions:
1. DJ, Wes, and McNeal will all be back for their Senior year. Since we are over committed on scholarships, someone will have to leave. One could guess that Pat Hazel may want playing time at another university. Correct, except Hazel didn't leave. Our roster imploded in other ways.

2. It wouldn't shock me if Buzz Williams got a head coaching gig somewhere. Didn't I read TCU was sniffing around? All the other coaches stay. WOW. Buzz did get a coaching gig somewhere. Just didn't know it would be so close to home. All of the other coaches went to Indiana, Indiana.

3. Another Former MU player will join the coaching staff, because it happens every year. What's Scott Merritt up to these days? Totally wrong.

4. Mbakwe will get better. I don't see him exploding like Lazar did, though. Mbakwe exploded on the community college circuit.

5. Scott Christoperson .. won't play many minutes in Big East play next year. While Scott may be our future long distance shooter, I can't see him getting quick enough to defend BE players. Scott played zero Big East minutes.

6. Marquette will go 12-6 next year, 1-1 in the BET, 1-1 in the NCAAs. I think I've seen this movie before. Sadly, bullseye. We went 12-6, 1-1, 1-1. To a large extent, it was indeed the same movie, great expectations, hopes dashed in the end. Even with a different coach, same result.

7. It's going to be a long off-season. Totally wrong. With Crean leaving, Buzz arriving, players coming and going .. it was perhaps the shortest off-season ever, as big news hit every month.

2009-10 Predictions:

1. Coach Buzz will say the following phrases 14,000,000 times next year:

  • "In regards to…"
  • "I'm humbled by…"
  • "I'm not smart enough to.."
  • "I've been on the job XXX days.."
  • "We've had XX practices.."
  • "We had XX paint touches."
  • "Where's my Sweet Tea?"
  • "We were out of character …"
  • "FOUL!" (and get called for a Technical).
2. Attendance decrease? As was explained to me before, the attendance numbers usually reflect the prior year's success. But with this economy .. and as most MU fans know, a great chunk of our team just graduated .. I imagine ticket sales will be depressed.

3. The Jump-Around guy will break his 5th metatarsal bone in his foot during a meaningless exhibition game, tragically ending his season as King of the Jumbotron.

4. Coach Buzz will not freak out on Jim McIllvaine next year. Furthermore, Buzz will refrain from freaking out on anyone with a microphone. Beware, newspaper guys.

5. I can't make predictions about players this year. There are too many questions. Will Coobie get the green light to shoot more? Otule & Fulce played very few BE minutes, will they improve enough to play more? The new recruits have torn up their HS opponents. How does that translate to the NCAA? I have no idea.

6. Season Record? Last year, we could count on 4 seniors. Plus or minus, we won and lost most games we were supposed to win and lose. Next year, lots of variables .. we've got very talented freshmen coming in, but without having see them play versus collegiate talent, one can only wildly guess what will happen. Here's my first stab: 8-10 in BE, 1-1 in BET, 0-1 NIT.

That being said, 4 years ago, I had sub-500 thoughts, but after watching the Three Amigos at the scrimmages and first exhibition game, I bumped my expectations, thinking: These guys are going to win way more than people expect. The result was a shocking 4th place finish in the BE that year, when we were predicted 10th. Let's hope we have the same type of surprising year.


Oliver said...

"I can't make predictions about players this year. There are too many questions."

What is the point of a predictions column in which you don't predict anything? Of course there are questions. That is why you predict something.

Lazar: Develops a dribble in the offseason and plays more small forward with Williams and Maymon coming in.

Cubillan: More of the same. Not much time and little effect.

Acker: Is what he is. Slowly decreasing playing time as the freshmen develop.

Fulce and McMorrow: Probably minimal effect due to injuries.

Otule: Slow to develop. Useful on defense next year.

Notable freshmen: Maymon and Caugoden will be useful right away. Williams will be the best over the long haul.

This team will struggle on offense but improve over the year as the new guys develop. 8-10 in conference.

Kevin Buckley said...

Coobie and Acker are what they are?

Fulce and McMorrow .. Otule slow to develop / injuries?

Team to struggle and improve over the year?

Bold predictions, clearly better than mine, Oliver. Next year, I'll check with you.

Anonymous said...

Jump Around guy? Are you talking about Freeway?

A couple of my predictions:

1. Lazar Hayward will make a nice run at being the all-time leading scorer, but will fall just short, finishing at # 2 all time. If Marquette plays 35 games next year, as it did this year, Lazar would need to average 22 a game to pass Jerel. It's doable, considering he'll be the only true scorer returning next year. But 22 a game is a lot. I think the scoring will be a tad more balanced, but Lazar could very well average close to 20.

2. Joe Fulce will be the most improved player on the team next year. The injuries slowed him this year, and I think with a full offseason, he'll come in ready to contribute the way Jimmy Butler did this year. He's long, he can defend, and he has a nice jumper. He'll get a chance to show it off next year.

3. For the first time in like 10 years, Marquette will not be mentioned in any offseason coaching carousel rumors. I love Buzz, but no one is going to make a run at him right now. Andy Katz will finally leave us alone for one summer.

Nathan Ziarek said...

Three freshmen are going to come in and, with the help of an ultra-experienced player, make a deeper run than anyone expected. Sounds a little like 2005.

- McMurrow won't be on the team
- Final Record 13-5 in BE, 2nd place
- One and done NCAA

I enjoy having my hopes crushed.

JohnPudner said...

Wow, 13-5 and one and done! You must enjoy having your hopes crushed. I'd have to say 13-5 is optimistic even for me, but if we go 13-5 I can't believe we'd be out first round.

Anonymous said...

Why would McMorrow not be on the team next year? The likely choice is Hazel to not come back.

Also, everyone continues to fail to mention Buycks, who Espn.com ranks as our incoming recruit with the highest grade (although Cadougan is catching up).

Championships Matter said...

You all are so depressing! Here's the official Championships Matter 2009-2010 projections for our Warriors.

OK, since you're on the edge of your seat:

1) Cadougan and Maymon will both make an immediate impact and be in the running for Big East Rookie/Freshman of the Year. Both will be Players of Impact by mid-season.

2)Amid all of the newcomer centers, one will inevitably make us forget Dwight Burke. Dwight's a nice guy but he wasn't up to the challenge of the Big East. I would expect some bulk to figure into the equation someewhere.

3) Lazar will become the team leader and the example of a senior who compels the young guys to strive for excellence.

4) We'll be at least 9-9 and probably 11-7. I'm assuming next yeat will be an off-year conference wide. We'll be 0-1 in the Big East Tournament and a 9th seed in the NCAAs. One or maybe two and done.

5) We'll absolutely KILL Notre Dame, just out of habit.

5) Buzz will be nominated for Big East Coach of the Year.

Incidentally, I'm optimistic enough that Fulce will recover and be an inportant part of our team, as will Otule. I'm not sure about McMorrow, yet... but I'm hoping.

I remember what it was like to be rowdy and storming Wisconsin Avenue in the early spring rain. I'm hoping it won't be long before the next generation of MU students has that same feeling.

Savwa said...

1)It will be more evident that Buzz has a way to go & grow as a head coach with the lack of senior leadership & a veteran point guard/guard driven team on the floor to adjust on the fly on their own.
2) Lazar will lead the team in scoring, followed by Butler & Buycks.
3)Even with the now plethora of options with 7'centers MU will still lack any punch inside when push comes to shove.
4) Junior will be a leader right away from everything I've read. Maymon will give us toughness inside and Williams will surprise a lot of people.
5)The NIT is calling MU's name next year but they'll bounce back in '10-'11 to a top 5 BE team.
6)Starting 5: Junior @ point, Buycks @ 2, Butler @ 3, Lazar @ 4 & Maymon will likely be a small center for us when Liam & Otule fail to produce. I hope one of the bigs really does develop though.