"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, January 30, 2010

Steal seals the stunner at UConn after DJO and Butler offensive heroics

More about the offensive heroics of DJO and Jimmy Butler in a second, but first …

With UConn coming down for a potential game-winning or game-tying basket, MU played for the turnover. Dwight Buycks deflected the pass, and David Cubillian stole the ball and dribbled down the court as time expired on Marquette’s second huge win in a close game against a ranked team. As MUs other ranked victim, Georgetown, pummeled Duke into submission, MUs NCAA hopes shot up.

As noted in the preview, MU had to try for the steal if UConn had a last trip down the court, and they did. No matter how many times you get frustrated watching big teams dunk on us, 3-point shooting and turnovers are the equalizer, and they were again today.

Cube’s steal at the end capped a game in which MU won the turnover battle 16 to 2! Two turnovers. With 5 and half minutes to go Jamal Coombs-McDaniel stole the ball from Lazar and was fouled by DJO, and Buycks tried to whip a pass to DJO that went under the basket, and with 12:11 to go in the game.

The other 63 times down the court MU was able to get up at least one shot or freethrows. And once again they hit their typical 9 three pointers (9-24 shooting was actually one shot below their national leading average), so even though they once again allowed a big team to grab 42% of their missed shots (UConn grabbed 13 of their 31 misses), MU turned them over right until the end for the win.


After Lazar was whistled for a beautiful rejection of Dyson with under four minutes left (4th foul), and then whistled for a perfect box out of Gavin Edwards (to foul out), MU had to play the final 1:53 from down 65-63 without Lazar. It looked particularly bleak since no one besides Lazar had scored in four minutes at that point, but we were once again reminded of how many weapons MU has this year.

After Dyson hit a ridiculous 25-foot shot with the shot clock running out to give UConn a 68-65 lead he was being suited for the heroes crown.

However, the next trip down the court, DJO faked Dyson into the air with his patented pump, jumping into him with 41 seconds left to earn three free throws.
Despite missing two earlier, DJO calmly sank all three free throws to tie the game. With a huge size disadvantage with Jimmy Butler playing with four guards on the court, Kemba Walker missed a shot and Butler grabbed an incredible rebound with 25 seconds to play to preserve the tie.

Two timeouts later, UConn flanked the perimeter, trying desperately to match up with all four 3-point shooting guards on the court and deny them the ball. At that moment, Jimmy Butler drove toward the hoop, the 6-foot-9 Edwards ran back and cut Butler off, at which point Butler faded away from the basket to net an 8-footer and give MU back the lead at 70-68.

MU has so many offensive weapons this year, and today even with our star on the bench it was four 3-pointers as decoys that allowed Butler to come through the clutch game-winner.


Unknown said...

Cracked Sidewalks called it correct on the UCONN victory. What must Marquette do to secure victory in the Depaul rematch?

JohnPudner said...

Just keep them from grinding the game to a halt like they did in Chicago and we will be fine! Really though, it took a team inspired by a new coach (which almost beat Syracuse today there), on their home court, with some lucky bounces. We really should be in good shape for teh rematch.

Unknown said...

This game could provide the confidence this team needs down the stretch. Especially for:
- E Williams: who had a solid 2 min in the final min of the 1st half.
- DJO: who now knows that he can hit those pressure FT
-Jimmy: lost in the last couple games Jimmy played like the leader he was earlier in the season
- Team: that they can win without their leader(Lazer)

I just hope that Buzz sits Cubbie and plays Buycks more. Cubbie can't create a shot for himself and when he's on the floor with acker this team is limited.


Unknown said...

Great analysis on how the ending of the game would play out in the previous article! It played out exactly as described. My 7-year old nephew said the game was over when we were up 2 with 4 seconds left. I said fella, I like your enthusiasm, but you have not seen us play. We have had a lot of heartbreak.

The ending was awesome! Got to give credit to Buzz for spreading it out so Butler could go 1 on 1 against a bigger, slower defender.

Let's see now if we can go on a run over the 2nd half of the schedule! GO MU!

Unknown said...

DJO - 3/3 on his FT after the foul! That was huge. I think making those FT's not only is a confidence booster for him personally, but for the team as well. I could see the hunger our guys have out there on the floor. They've been too close, too many times. Frankly, I think they are without question good enough to make the field of 65. Lets take care of business at home vs. DePaul and not look down the road. I think its entirely possible for MU to run the table.

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! good job boys, lets move away from the wrong side of the bubble and move closer to the ncaas.

Nice to see them close out a game, especially on the road.

Good write up, John. Just reading it made me feel like I was there watching.