col·lapse [kuh-laps] verb, -lapsed, -laps·ing, noun
verb (used without object)
1. to fall or cave in; crumble suddenly
Welcome back every one, to yet another edition of the "What the F*** Just Happened File" presented by Marquette Basketball. This week's episode features a familiar tale of a team on the verge of a statement win, on the road, against a top ten opponent, only to see that crumble before their eyes and result in a crushing defeat. It's become a familiar scenario to fans of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles over the past 5 years, so we really shouldn't be surprised by it - yet somehow we are.
In case you are just hearing about this game for the first time, here is the quick version of what went down. I haven't the heart to give you the long version... it's just too painful.
Marquette came out guns blazing to start the game. Darius Johnson-Odom was hot, the defense was forcing turnovers, the boys were getting out and scoring in transition, and Georgetown couldn't keep pace. The good guys led 43-29 at the half and all seemed right with the world.
Unfortunately, as we've learned over the years, being down double figures at half is exactly where you want to be against Marquette. It didn't seem that would be the case in this one at first. MU continued to pour it on early in the 2nd half. And when Todd Mayo drilled a three from the left corner, to extend the lead to 17 with 13 minutes to play, I actually made a point to commit that play to memory as the potential back-breaker. Much to everyone's disappointment, I could not have been more wrong. For some reason Coach Buzz called a timeout after that bucket went down, and the game got turned on its ear from that point on. Fast forward 12:30, and you find G'Town big man Henry Sims driving past Jae Crowder and kicking to a WIDE open Hollis Thompson for a 3-pointer. Ballgame. Son of a....
Awards and a few more thoughts after the jump. But only because we must.
- Field Goal Defense is a problem, we all know this. But in this game it was completely ridiculous, even for us. Georgetown shot an absurd 62.8% for the game. In the second half they shot 76.2%!!! I'm not smart enough to understand the advanced metrics but, for those of you who are, that comes out to be an eFG% of 86%!!! Even in the first half, when Marquette was playing "well" defensively, the Hoyas were still shooting 50% from the field. That was undone by their 13 first half turnovers.
- Defense wasn't the only issue. After hitting 17 field goals in the first half, Marquette made just 6 in the second. As the game tightened the hoop really seemed to get small for the Golden Eagles.
- Once Georgetown trimmed the lead under 10, I couldn't help but feel like this game was over. I've seen it too many times before. I don't know what it is about this team and big leads on the road. It's just a recipe for disaster.
- Darius Johnson-Odom was once again, hot for a half and then nearly invisible for a half. After scoring 13, and really setting the pace in the first, DJO scored just 5 points, shot 1-5 from the field, and made only 2 free throws in the final 12 minutes.
- The last Marquette possession, down 3 points... does anyone know what happened there? It looked to me like we came out of the timeout, and the plan was to let DJO dribble for 7 seconds then step up and shoot a 3-pointer with a guy right in his grill. That couldn't have been the plan... could it?
- Todd Mayo had his offense working for a good chunk of this game. The Spread was scoring on drives, shooting 3s, and probably making the Georgetown fans say "Who the hell is this Mayo kid?". But as we've said before, sometimes freshmen get a little freshmanie and in Todd's case that meant turning the ball over a team-high 6 times - 4 times in the second half.
- If you're looking for something positive out of this game, I guess I would look at Davante Gardner. The Big Nickname continues to show progression. Coming off the bench for a second straight game, Davante tallied 11 points, on 4-8 shooting, grabbed 4 boards, and made 3 steals. He also made a pair of nifty passes out of the post, to guys cutting down the lane. Both should've been lay-ups (and assists for Davante), but unfortunately both Jae and Jamil were unable to finish for the big man.
- Also, I suppose the fact that we've seen this act before could be seen as a "positive" in this instance. Last year's Louisville loss was doubly as devastating as this one, and the team still rallied to make an NCAA Tournament run. And there is still a helluva lot of season yet to play this year. So we shouldn't feel like this one loss is torpedo to the entire season. It's about as enjoyable as a kick to the man region right now, but it does not mean the year is over by ANY stretch of the imagination. There is still plenty of elation, and probably more heartbreak, yet to come this year. Such are the joys of college basketball.
Jae Crowder's 17 points and 8 boards will be good enough for this night.Player of the Game: I'm not particularly inclined to give this one out to anyone after that game. But I guess
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of The Game: Remember before the season, when there was talk of playing with Vander Blue as the point guard? Well get ready, because it's looking more and more like that is the way we're going to go. Vander impacted the game despite barely taking a shot, dishing out a team high 6 assists. And with Mayo playing fairly well, Blue served as the primary ball handler for a good chunk of the game. I'd love to say he played good defense, but no Golden Eagle appeared to play ANY defense, let alone GOOD defense.
Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smooth Play of the Game: Davante Gardner earns his name sake award for his first half DUNK. I think it might be the first time I've seen him throw it down in live game action, and I was pretty pumped up about it. So Davante, this Smoothie is for you.
Up Next: No time to mope about this one, because there' s another big game just 3 days away. (You've got to love the Big East.) Marquette travels to the ice planet Hoth to take on the top-ranked Syracuse Orange. What better way to get the taste of this awful loss out of our mouths than by knocking off the number one team in the land. 'Cuse will undoubtedly be looking for some retribution for the loss MU handed them in last year's NCAA tourney, so why not head up there and rub a little salt in the wound by handing them their first loss of this season. That tips off Saturday at 3:00pm. See you all then.