Monday, March 2, 2009

Cup O' Jones : Marquette Recap

- The senior-leaders took the Cards to victory Sunday against Marquette. Both Terrence Williams and Andre McGee had big games and made big shots to help propel the Cards. Williams had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists and continues to be the most well-balanced player in the nation. If the Cards can win the next two behind good performances from Williams, he should most definitely be the front-runner for BIG EAST POY. It is next to remarkable how Williams has gone from an erratic and undependable player to someone who's reliability and poise is unmatched. His play has finally caught up with his cockiness and now all the showmanship and care-free attitude is understood - that's just how he stays loose. His two threes at the end of the first-half kept Louisville in control at a time in which they were losing it. Only one more game at the Hall for our boy T-Will.

- Make sure you go vote for T-Will for the SENIOR CLASS AWARD - once a day.

- I guess Buckets McGee wants the last memories the Freedom Hall faithful have of him to be positive. he has always played his role and sometime (like today) he steps up the play when the team needs it. Love when he gets to show off the leaping ability. He, like Jerry Smith, is getting somewhat of a bad wrap this season for not having more games like this. My question is who is he going to take shots away from? If he's open, he should shoot and he does shoot - making 35%. His role is to get the offense moving and play tough defense and he fills his role well. I am beginning to believe if one of the for main guard have a good scoring day the rest of the team will take care of the rest. It is the times when neither do well that the Cards struggle.

- The throwbacks were awesome and need to go on sale at Cardboard Heroes or the Campus store as soon as possible. Just plain white with red trim and lettering - sweet and simple. It also looked like 90% of the fans participated in the annual "White-Out". To those that didn't, I'm with you that the gimmick has lost it's luster and is boarder line stupid, however it makes it look like we have out-of-touch fans when some don't participate - next time just bite the bullet and wear some white. Even Pitino got into the act for the second year in a row, donning a St. Peter-white suit. This year he remembered to wear white drawers, instead of the blue that showed through and forced him to change last year.

- Earl Clark is continued his stellar play. 10 points and 13 boards in 39 minutes is a hell of a game. I think that is the most minutes he has played all year. However, he can't go the whole game without doing a couple things that make you shake your head in frustration. He did score a bucket for the other team around the 15 minutes mark in the second half - an honest mistake. The bad/lazy passes are what Earl needs to cut sown on because they have somewhat overshadowed his emergence as a double-double machine. I have said it before now, but after today I expect to see the mean and nasty Earl from here on out.

- I couldn't tell whether it was the press that was wearing Marquette out or their complete inability to consistently make an open shot. Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews went a combined 9-33 from the field (3-14 from 3) and Marquette still had an opportunity to tie the game at the end. The smallish Eagles tied the Cards in rebounding, took one more shot and 6 more free throws, yet the Cards never trailed in the second half. I feel like the eagles were given ample opportunity to get back in the game and take the lead, but they simply couldn't knock down a shot. Buzz Williams' team shot a sub-par 34%. They shoot 40% and probably win. It will take them a few games to adapt to life without Dominic James, but once they do they will be dangerous - if it's not too late.

- The Cards showed they can play at any pace Sunday. It seems like they would prefer a quicker pace, but they showed they can stand up to the test if a team tries to slow-down and play a methodical, Big Ten-style game. Pitino touched on that in his post-game news conference:
"The good thing about our basketball team, and we've scored 90 the past couple of games, is we can play fast and we can play slow. That's a good thing. If we're in a fight with Pittsburgh or Marquette, we can hold our own. If we're in a running game, we can hold our own. So we really -- we have to improve our foul shooting, there's no question about that, especially Samardo because he's going to get fouled a lot -- but we're doing a very good job right now."

- The Cards will have an emotional game on Wednesday as Terrence Williams, Andre McGee, Will Scott and Earl Clark will be honored in "Senior Day" ceremonies. Clark will be honored as a junior a la Francisco Garcia because it's almost a given that E5 is gone to the NBA following the season. Seton Hall and squirrelly coach Bobby Gonzalez will be in t
own trying to spoil the party. Remember last season when Jeremy Hazel and the Pirates unexpectedly torched the Cards at their place. Gonzalez is a nut-bag and hated amongst the coaching fraternity, so if you're at the game make sure and give him a "warm Cardinal welcome". Like the same "warm welcome" you would give Billy Clyde, Tom Crean, Calipari or Huggins

Starting 5

1. Pat Forde - - T-Will the life of the Louisville party and key to the Cardinal success (Awesome article by Forde on the always entertaining T-Will. He better get free McDonald's for the rest of his life.)
2.Associated Press - Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida (Never heard of either of these guys, but our prayers are with they're families that they come back safe and sound)
3.The Arena - Bill Simmons Has a Potty Mouth (ESPN's Simmons was joined by one of the funniest guys on earth, Adam Carolla, on his podcast and it sounds like something that should be on the Howard Stern show - which isn't a bad thing at all)
4. Bill Simmons - - Welcome to the No Benjamin Association (the aforementioned Simmons discusses the poor state of the NBA - selfishly, if the NBA goes into a labor dispute it will do nothing but help college basketball.)
5. Nina Mandell - - Don't count Marquette out yet...and other thoughts on Sunday action (Mandell seconds my notion that we haven't heard the last of Marquette despite the loss of James)

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