So, Sunday's game at Louisville didn't go so well. For the most part, that's fine. Pretty much everyone had that one penciled in as an L since the schedule was announced. But one guaranteed way to change the tone from "meh, no biggy" to "what the hell is wrong with this team?" would be to come out and have a misstep Wednesday night in Tampa. Fortunately, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles appeared to be very aware of that fact when they took the floor against South Florida for the second time in 10 days. Also fortunately, USF is not good.
Marquette opened the scoring with a Junior Cadougan 4-point play, and that seemed to set the theme of the night: South Florida miscues leading to Marquette points. MU led by 5 at the first TV timeout, and by 10 at the second TV timeout. An 11-0 run in the middle of the half extended the lead to 18 and the pretty much broke the game open. USF continued to inexplicably dribble into traffic and the opportunistic Golden Eagles were perfectly happy to turn those mistakes into easy buckets. By half the lead had ballooned to 23, and things were pretty much academic from there.
Marquette wasn't the model of sharpness in the second half, but it really didn't matter. The closest USF ever got was 20. And on a night when the road was unkind to a lot of teams around the Big East, and around the country, MU takes care of business and wins the laugher that we had long been waiting for.
- After dropping 30 on the Bulls last Monday, Vander Blue had a quiet 13 points on 5-11 shooting in this one. But he scored all but 2 of those points the second half, and was a big reason that South Florida never even threatened to threaten.
- There was some speculation as to whether or not USF might have any plans to retaliate against Davante Gardner for the elbow he delivered to the noggin of Zach Leday in the teams' first meeting. There were no such shenanigans directed towards Davante. However, the Bulls' behemoth of a man, Jordan Omogbehin, did receive a "Flagrant 1" after getting tangled up with Chris Otule, late in the second half.
- The Marquette defense was pretty good Wednesday, holding South Florida to just 16 points in the first half and 47 for the game. But it's hard to say exactly how good, because South Florida was so bad on offense.
- I continue to be confounded by Jamil Wilson. I don't know if my expectations are just completely out of whack or what, but I keep waiting for more and it never comes. Tonight there were a few times when he was able to take his man off the dribble and get to the rim. I thought "Yes! Do that more!" Then I would shake my head as he settled for jumpers on his next 5 shots. Maybe that's what he's being asked to do, and the coaches don't want him attacking the rack all the time? I don't know. But I just wonder sometimes. Wednesday: 10 points, 3-9 shooting.
- Mike Patrick was on the call for this one. I like Mike. I have enjoyed hearing him call games over the years. I think he seems like a nice enough guy and I wish him no ill will. But he just does not seem sharp. His repeated mispronunciations of names and simply creating incorrect names out of thin air (Zach Mayo), are tough to watch.
- Four players scored in double figures for MU and Davante Gardner was not one of them. I found that surprising.
- Remember: All road wins are good wins. Especially down in the Sun Dome, where weird s**t happens every now and again.