Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OK, Enough Wallowing.

Taking our Packer hangover into Day 2 would probably qualify as overkill, and I have no more superlatives to hand out for Aaron Rodgers (OK, one more: Rodgers needs a better nickname than "A-Rodg"; I'm thinking "Brass Balls," if only because I'd love to hear Wayne Larivee say: "Oh, what a throw by Brass Balls!"), so I'm going to change the topic of discussion.

On Saturday, Marquette lost its third gut-punch game to a top 10 team. Though there were some more curious coaching decisions by Buzz in the waning moments of the game, I think I've sufficiently beaten that steed in previous posts.

Here's my question: at this point, with another close-but-not-quite-enough effort, it seems entirely likely that we're going to be this year's "Team That No One Wants to Play": we don't have height, we don't have depth, but, with our three-point shooting, we're never going to be completely out of a game. We'll scrap and we'll claw and, though we might not get over the hump, you're gonna fuckin' earn that victory when you play MU.

So: are you OK with being the TTNOWTP for this year?


Devil's Threesome said...

Is "Are you ok with MU playing in the NIT this year?" another way to frame this question?

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

well I guess the TTNOWTP is not a horrible thing to be in a year that was supposed to be a rebuilding year so yeah I'm okay with it and who knows maybe we beat the non-top 25 teams and pull out a win or 2 at home against top 25 teams and can sneak into the NCAA...I'd call that a successful year.

Devil's Threesome said...

Agreed with SBTG

Master Reid said...

I responded similarly to this query in a text discussion on Saturday. But I also added that while it's all well and good to be that team in your rebuilding year(s), I don't want to get stuck in that mode indefinitely. I hope that everyone within the program (Buzz) is looking at these moral victories through the proper lens. They're nice building blocks and all (except the WVU loss, that was a choke job), but they're not OK. And there can be no moral victories against the likes of Providence and DePaul.

That being said, we are on pace with E's Big East predicitions, with the toughest stretch of the schedule already behind us. I'm hoping we get the performances that we expect in the next couple games and can build some momentum for the rest of the year. Sneak in a W against Uconn or Cuse, and who knows.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

i'll say it again...I'm not going to be concerned until we lose to teams "we are supposed to beat". what that means I'm not so sure. I guess if we lose to a team that $ said we should beat then I'd start being concerned.

EMoney said...

"Are you ok with MU playing in the NIT this year?"

Ok isn't exactly the right word here. Due to the circumstances, making the NCAA is somewhat of a tall order. I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is, so I will just have to accept the fact that the NIT is more likely at this point. As Reid stated, my preseason predictions are right on line thus far which eventually led to a final record of 11-7 in conference. The toughest part of our schedule is behind us, but we still need to go 10-4 from here on out. Possible, but as we all know, no games are easy so we have to play near-perfect basketball from here on it......and NO absolutely NO slip ups to the bottom feeders of the league.

I am still concerned about our approach to these games.

1. We continue to rely to heavily on the 3-ball, and while we're shooting it at a good clip, it's not something that you can rely on every game throughout the season. I can easily see MU having a broke night of shooting against, say Depaul, who then steals a game that MU needs to win. The guys don't seem to move and cut as much as they were early in the season in the Old Spice Classic. Due to this, we're constantly settling for jumpers......and as a consequence of this, our lack of aggressiveness hasn't been drawing many fouls, which in years past would put us in the double bonus with plenty of time to play. The double bonus would have definitely come in handly the last 2 weeks!

2. Defense - Yes we've played 3 very good teams, but that's no excuse for the shooting percentages that we are allowing our opponents to shoot. Time will tell whether or not it was talent based, but if we allow the likes of St.Johns, Rutgers, Providence, etc. to shoot 45% +, the 11-7 prediction is out the windown and we'll probably be struggling for 9-9.

I think the next 2 games will be very telling.

Rubie Q said...

But I also added that while it's all well and good to be that team in your rebuilding year(s), I don't want to get stuck in that mode indefinitely.

As I told Reid on Saturday, this is the part that concerns me.

A lot of people have said they're OK with missing the Tourney this year because it's a rebuilding year. But have you looked at our roster for next year? We lose 'Zar and Cubbie and Acker, and we'll have, by my count, at least four players (Cadougan, Otule, Jones and Vander) with zero meaningful experience. Doesn't that scream 'rebuilding mode' to you?

Master Reid said...

Thus the "year(s)". And that's the part that is concerning. We'll be leaning pretty heavily on some inexperienced kids again next year, without the stabilizing force of a guy like Lazar Hayward. We may very well be having these same conversations next year. I don't want this to become a trend.

EMoney said...

I have to agree with the last 2 comments from Rub and Reid. Going into this season, we had the tempered expectations but were slightly optimistic for the '10/'11 season due to this year's strong recruiting class. The likes of Junior, JMay, EWill, and Otule would have had a full year under their belts.....couple that with Jimmy's senior season, solid play from the 2 juco guards in Buycks and DJO, along with another nationally ranked recruiting class meant we would likely have had a deep and talented team. Before we could blink, Junior blows his ACL, Otule has season ending surgery on his foot, JMay unexpectedly leaves the team, and EWill just wasn't ready to get major min's as a freshman.

Now, I'm afraid that.....

1) we are in rebuilding mode and NIT bound this year
2) Buzz's "unique" personality/coaching style wears on the players. I hope JMay's fallout doesn't have a trickle down effect
3) next season we will still be in rebuilding mode due to all of the unfortunate circumstances this past fall.

As Reid states, I just hope it's not a trend. Prospects seem to flock to hot teams. It's hard enough to pull guys into Milwaukee, WI....it's going to be even harder if we start losing. Losing means irrelevance. Irrelevance means reduced face time on espn. Reduced face time on espn means less exposure for prospects = Not attractive to the types of players that we need to bring in in order to be competitive year in and year out.

I'm not saying the sky is falling....just saying it's easy to let things slip. See Depaul

EMoney said...

Not to freak anyone out, but yesterday someone on the MU boards posted Jamail Jones' facebook status as.......(paraphrasing)"starting to regret my decision".

Could mean any number of things but with the recent run of bad luck, I tend to think the worst. That's all we need.....again.

Rubie Q said...

Exhibit A in "Why Facebook is the Devil" (after Bo, of course). That could mean anything -- he might've dumped his girlfriend, for all we know.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

losing zar will hurt but acker and cubie are certainly replacable...i think even as freshmen vander is better vs. cubie and junior is better vs. acker.

saw the facebook msg but i am not concerned...like rubie said could be a gf, swtching hs, fucking a girl with the clap, who knows.

next year could be a bit of a rebuilder but for 11/12 we lose jimmy and dwight...and hopefully buzz can recruit over that loss. i personally believe we are improved next year and beyond that will depend on how buzz fills the two open scholarships.

ps sorry for poor spelling and lower caps i am typing on my cell on a train