The Good News
1) The Marquette Golden Eagles went into Morgantown and for the first time in program history, emerged with a win against the West Virginia Mountaineers in a game I had figured as a loss for most of the season.
2) Jae Crowder ripped whatever few votes Kevin Jones still had left for Big East Player Of The Year away from him. Crowder played all 40 minutes, posting 26 points on 9-17 shooting, four rebounds, one assist, two blocks and two steals. Jones responded with 12 points on 5 of 14 shooting, including misses on all five three-pointer attempts, six rebounds and two assists. Both the points and rebounds were well below his season average.
This brings us to the bad news...
The Bad News
1) Marquette suspended Darius Johnson-Odom, Junior Cadougan, and Vander Blue for the entire first half and Todd Mayo for the second half, all for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
2) This is the second time this season that Johnson-Odom and Cadougan have been suspended.
3) This is the first time that Vander Blue has been suspended, but he was issued a municipal citation for battery back in October 2010 that eventually was bumped down to disorderly conduct.
With these four suspensions, it brings the unofficial single season record for suspensions in a season while I've been paying attention to Marquette basketball up to six. Now, we obviously don't know what triggered these suspensions nor will we ever find out. I have my own theories based on who was suspended, where the game was located, and other goings on this weekend in the basketball universe, but they're just theories.
On the post game interview with Homer & Mac, Buzz said that the violations were "unintentional" and "just a mistake." I'll ask the question: How do you unintentionally violate team rules? Are there double secret mystery rules that only Buzz and his staff know about?
Continuing the parade of ridiculous statements that Buzz made during that segment, he said, "The character of our guys shone through," and that "there ain't no Kool-Aid pumping" through Junior Cadougan in regards to plays that Cadougan made in the second half. I have a hard time taking that seriously. If there was an abundance of character to shine through, the four suspended players might have thought about what their actions were going to do to 1) the momentum of the team as a whole, 2) Jae Crowder's campaign for Big East Player Of The Year, and/or 3) Johnson-Odom's own POY campaign, which is now effectively dead. When it comes to Cadougan, it's patently absurd to talk about how much heart and how much blood is pumping through him to make big plays in crunch time when he didn't care to make sure he was going to play the entire game.
Whatever the violations were, this is uncalled for. If the messages of the coaching staff is not going to sink in after multiple suspensions, then maybe Marquette isn't the best place for those players to be any more. We will tolerate swagger, but we will not tolerate proven & continued disregard for team policies.
This brings us to #4 on the list of bad news: Buzz's post game dance.
I want to say this first: I think it's awesome and good for him for doing it if the moment struck him to do it. He's an emotional guy and sometimes he gets caught up in the moment. Sneaking out a win when you have to suspend half the available players for half the game is an emotional moment.
1) He knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Look at the GIF from our SB Nation overlords again. Right towards the end, he looks dead into the camera, smirks, and keeps going.
This is only made worse by his apology afterwards. You did it on purpose, you knew what you were doing, and you kept doing it after you knew ESPN was broadcasting it. This program is obviously more than happy to tolerate an outlandish coach prone to emotional outbursts (see also: McGuire, Al). Based on the reaction on Twitter last night, the only people who had a problem with it are West Virginia fans. Heck, I think Pittsburgh fans are trying to get an honorary doctorate issued for it. Don't apologize, Buzz. Own who you are and own the moment.
Returning to the suspensions, I leave the editorial decision up to you. Regardless of the win, I don't want to just let this slide by unnoticed. But I do realize that you all are the ones who have to read what's written here. I will abide by the will of the people.