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Sleeping with the Enemy: Marquette Golden Eagles

Happy Martin Luther King day, everybody!  Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown get set to do battle with Marquette tonight and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us are our best blog friends at Anonymous Eagle, your source for everything Golden Eagle on the internet.  If you think we've got it bad, check this out.  Let's do this!

Mutual Big East disappointments internet high-five! How you been, bro?

Here's how I spent my Sunday: we went to Toys R Us to try to find tricycles for our twins' birthdays. I tried to be all business -- focus on the mission, don't make eye contact with anyone, get in, get out -- but I absentmindedly wandered into the Aisle of Assorted Elmo, and was transfixed by an Elmo that had his trou around his ankles and came packaged with a miniature toilet. As I tried to figure out what the hell this was -- Elmo Takes a Twosie? Elmo's First Hangover? -- I noticed a man hand a regular Elmo to a small child. The child looked at the Elmo for a couple seconds, poked him, shook him, then WIPED HIS NOSE on Elmo's head and handed it back to the man, who quickly returned it to the shelf.

Sadly, after watching Marquette gack all over itself in the second half and overtime against Butler on Saturday, my experience at Toys R Us was only the second-most disgusting thing I've seen this weekend.

So we lost a kid to a torn ACL who was then kicked out of school (Whittington), have a kid with a broken jaw (Trawick) and another kid with a broken brain (Smith), what's your excuse?


First, we lost a kid to a terminal case of the "I don't wanna's" when JUCO transfer Jameel McKay bolted town in September. I'm really not sure what he was expecting to happen after he spent most of May and all of June, July, and August on campus before school started, but something about how Buzz planned on using him after TWO FRACKING PRACTICES had him running to the warm, transfer-welcoming embrace of Fred Hoiberg and Iowa State. Then Duane Wilson, the guy expected to push Derrick "No Relation" Wilson at point guard, turned up with a stress fracture in his leg. He ended up redshirting this year, leaving MU with a grand total of -- carry the five, subtract a billion -- one-half of a legitimate option at point guard and zero legitimate options at point guard who can shoot.

And that's just the preseason stuff. Three games into the year, someone in either the coaching staff or the training staff said, "Hey, y'all think Steve Taylor ain't right?" Turns out the kid's leg muscles haven't properly recovered from the atrophy they suffered after off-season surgery to remove a benign growth in his knee. So after being pretty effective while starting (essentially on one wheel), including a nine rebound outing against Ohio State, Taylor's been mostly nailed to the bench -- with no hope of a medical redshirt, of course, since he played like 17 too many minutes to qualify or some shit.

I can't quite recall a year where the favorite to win the Conference has struggled so badly right out of the gate. What's been the biggest missing ingredient for Marquette this season?

Ingredient, singular? Does "can't score" count as an ingredient, or is that a whole recipe? Anyways, we have a starting backcourt that consists of a 2-guard who can only do one thing (and he's not especially amazing at shooting 3s, but when you consider he's shooting like 8% on 2-point attempts, it looks kind of amazing by comparison), and a point guard who's so unintimidating that teams don't have the man who's guarding him leave the paint. Then there's the general lack of on-floor leadership, despite having four seniors and a 22-year-old junior, all of whom get major playing time. We have no alpha-dog shotmaker to get us baskets when things get dicey. Our most reliable scorer is a post player who tends to disappear late in games, whether it's due to poor design, fatigue, or just the fact that he's a post player and that's just what happens to post players late in games.

You want me to sum all that up in one missing ingredient? Well that's easy: Vander Blue.


What the hell was Vander Blue thinking leaving school early?

I don't know the kid personally, but I'm going to guess it went something like:

"I have to go this year. I'm coming off a great run in the Tournament which everyone saw. My flaws this year (i.e. less than stellar jump shooting, shaky handle) are still going to be there next year, barring some kind of run in with a genie or something. So even a lights-out senior season isn't going to elevate my stock any higher than it is right now. AND next year there's going to be at least eight definite first rounders (Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Exum, Embiid, Gordon, Smart and probably some foreigner that I've never heard of that the Bucks some idiot team will undoubtedly draft way too high) entering the draft, taking up eight of those 60 possible draft spots, and pushing the rest of us down the ladder. If I want to have any chance of actually getting picked, I have to go NOW."

Or perhaps something like: "Yo, f*ck school. It's time to get paid."

Either way, it's hard to disagree with his rationale.

Who are some of the players that Georgetown will need to be aware of tonight?

Absolutely none of them.

No. Seriously.

Marquette has two crazy efficient post scorers in Davante Gardner and Chris Otule. But here's the secret that every team outside of DePaul has figured out: we don't have anyone who can get those two the ball in effective places. This is mostly because Marquette can't shoot, and opposing defenses pack the lane and make it impossible for Ox and Otule to maneuver. These are MU's best four "shooters," minimum four 3-point attempts: Jake Thomas (.367), Todd Mayo (.310), Jamil Wilson (.304), and Jajuan Johnson (.292), and Johnson's not likely to play after spraining his ankle in practice on Wednesday.

Now, here's the part that's been super fun for every Marquette fan this year: Buzz is apparently totally cool with this lot hoisting 3s to their heart's content. Witness: 0-10 in the second half while choking away a 12-point lead against Butler on Saturday, on the heels of another 0-10, second-half performance from deep while nearly giving away a game to Seton Hall last week. If any of your players comes within 5 feet of any of Marquette's perimeter players, he should have his scholarship yanked on the spot.

Results of our teams aside, what are your thoughts on the Big East thus far? Anyone outside of Villanova, Creighton and Xavier actually make the Dance?

I actually like Providence's chances. The combination of Bryce Cotton, LaDontae Henton, and Kadeem Batts gives them a variety of options when they need a bucket, and they just seem like they're fun to watch. Even if they hadn't beaten Creighton this weekend, I still would have waved a flag for the Friars here (just maybe a smaller one). I'm concerned about their depth after they needed Cotton and Josh Fortune to play all 50 minutes in the double overtime game against St. John's, but Ed Cooley's doing a hell of a job there.

As for the conference as a whole, I got a bit nauseous on Sunday morning watching Mike Broeker, Marquette's deputy athletic director, chide ESPNU on Twitter for leaving the Big East out of a graphic showing the conferences with the most teams in the top 50 of ESPN's dumb BPI ratings.

Like: do you really want people to take a look at this clownshow and see the mess we're making over here, dude? (Note: it's entirely possible that the nausea had more do to with the the bourbon from Saturday night that was required to try to forget about what happened on Saturday afternoon, though.)

What's the best movie you saw this Oscar season and why?

I just took a peek at the movies nominated for Best Picture, and it confirmed what I suspected: unless Oscar is one of those goofy-ass narrow gauge engines who hangs around with Skarloey and Sir Handel (Thomas the Tank Engine inside jokes WHAT'S UP NOWWWWWW), I haven't a goddamn clue what we're talking about.

(Although Mrs. Q and I did watch "Hot Fuzz" last night, which was outstanding and cemented my belief that Simon Pegg should be in everything. Also: thanks for not telling me about "Hot Fuzz" earlier, dickheads. It's like six years old. I could've watched it a dozen times by now.)

Let's say you walk into a bar with some of your buddies on a Saturday night. What's your drink order?

Hold up. I get to go out by myself on a Saturday night? You're gonna watch these two-year-olds? Hey, you're alright, man. There's no food in the house except for some peanut butter and a banana, but there's a number for the pizza place on the fridge, so long as you brought your own cash. Also the kids get up at 5:45 and the dog will pee in the house if you don't let her out right away, so you should probably just sleep on the floor in the kitchen so you're ready to go first thing in the morning. Use the cat as a pillow. K BYE thanks again.

Anyway: I'd like to impress you with my drink order, but if I get anything stronger than beer, I'll be asleep on the bar in 15 minutes. A mug of your finest ale that won't get me shitty in three sips, please.

It's going to be difficult for Buzz Williams to get the Texas job after this season, right?


Oh, right. We don't have anything to say about it.

Tangential Buzz story: remember the episode of "Seinfeld" where George started wearing sweatpants all the time, prompting Jerry to tell him that the message he was sending to the world was "I give up, I can't compete"?

For some reason, that kept running through my head when Buzz showed up on the sidelines of the Butler game wearing this (disturbingly form-fitting) Nike sweatshirt-ish thing on Saturday. "I'm miserable, so I might as well be comfortable."

I'm angry that we won't get the Davante Gardner - Josh Smith matchup. I'm also angry that certain bottles of beer aren't twist-offs. What, if anything, are you angry about, generally?

Lena Dunham. I don't get it, man. I mean, before we give her eighty more awards for Girls, can one of us sit her down and say: "Lena, it's wonderful that you've accomplished so much at such a young age, but honest to God, I've watched three episodes of your show and I speak for 98% of American when I say: none of us have the first fucking clue what you're talking about"?

Final score prediction?

Marquette and Georgetown are like the yin and yang of terrible basketball this season, so I imagine we'll open up a 10-point lead in the first half, and then you'll take a 10-point lead in the second half, and we'll come back to tie it only to have Jake Thomas foul Markel Starks like 60 feet from the basket and Georgetown wins on a free throw, 44-43.

Just wake me when it's over.