Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
This Christmas weekend, I went to Costco to buy diapers and TP in bulk and to stock up on frozen waffles and orange juice and fruit snacks and shrimp. After loading our cart with eight-packs of chicken breasts, I checked my phone to see what was happening in the Marquette-LSU game.
As I saw that a 22-point, first-half lead had evaporated in the span of ten minutes, I realized there had to be another way to recap this game.
Then, this morning, I noticed that it's December 23. And out of that, today's recap was born:
A Festivus recap for the rest of us.
AIRING OF GRIEVANCES
I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it.
WILLIAMS! My friends tell me that your team's defense STINKS. Your guys couldn't guard a team of fifth-grade girls if you had flamethrowers and were on horseback and ... I lost my train of thought. Anyway: you give up just 22 points in the first 15 minutes of the game, and then FIFTY-EIGHT in the last 25 minutes? The only other time LSU hit 80 points this season was against Chattanooga and against something called Northwestern State. That's the company we're keeping? POPPYCOCK.
LOCKETT! CADOUGAN! You're both seniors. You're old enough to know that the quickest way to let a team get up off the mat is by getting sloppy with the ball. And yet there you were, handling the rock like it was a raw turkey.
AND THE FOULS! There's the other tried-and-true method to keep a floundering opponent in the game: foul their jump shooters, which Lockett did twice in the waning minutes of the game.
AND THE ZONE OFFENSE! Hey, I've got an idea: you know that offense that was working great in the beginning of the game, when it looked like their was a parade down the paint as MU got layup after layup after layup? Let's ditch that, and instead chuck up 22 three-point attempts. Which leads us to ...
THOMAS! Actually, nevermind. Like Frank Costanza always said, if you've got nothing good to say, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU TRADE JAY BUHNER FOR?
FEATS OF STRENGTH
If I told you that Davante Gardner had a 19-3-5 line, what statistic would you pick for the "5"? Assists? Probably not. Blocks? Only if the opponent didn't start a player over 6'4". Turnovers? Hell no. That's STEALS, homey, the most important of which came when Charles Carmouche dribbled the ball of his foot with 20 seconds left, and our nimble Ox scooped the ball up, took a big hit, and calmly sank two throws to finish a 9-9 game at the stripe.
I don't think we've said this since Jae Crowder graduated, but Big Smoove's performance yesterday is exceedingly worth of a "man's game, b****" designation.
Apparently Coach Buzz singled out Chris Otule for praise in his post-game comments, noting that Big Chris shut down LSU stud Johnny O'Bryant III (who is somehow still not Irish) in the second half. I'm a bit skeptical of that observation, given the aforementioned "58 points in 25 minutes" note, but if Coach thinks Otule is showing signs of becoming the defensive force he was two years ago, fine by me.
Updating the tally on our official "Vander Blue had a quietly efficient 17 points" count: 2 games.
FESTIVUS POLE WINNER (f.k.a. the Jae Crowder Player of the Year of the Game): We have very few rules here, but one of them is: if a cat who stands taller than 6'6" finishes with as many steals as fingers on his right hand, he gets the Crowder award. So take a bow, Davante Gardner, and claim your prize, with its very high strength-to-weight ratio.
FESTIVUS MIRACLE (f.k.a. the Davante "Big Smoove" Gardner Smoove Play of the Game): The game was still very much in doubt with eight-and-a-half minutes to go, with Marquette clinging to a three-point lead after surviving an 8-0 run from the Tigers. That's when Jamil Wilson drilled a triple while absorbing contact from LSU's Shavon Coleman. After Wilson hit the throw to complete the four-point play, Marquette was up 7 and back in control (for a couple minutes, anyway).
UP NEXT: The kids take a week off to enjoy the holidays with their families, then return to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face North Carolina Central next Saturday.
Until then, remember: Festivus is not over until you pin me.