Sunday, February 22, 2009

Game 25 - Marquette: Part Deux

I said it after the second loss to Cincinnati and I feel the same exact way after yesterday's repeat loss to Marquette. We are just not a good team. We have the personnel, we have the coaches, and most importantly we have the talent. We just do not have the experience, yet. And that will come. But we will have to wait until next year.

I left the game shaking my head. We played so well for 35 minutes, just like we have in other losses. We showed so much promise, so much potential but could not maintain the momentum for the full game. I often talk about the Connecticut win as giving a false sense of hope for Hoyas fans but in reality the last few losses closely resemble the Memphis win, except for the outcome. In that game, we were badly outplayed and magically came away with a victory in overtime, which always seemed to be the case in previous years. Regardless of the score, we were the steady, calm and confident team that could slowly chip away at any lead and play exceptionally well under pressure. That is not this year's team. We came close at Syracuse but couldn't hit the shots when they mattered in overtime.

But potential doesn't mean anything when you keep losing. Amazingly, we still have a shot at making the tourney with two straight wins again Louisville and Villanova but I wouldn't count on it. We will lose just like we did to Marquette, in heart-breaking fashion. Some more quick thoughts:

- Turning point of the game was Monroe missing the front end of the 1 and 1 with 6 minutes left. He missed the shot, Summers picked up his 4th foul on the rebound and Jimmy Butler hit both of his free throws to make it a 4 point game.
- Said it before and will say it again, Monroe is not clutch.
- And he is soft and can't rebound. Lazar Haywood led both teams in rebounds. He is 5 inches shorter than Monroe.
- JT3 made his point with starting Nikita for three straight games but it has to end. Nikita is terrible. He had 5 fouls and 2 turnovers in 15 minutes of playing time. Put Sapp back in the starting lineup, at least I trust him with the ball.
- Welcome back bad-Bowman/Summers. Wild, out of control drives near the end of the game lost it for us. 5 turnovers, 5 fouls and 12 points. Not something to write home about.
- Looking at the numbers, it was actually one of our best offensive games. We hit more threes, jump shots, and field goals than we average against Big East opponents. And we had fewer turnovers.
- But we made and attempted fewer foul shots, and fewer of our field goals were from assists. And it was the second largest difference in turnovers in a loss this conference season. We had 12 turnovers, Marquette had 6.
- Officiating was poor. 6 fouls were called in the first 5 minutes of the game. Only 7 were called for the remaining 15 minutes of the half. Lot of hand checks and nothing down low. I don't care if you allow them to play rough; I actually think it is better. Just call the came consistently.
- Third acknowledgment of existence from Ed Hightower this season. I thought it was a good sign Georgetown was 2-0 when Hightower blows kisses in my direction. I was wrong. We lost.
- Sucks we lost on the 25th anniversary celebration of the national championship. But still not as bad as when Darrel Owens hit two free throws in 2005 to seal a victory against Villanova on the day they were celebrating their 20th anniversary of defeating Georgetown in the great upset in NCAA championship history. And oh, the free throws left the final score at 66-64, which was coincidently was the final score of the game they had won 20 years earlier. So things could be worse.
- Maryland beat #3 UNC and Vasquez put up one of the best performances this year by any player. Things can't get worse.


Good talk.

1 comment:

T^3 said...

B^2,

The other big issue is that we're a much weaker defensive team than in previous years. No lockdown defender, no bruiser inside to clear out space.

I miss Patrick Ewing Jr.

Manly, and looking forward to the day 15+ years from now when I can say "I'm 40",

T^3