1. We Might Need To Talk About A Lineup Change
I don’t know if I’m at the point where I’m saying it needs to happen, though. On one hand, it’s only been a recent trend of the offense struggling (3 of the team’s 7 worst offensive performances have come in the last 4 game). On the other, they’re not necessarily in a position where they have the luxury of being able to wait out struggles until they return to normalcy. I’ll simply lay out what has been going on and let you decide what you want, even though your opinion doesn’t matter.
I made a tweet thread a couple days ago based on this article that breaks down how Marquette performs when both Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey are on the floor and when one or the other is on the floor. The basic takeaway is that when both players are in the game, Marquette posts elite offensive numbers and horrendous defensive numbers. When only one is playing, the offense becomes merely Very Good, while the defense vastly improves. If you want it broken down by efficiency margin (definition linked. A good team will generally be 15 and above, for context), it goes like this:
Howard and Rowsey: 5.32
Rowsey and no Howard: 16.27
Howard and no Rowsey: 22.14
The difference among almost solely lies in the team’s defensive rating change. But you are an astute observer of basketball. You know that playing two guys that I could high five at the same time will lead to some defensive issues, but we kind of assumed that they both need to be playing together to keep the offense going. But it doesn’t have to be this way, especially with the weird trend of only one of them performing well on a given day. Not including yesterday, the duo had shared the court on 59.3% of possessions, a number that would certainly be higher if it weren’t for foul issues by both of them. It might be worth considering bringing that number down in favor of Sacar Anim, Greg Elliott, and Jamal Cain getting minutes.
2. The Margin For Error is Thinner Than Mick Cronin’s Skin
The path to the tournament will essentially be determined by their performance against Providence, Seton Hall, and both Creighton games. Providence is finally about as healthy as they can be, Seton Hall is definitely still good even if they’re not as great as we initially thought, and then Creighton is just annoying. Marquette needs to go 2-2 in those games. It can certainly happen, but it almost needs to.
I’ve focused a lot on the regular season record because I wouldn’t count on winning a meaningful game in the Big East Tournament. If they get wind up as a 7 seed in the conference, then they’ll likely play St. John’s followed by Xavier. If they’re the 6 seed, then they’ll play the 3 seed, which I’d bet ends up being Creighton. Yeah, anything can happen, but take care of business at home and they can avoid being desperate at The Garden.
Speaking of “being desperate at The Garden,” what’s up with Italian Nachos from Olive Garden?
3. Your Olive Oil Is Probably Fraudulent
I don’t have any more thoughts on Marquette, so I’m going to talk about olive oil. I love it. It runs through my Mediterranean blood. I don’t even buy butter anymore and you shouldn’t either. You life will be changed when you eat scrambled eggs coated in the best fat money can buy. I only get mine when I’m in Omaha because Orsi’s is the greatest Italian market on Earth and I trust them with my life.
The $10 bottle you get on the shelf at the grocery store is probably just some other oil that someone dropped an olive in.
Olive oil fraud is a real thing. Italian authorities arrested 33 members of a mafia family and seized $42.8 million in assets for charges that included murder, money laundering and olive oil fraud, which is probably the most stereotypically Italian thing to have ever happened.
The five top-selling olive oil brands in the US failed to meet legal standards 55% of the time, according to some weirdos who really wanted to study this. Cold-pressing olives is expensive and diluting it with generic vegetable oil (olive are fruits, which is something I didn’t know) is not.
This is a lesson in how everything you love is fake. But all hope is not lost. There are some honest olive pressers out there. The rule of thumb that has been passed down to me is that you should only buy olive oil from dark bottles or those bigass tins that you see every Italian mother keep under her sink. What I’ve recently learned is that finding a harvest date that on the bottle means that they didn’t just repackage old and stale olive oil. You should also taste it if you are able to. If it has something of a peppery aftertaste, then it’s likely good.
Honestly, just go to your local Italian market and ask the oldest person there which is the best. I promise you that it will make your cooking experience so much better.