Unrelated: Marquette and Villanova played a basketball game and Marquette won by 4, 82-78. Thanks to loyal reader Joe McCann for providing us with a ticket from today's game.
But enough of that ridiculous basketball nonsense: You're here for more information about James Breeding!
Today was the 13th game that James Breeding refereed in the month of January, and all in just a 26 day span. This is what his travel itinerary has looked like (The starting point marked with A is on Newark, NJ and is hiding behind the J):
Yeah, that doesn't look like a picnic, even if he is flying from city to city.
In any case, in the previous 12 games that he's refereed, Breeding issued 5 technical fouls. Apparently traveling over 10,000 miles makes a guy cranky, as Breeding issued THREE technical fouls during today's game between Marquette and Villanova. First, Villanova head coach Jay Wright was issued one after Maalik Wayns was called for an offensive foul in the first half. The Wildcats were winning 23-9 at the time. This set Jay Wright off on such a temper tantrum that ESPN2 stayed with the Wildcats head coach instead of showing Darius Johnson-Odom shooting the first of two free throws.
Then, 5 minutes of game time later, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams was whistled for a technical foul after Johnson-Odom picked up his first personal foul of the game with Marquette trailing 33-23. Buzz reacted to DJO's foul by either A) falling backwards to the ground or B) losing his balance and falling to the ground. This was a grave offense to James Breeding.
After the first half ended with Breeding and his striped compatriots issuing 27 personal fouls (one every 44.4 seconds!), the players must have figured out how the referees wanted the game called, as only 20 were whistled in the second half. But with 6:14 remaining, Wayns uttered a profanity because he thought the referees blew a call. Breeding looked right at Wayns and issued his third technical foul of the game. DJO drained both free throws to start MU off on a 17-9 run to end the game and clinch the victory.
Oh, you wanted discussion of the basketball game? James Breeding will be so disappointed in you. Let's go after the jump for more.
Let's break it down into finer points:
- Surprising no one, Marquette went into holes of 3-0, 9-2, 14-3, 23-7, and 30-12 all in the first 10:36 of the game. Now, this obviously sounds disasterous. But Nova hit 7 of their first 9 shots, including all 4 three attempts, giving them an eFG% of 100% to that point. There weren't any blatantly terrible defensive plays by Marquette. Guys made shots.
- The general accepted point of view is that Vander Blue is an outstanding defender, right? No one's going to really argue this point with me, right? Then why did Vander play just 5 minutes in the first half when Marquette was falling into an 18 point hole before crawling back to within 10 at the half? Especially when five different players picked up 2 fouls, including Jamil Wilson with 3, while Blue had none at all? Blue played 11 minutes in the second half and STILL didn't commit a foul.
- To go back to the refereeing, late in the second half, Davante Gardner went to the rim, jumped, got popped in the forehead with an elbow strike that's illegal in the UFC, went down in a heap and didn't move. Play was not stopped for either Gardner's safety nor for a foul on the elbow strike. Because this was right at the rim, there was a referee approximately 5 feet away directly responsible for ONLY paying attention to what's happening in that general area.
- Today was a Coaches vs Cancer event. As such, Marquette wore pink Nikes out on the court while Buzz wore them as well along with a pink shirt and tie to go along with a snazzy pinstripe suit. Jay Wright, usually the classiest dresser in the Big East, got fashion tips from Bob Huggins and wore a Villanova track suit, because apparently wearing gym shoes with a suit is a criminal offense.
- Usually you can trust a college basketball game to get done in about 2 hours. Usually a little bit longer, but it's such a reliable timing that ESPN only blocks out 2 hours for each game on their TV schedule. Because there were 47 fouls called, this game went 2 hours and 33 minutes. Ridiculous.
- Junior Cadougan had only 3 assists matched against 5 turnovers. Most of his turnovers were of the "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" variety.
eFG%: MU - 43.8% Nova - 48.3%
TO%: MU - 20.2% Nova - 25.4%
OReb%: MU - 39.4% Nova - 33.3%
FT Rate: MU - 49.2% Nova - 41.7%
Points Per Possession: MU - 1.04 Nova - 0.99
Jimmy Butler Player Of The Game: DJO filled up the stat sheet for sure today: 26 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists. But I'm going to go to Jae Crowder here. The Absolut Weapon finished with a double double on 20 points and 11 rebounds. He added 4 assists and this is what I want to give him credit for: one of his two blocks in the game and both of his steals while playing with two fouls in the first half. While picking up the fouls in the first eight minutes wasn't great, when Buzz put Jae back in with the fouls, he made a big impact on the game to help MU drag the deficit down to just 10 at the break.
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle Of The Game: For the third consecutive game, Jamil Wilson recorded three blocks. One of the things that had to happen when Chris Otule went down with his ACL injury was Jamil had to step up his play, especially on defense. It's happening in a big way. Wilson also tossed in 12 points, grabbed four rebounds - three on the offensive end - and grabbed a steal as well.
Davante Gardner "Big Smooth" Smooth Play Of The Game: In the form of a traditional Smooth Play, DJO hit Vander Blue with an alley oop 90 seconds into the second half to cut the lead to 5. This is the only play that stands out in my mind, as the game never got any kind of rhythm to it to allow for anything else. In less traditional Smooth Plays, Gardner didn't even leave the game after he was elbowed in the head. He went down and stayed down for a while, but when play resumed after a rip in the net was repaired, the big man was still on the court.
Up Next: Can we PLEASE see a great start en route to a smothering of Seton Hall on Tuesday night? Please? It'll do everyone a lot of good, especially those of us who want revenge for last year's game at the Prudential Center.