Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008

Rough times for Marquette

By Nicole
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I have to admit that with the Packers going so far into the post-season, I'm not as up on the bball season as I'd like to be. I've done some reading and I know that MU wasn't necessarily supposed to win either of the games they lost this week, but I know they weren't supposed to get embarrassed either.

The Golden Eagles lost to UConn by 16 points, but the game was never that close. The team scored a crap-load of points in the final few minutes in order to cut the deficit from around 30 points to those 16. Their shooting percentage was in the mid 20s for most of the game. The flurry of hoops at the end brought that up to a dismal 40% for the game.

In the loss to Louisville earlier in the week, Marquette shot all of 30% from the floor and missed everyone of it's 12 3-point attempts.

Dominic James is in what I now think might be a signature slump. He's been averaging 14 or so points a game, but against UConn he had just 9 points on all of 10 shots. You're not going to get very far when your star player has worse numbers than the guys coming off the bench.

While the loss to Louisville should have lit a fire under the Golden Eagles' butts, instead they came out colder than the weather in Green Bay, making just one of their first 11 shots. So then as a fan you hope that the coach fires them up at halftime and they come out of the locker room looking more like the #13 team? Not so much. They came out at hit just 2 of their first 9 shots.

While doing my research, I read quite a bit of anti-Crean talk and I'm not sure what to make of it. Certainly the two losses have been beyond disheartening for a fan. The talk about the fact that Marquette has had a veritable revolving door of assistant coaches probably holds the most credence.

There is no way that Marquette is the team that it is right now without Tom Crean. From the Final Four appearance to the Big East move to the Al Center on campus to recruiting, Marquette left the slump of the 80s and 90s thanks to Tom Crean. The question now is whether he's the guy to lead them from here.

I read some chatter about how Crean knows how to recruit the big men, but doesn't know how to coach him. I don't know enough to know whether this is true.

It seems that the consensus is that Crean's in do-or-die mode this year and next. We have a killer incoming recruiting class. Thus far, Dominic James hasn't done enough to make him declare and leave early, meaning James, Matthews and McNeal will all be back.

If Crean can't do it with this team, he can't do it and it's time to move on.

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