"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, March 09, 2014

All Big East teams announced

In the preseason, Marquette had two players named to the preseason All Big East basketball teams. Davante Gardner was chosen to be on the first team and Jamil Wilson on the second team.

Fast forward five months later and the Big East today announced the All Big East teams for the 2013-14 season. Congratulations to Davante Gardner for securing 2nd Team All Big East. Also to Deonte Burton for making the all rookie team

*Denotes unanimous selection.
^Due to a tie in the voting, an additional position was named.  

*Doug McDermott, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-8, 225, Ames, Iowa
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-2, 175, Accokeek, Md.
*Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Sr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
D'Angelo Harrison, St. John's, G, Jr., 6-4, 204, Missouri City, Texas
James Bell, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-6, 220, Orlando, Fla.
*Semaj Christon, Xavier, G, So., 6-3, 190, Cincinnati, Ohio

Kellen Dunham, Butler, G, So., 6-6, 185, Pendleton, Ind.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, G, So., 6-3, 218, Indianapolis, Ind.
Davante Gardner, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, Sr., 6-9, 245, Boston, Mass.
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, F/G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Paterson, N.J.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ethan Wragge, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-7, 225, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, So., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-6, 215, Bethlehem, Pa.
Matt Stainbrook, Xavier, C, Jr., 6-10, 263, Bay Village, Ohio

Andrew Chrabascz, Butler, F, Fr., 6-7, 225, Portsmouth, R.I.
Billy Garrett, Jr., DePaul, G, Fr., 6-5, 194, Chicago, Ill.
Tommy Hamilton IV, DePaul, F, Fr., 6-10, 284, Chicago, Ill.
Deonte Burton, Marquette, F, Fr., 6-4, 230, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Rysheed Jordan, St. John's G, Fr., 6-4, 185, Philadelphia, Pa.
Jaren Sina, Seton Hall G, Fr., 6-2, 180, Lake Hopatcong, N.J.
Josh Hart, Villanova, G, Fr., 6-5, 202, Silver Springs, Md.


Vino said...

Part #1
There has been nothing that more clearly defines this basketball season for Marquette than the last three ballgames; an embarrassing loss/beating at Villanova, the giveaway in Providence, a game that should have been won, and the loss to St. John’s at home. Why?

I agree with the “Sabermetrics” (I know its a term associated with Bill James of baseball fame for looking inside the numbers to determine a players worth, but the concept, here in the case of MU, is the same), but what data analysis does not dissect are the intangibles, and that’s where unfortunately this MU team comes up short. In my view the intangibles are:

1.) Character and Leadership
2.) Discipline
3.) Coaching

And before I start I want to make it clear that my views are not to be construed as personal attacks, they are not, just an honest one person’s alumni view of what you need to do to play winning basketball at a major program like MU in the Big East…because at this level it’s about one thing and one thing only, winning basketball games…”it’s not personal, just business”, and if someone thinks that major college BB is not a business, check MU’s financials as they relate to the net effect of going deep into the NCAA tournament, and the effect that has on available individual team money splits, ticket sales, merchandise sales, donations, enrollment, etc.

Vino said...

Part #2
Coaching…lets start with the last one, because especially at this level it all starts with the coach. This is hard because I like Buzz a lot, love what he has done for the program, and I would take him in a heartbeat without hesitation over Tom (never knew a timeout I wouldn’t call, even if it killed my team’s momentum) Crean, but in all honesty Buzz has not had a good year. This team has no identity, and that identity starts with the coach who establishes that identity as he assesses and understands his talent, how the pieces fit together, and how he needs to use that talent to play winning basketball. The season is almost over, and Buzz still has not established the identity of his team and that’s highlighted by the fact that he is still going 10-11 players deep in his rotation; there’re talented players on this team, but Buzz has insisted on coaching to loyalties, not to talent and instead of winning with the talent he has at his ready, especially the young players that could develop over the course of the season, Buzz has decided that loyalties, even if it means losing are more important than winning, but at this level it’s all about winning! This is a team with limited offensive talent the way Buzz is coaching this team, he has offensive skilled players, but Buzz has insisted on an 10-11 player rotation, with the young, talented, offensive minded players getting the short straw. An example of this was the Sunday loss to Villanova, when game color analyst Greg Anthony said at the beginning of the second half, and I’m paraphrasing somewhat, “Buzz needs to make a decision, he’s down 16 points and the lineup he has out there and which started the game (Anderson, Otule, Thomas, J. Wilson, D. Wilson) has not shown that they can score”. Dead-on assessment, and pretty much highlights a view that many, many MU fans have of Buzz and that particular lineup this year. On many, many major programs, Juan Anderson would be buried on the bench (maybe the light went on with Buzz for the St. John’s game, since Juan did not play), and D. Wilson (how was he in the St John’s game with 13.9 seconds left…St John’s denied the inside pass to Gardner and Buzz is left with D. Wilson shooting a J…really, where was John Dawson; just another example of Buzz’s poor use of personnel at critical points in the game this year) would not be much in front of him (they have represented 40% of the starting lineup, and neither one has any resemblance of an offensive game, and because neither can shoot foul shots with any level of consistency are late game liabilities). Chris Outle for all he has meant to the program is and always will be a role player, and that role should be very limited, but this is where Buzz is coaching to loyalties and not to winning. Unfortunately Buzz has coached this current version of MU basketball to mediocrity, not because he doesn’t have talent at his disposal, but because he somehow believes that loyalties are more important…that view will never cut it at the level of Big East BB, and hopefully Buzz can be objective enough with himself after the season, to view his role in this dreadful season! You win consistently by putting the best talent on the floor, even if that talent are young, developing freshmen, because they have an upside, and the other players; well if they haven’t developed any resemblance of an offensive game by their junior season, it’s in all likelihood not going to happen!

Vino said...

Part #3
Character and Leadership; quite frankly, this MU team does not have an on-court leader, there’s no Jerel McNeal, no Lazar Hayward, no Jimmy Butler, no Jae Crowder, no Vander Blue or Junior Cadougan, no one to take control of the team, take it on their back and with their strength of will and character make every other player play winning, mistake free basketball in crunch time. Character and leadership usually go hand in hand, but that just seems to be missing from this MU team, and I think this is also tied to why this team has no identity, and what Buzz has been searching for all season…that on-court player presence that has almost always defined MU BB is missing, and without it, it’s very difficult to win at the very competitive level of Big East BB. This lack of character and leadership is also why Buzz has in my view lost control of this team, and I know that there’re other alumni out there that share this view.

Discipline; wow, is there a major college program that takes care of the ball less in the most critical periods of the game than MU? I’m sure there’re statistics that will say yes there is, but to quote Harry Caray, “Holy Cow," this team is the worst passing MU team I have ever watched play. Passes thrown to players that aren’t open, double covered, on the wrong side of the pass recipient, passes to a player not looking or cutting away from the passer, bounce passes at the pass receivers feet, or lobs thrown with to much zip to be caught. The level of bad passes and timeliness is mind boggling, and unfortunately is tied to character and leadership and coaching. Disciplined teams keep turnovers to a minimum and non-disciplined teams…well recall the recent Nova/MU game in Philly, Nova’s passes were crisp, thrown with purpose and very seldom poor, and thus they made MU look very bad by comparison. The old John Wooden mantra was “be quick, but don’t hurry,” but off of turnovers and rebounds the MU mantra this year seems to be, be quick and hurry at all costs, even if it means throwing a pass to the opposition or someone double covered. Don’t be in a hurry, look to see if the player you want to pass too is open, and maybe more importantly, see where the defenders are before you decide to throw an ill timed pass! A lack of discipline is why J. Wilson has been mediocre at best, and at times disappears (referenced by the game day color analyst during the St John’s game); not knowing that the pull-up J or soft bank off of the board is better than missing a dunk, that if you don’t have the correct angle to the basket on the baseline, then pass it out as opposed to missing a poor shot. He’s an immense physical talent that showcases a poor BB IQ and a propensity for making really bad plays at the worst possible times (fouls, bad passes and falling asleep on defense). The lack of team discipline leads to not defending the three point line when it needs defending, fouling someone shooting the three (resulted in two four point plays in the Providence game), fouling someone 35 feet from the basket, or bailing the other team out deep into the shot clock when all that was needed was to continue to play defense. This lack of disciple is also highlighted by Davante Gardner dribbling behind his back at a point in a game when the outcome was still uncertain, or Jake Thomas assuming a foul was going to be called, and not aware that on a held ball, the other team had the possession arrow, and so because of poor mental discipline you give up the ball and…well we know the outcome.

Vino said...

Before the season started and Bill Raftery and Fox picked MU to finish first in the Big East, I was wondering how they came to that conclusion. With Vander Blue leaving and the graduation of Junior Cadougan, it’s not that I didn’t want MU to finish first, I did want that to happen, but I didn’t see leadership in the three seniors, or the other player’s, and surely did not have a feel for the incoming freshmen, so it would be hard to determine their leadership role/s. Statistically, they looked like a team that should compete for the conference title, but the intangibles were and have been missing most of the year, and unfortunately Buzz has struggled with the team’s identity and his coaching decisions, and all of which have led to a “perfect storm” of sub-par BB performance for MU this year…I wish it were different, but unfortunately it is what it is! Like many, many MU alumni, I will get through this and will be anxiously awaiting yet the start of another MU BB season and the resulting high and lows that surely follow. GO WARRIORS (Golden Eagles - never, worst case example of PC gone bad)!!!