That's What They Said: Nashville Heist Edition

Here's the chatter around the Interwebs following Marquette's deflating loss to Vanderbilt last night:

Let's get to the elephant in the room right away: on the last play of the game, as he rushed up the court to attempt a last-second shot, Darius Johnson-Odom was fouled.  He knows it.  Jimmy Butler knows it.  Jim Burr knows it.  Hell, even the Vanderbilt player who did his best Cobra Kai impression ("SWEEP THE LEG!") last night knows it:

Vanderbilt forward Jeff Taylor isn't sure if Darius Johnson-Odom slipped or tripped trying to drive to the basket at the end of the game.

He is very, very glad a foul wasn't called. ...

"I think he just stumbled or stepped on somebody's foot toward the end," Taylor said. "I think my heart almost stopped because I think they were going to call a foul. I thought we were really lucky a foul wasn't called, and we're just happy to get the win and that he fell."

More blather, after the jump.

In his recap in this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Professional Journalist Todd Rosiak isn't so sure that there was a foul on the last play, but he's paid to be objective and shit, so we can disregard this:

MU (9-4) got the ball back with a chance to win, but Darius Johnson-Odom's sprint with the ball coming out of a timeout ended with the junior guard seemingly tripping over teammate Vander Blue about 25 feet away from the basket as the freshman tried to set a screen. The ball bounced away as time expired.

"It was supposed to be a brush screen for me," Johnson-Odom said. "I was trying to get to the rim. At first I got hit on the arm, and then I tripped. I don't know if it was a tough call for them to make or whatnot, but that was the play."

In his blog post after the loss, Rosiak noted that the post-game coach's press conference turned into a coaches' press conference, when Vandy's Kevin Stallings joined Coach Buzz for a brief jam session:

[T]hat was the scene in the bowels of Memorial Gym on Wednesday night, as Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings popped into the interview room about halfway through Buzz Williams' post-game remarks, and then jumped up onto the dais and sat shoulder-to-shoulder with him.

"Your team played a hell of a game," Stallings said.

"Yeah, I know," Williams replied. "How many consecutive possessions do you think you guys scored there in the middle of the second half? I mean, we didn't get a stop."

"Well, I beg to differ," said Stallings. "We shot 47 percent and y'all shot 61 percent in the second half. So who didn't get stops? It was a dunk-layup line on our turnovers."

"Well, I understand," Williams said. "(We got outscored) 21-6."

"We've had like, three people shoot over 40 percent against us this year. You shot 56 percent," Stallings said. "We couldn't guard you a lick. But we had a harder time guarding you than you did us."

Paul Imig talked to Jae Crowder after the game, and the dreadlocked one was looking for silver linings:

In the locker room, coach Buzz Williams and the players are attempting to look at it as something to build upon entering Big East play beginning on New Year's Day.

"I'm proud of how we've taken the losses and used them as learning experiences for our young players to grow up," junior forward Jae Crowder said by phone after the game.

"It's going to be like this almost every night in Big East play. Our goal is to use these losses as a learning experience. When you lose a ball game, that's the best thing you can do at this level."

Tim Blair at Cracked Sidewalks also found some positives in the loss:

Marquette shot an impressive 56% from the floor tonight and held the notable Commodore marksmen to just 26% from deep and 48% overall. Yet MU was unable to create a turnover advantage, connected on only 7 of 13 free throws, and as has been the case all season the Warriors struggled to control the defensive glass in key spots.

Ballin' is a Habit notes that Marquette's season bears a striking resemblance to last season:

Marquette now has four losses this season -- by five to Duke, by three to Gonzaga, by five to Wisconsin, and by one to Vandy. Last season, the same thing happened to the Golden Eagles, but midway through conference play they started figuring out how to win close games. They'll need that to happen again this year.

And let's end on that note: one year ago, after Da'Sean Butler knifed the Golden Eagles with a last-second prayer to steal a victory in Morgantown, we were wondering how Marquette could possibly recover from such a devastating loss.  It took a while, but it happened.  Of course, that's no guarantee that events will unfold similarly this season, but it's not time to jump off the wagon yet.

As Warrior Brad's boy Chris Martin would sing: "Everything's not lost."

(Hell yeah, I'm linking to Coldplay, if only to see what Admiral Ackbar's reaction will be.)

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