First of all, my apologies for not putting up these posts sooner. I was out of town for the weekend and didn't get a chance to do any writing on MU basketball (you know how it is with the holiday season and all). Anyways, after losing a close one to Duke, Marquette lost in typical fashion to Gonzaga, and then won in typical fashion over crosstown rival UW Milwaukee. Here's a review of both games:
Shooting and rebounding were what killed MU in this game, as the golden eagles again fell short, losing 66-63. As a team, they shot 29% from the field and a pathetic 29% from beyond the arc. DJO's shooting woes continued, going 4-12 from the field. The Zags out-rebounded us 42-26, and had 11 more offensive boards than we did. If you look at last year's stats (according to Buzz), we shot a lot better on second-chance field goals than we did on first-chance field goals. Assuming that this still holds true, we're shooting ourselves in the foot by not getting these offensive boards (you think Buzz might work on boxing out in the next week? Absolutely).
Jimmy Butler was his usual spectacular self, playing nearly the entire game at 38 minutes and scoring 22 points. Jae Crowder put up 10 points and an astounding 5 blocks. Even though Cadougan and Crowder both came off the bench, they each played for 25 and 32 minutes, respectively (basically says that starting vs. coming off the bench doesn't mean much to Buzz).
One positive note for the team was on turnovers. MU won the turnover battle 16-10 and only turned the ball over on 15% of their offensive possessions. Baby steps, guys. Baby steps.
I had predicted this would've been a Marquette victory, but ended up on the short end of the stick. Gonzaga's a good team, but to show you're a good team you have to beat other good teams, losing by 3 doesn't help your cause.
This game was waaaaay to close for comfort, as MU pulled out a 75-72 victory and is now 38-0 all-time against the panthers. Rebounding plagued this team again, especially offensively, with 2 offensive boards (no, that's not a typo) vs. UWM's 11 and 21 overall vs. UWM's 31. Other than a 19% turnover rate, there really weren't any other sore spots for this game. This does show though how crucial rebounds can be. Let's hope we figure this out quickly before those farm-fed boys from Madison roll into town.
The bright spot for this game? None other than Darius Johnson-Odom. DJO finally came out of his shell and put up a career-high 29 points and shot an impressive 71% from downtown (5-7).
MU has the week off before taking on Longwood on Saturday. Ken Pomeroy has us projected to win by 31, so let's hope we can use this game to fine-tune our weak spots (ahem, rebounding, ahem).