Archive | Sports

Winter Warriors

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Whoa. The Holidays came up pretty quick… I feel as though only last week I was day-raging during syllabus week. But, alas, the weather has turned and our attention must now be on staying warm through the coming months. So, what I have for you this week is my annual guide for how not to look like a high-schooler once it gets chilly out. Warriors, listen up.

I have a life philosophy that the true hallmark of being an adult is being comfortable no matter what. I say that, because a truly responsible and mature adult has enough experience, income, and self-respect to dress, and behave, appropriately regardless of climate. The question is, how do we do that?

First. You are in college now. You will be expected to have professional attire, and that means you’ll need a nice jacket or topcoat. Gentlemen, you are especially guilty of this. If you have a job/internship interview in December, showing up in a shirt and tie means nothing if you wore a ratty hoodie over it (in fact, I think hoodies should be relegated as solely workout gear). Don’t give me that, “But, Gus, I can’t afford it!” baloney. I bought a great peacoat from Old Navy for $25 freshman year, and I still have it. Peacoats are warm, comfortable, and they’ve been around FOREVER. Believe me, it won’t be going out of style any time soon. One thing, though, if you’re going to wear a peacoat, or topcoat, over a suit… Please, make sure its longer than your suit coat.

Second. Unless you actively have snowboarding boots on your feet and are on a slope, you can’t wear those huge puffy gloves. Primarily, because it makes you look like a child. Go to the TJ Maxx downtown, and you can find nice leather gloves for about $15. Get them in brown, black looks like you’re going to murder someone and don’t want to leave prints. $15 is too much? Walgreens sells those knit-stretchy things for $2. Buy a pair in navy blue. Yes, I know that neither of the above are great for snowballs, but… come on. You’re 20 now. (If you really must throw snowballs, go ahead and bring the puffys.)

Third. Ladies, wear a coat. Wear real pants. And stop, please stop, wearing Uggs. If I see one more girl out on a Friday night shivering because a coat was “too much to carry,” I’ll lose it. If its cold, wear a coat. I get that it might not allow you to show off some skin… But maybe reevaluate your outfit, and overall outlook on life, if that’s the case. I know I’m fighting a losing battle on the leggings front, so I’ll just ask nicely, please understand they aren’t really pants. And, you do realize “Ugg,” is not an ironic title, right? They are, in fact, ugly. But seriously, I am a gentleman, and if you are cold I will gladly offer my coat. But understand that then, I’M cold, and less likely to buy drinks.

Fourth. For some reason, although only a handful of us are qualified to climb mountains, a North Face fleece is essentially required on this campus. I love all of mine, and its one of my go-to gifts for Christmas, so go ahead and drop the cash on that. But realize, there are other similar and more inexpensive options. Almost every retailer has a fleece on their racks and most are much less of a hit on your wallet. Don’t get wrapped up in a label.

Fifth, and finally, let’s say you have your own style, which I advocate and admire, and wearing a coat isn’t really your thing… Two words: Long. Underwear. It isn’t just for guys sitting in a tree stand anymore. Buy the silk/polyester kind that’s really thin and you can comfortably wear it under almost anything. No one can tell, and they’re fairly inexpensive (again, see TJ Maxx).

There’s no reason you can’t look good when it gets all Wisconsin-y out, just follow the above rules, and your parents will be pleasantly surprised when you make it home for Christmas. So, with that, I close out my last column of the year, I wish y’all all the best for the Holidays.

Also, Follow me on Twitter: @GusElTigreLopez, I’m generally amusing and sometimes it isn’t even offensive!

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Marquette Men’s Basketball 2011-12 Season Predictions

Posted on 06 November 2011 by Ryan Ellerbusch

Coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament last March, the 2011-12 Marquette men’s basketball team is poised, hyped, and ready for the start of a new season. Buzz Williams is entering his fourth season as head coach of the Golden Eagles and there is a lot of optimism from both players and fans that this squad has the potential to accomplish great things. With the season fast approaching, blue and gold shirts and basketball jerseys are being worn more then ever on campus. It’s only a matter of time before The Bradley Center reopens its doors to the Marquette faithful as the “We Are Marquette” cheers will echo the arena in hopes for another great Golden Eagles’ run to postseason glory.

My BOLD Season Predictions:

  • Finish 5th in BIG EAST regular season standings
  • Advance to 3rd round quarterfinal of BIG EAST Tournament
  • Advance to Elite 8 round of NCAA Tournament

Regular Season Non-conference

11/11/11 vs. Mount St. Mary’s – 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Marquette will tip-off the season and get off on the right foot with a blowout win over the Mountaineers. This should be a fun game to watch because the entire Golden Eagles’ squad should see plenty of minutes. The road begins tonight and will not end until the Elite 8 round in late March.

11/14/11 vs. Norfolk State – 6:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The only challenge Marquette will face in this game is if they can draw enough fans to this Monday weeknight showdown against the Spartans to see yet another win in blowout fashion.

Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands)

11/18/11 vs. Winthrop – 7:30 p.m.

  • WIN : The first game overseas and on a neutral court for the Golden Eagles but they adjust to the different arena and take care of business to win game one.

11/19/11 vs. Mississippi/Drake – TBA

  • WIN:  Marquette continues to roll in game two of the tournament and advances. By this game, we should begin to see which players Buzz consistently starts and the rotations that will be used most often.

11/21/11 TBA

  • WIN:  Marquette will likely match-up with Virginia in the championship game of Paradise Jam if the favorites can pull through. Virginia has received a few votes in the pre-season polls, but have no where near the potential that the Golden Eagles have.

Regular Season Non-conference

11/28/11 vs. Jacksonville – 7:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Marquette returns home to The Bradley Center to beat up on the Dolphins before facing their two toughest non-conference opponents in a four day stretch.

12/03/11 @ Wisconsin – 3:30 p.m.

  • LOSS:  Simply put, the Badgers just do not lose at home in The Kohl Center where head coach Bo Ryan is 152-11 in his tenure. The Golden Eagles won’t go down without a fight and will be in the game right down to the wire. Good senior leadership from Jordan Taylor, who was named to the AP Pre-Season All-America Team, will be the difference maker as Marquette will suffer their first loss of the season.

Jimmy V Classic (New York)

12/06/11 vs. Washington 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Washington eliminated Marquette from the 2010 NCAA Tournament after coming back and winning on a last second shot for the upset. Marquette this time around is the much better team and will bounce back from losing to in-state rival Wisconsin with an impressive victory over the Huskies, who begin the season as the 29th best team in college basketball.

Regular Season Non-conference

12/10/11 vs. Green Bay – 1:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Last year, UWGB was the victim of a Darius Johnson-Odom dunk on SportsCenter that came in as the #1 top play. Luckily, that same domination will continue into this year too. Phoenix coach Brian Wardle returns to coach against his alma mater where he was the third-leading scorer in Marquette history.

12/17/11 vs. Northern Colorado – 1:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Winners of the Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles last season, the Bears recent success may come to an end unless their underclassmen can step up. The 16 total players on Northern Colorado’s roster consist of eight freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors, and one lone senior. Look for Marquette to exploit the Bears’ youth and lack of height by dominating down low in the post.

12/19/11 @ LSU – 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  An interesting match-up against a SEC team in the Tigers doesn’t catch Marquette off guard as LSU is looking for a breakthrough season although they return their four leading scorers from a year ago. Marquette will have to play on their heels in this game and not take anything for granted.

12/22/11 vs. Milwaukee – 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Marquette is a perfect 38-0 against UWM and remained undefeated last year in narrowly beating the Panthers by just three points. UWM shared last season’s regular-season Horizon League championship and lost in the championship game at home to the eventual runner up in the NCAA National Championship game, Butler. The Panthers’ Kaylon Williams was selected to the preseason all-league first team, but Marquette should still cruise to victory in their final tune up non-conference game before BIG EAST play.

12/29/11 vs. Vanderbilt – 8:00 p.m.

  • LOSS:  One point is all that separated these two teams last season as Marquette fell to the Commodores 77-76 at Vanderbilt. This year though, Marquette hosts the 7th ranked Commodores. I anticipate this game to come down to the wire with Vanderbilt pulling it out by hitting a buzzer-beating shot at the end of regulation, possibly overtime. This Vanderbilt team may be the best in school history as they return John Jenkins who led the SEC last year averaging 19.5 points-per-game.

BIG EAST Conference

01/01/12 vs. Villanova – 12:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The Wildcats are one of Marquette’s three repeat opponents this year. Marquette will grab the New Year’s Day victory at home over Villanova to start the 2012 year 1-0 in the BIG EAST. The Wildcats don’t have a single senior on their roster so this will be a rebuilding year for head coach Jay Wright.

01/04/12 @ Georgetown – 6:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The loss of Austin Freeman and Chris Wright from last year’s team will be too much for the Hoyas to overcome early on in BIG EAST play. Jason Clark will be the guard to lead Georgetown with an average of 12 points a game last season and is the focal point on defense for Marquette to defend against.

01/07/12 @ Syracuse – 3:00 p.m.

  • LOSS:  The Orange come into the season ranked 5th in the nation and coach Jim Boeheim has a plethora of talent returning on his team. Scoop Jardine’s 12.5 points and 5.9 assists per game at point guard along with big man Kris Joseph adding 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season will make Syracuse a likely Final Four and national championship contender along with UConn in the BIG EAST.

01/11/12 vs. St. John’s (Al’s Night) – 6:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The St. John’s Red Storm will be one of the youngest teams in college basketball this season welcoming nine new players to their roster. Marquette will pounce on this inexperienced team and counter with their experience depth at all positions.

01/14/12 vs. Pittsburgh (95th Anniversary) – 1:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Mark my words, Marquette will get their first quality BIG EAST win of the season over the Pittsburgh Panthers on the 95th anniversary of the program as many former basketball players are expected to be in attendance cheering on the Golden Eagles in The Bradley Center so Marquette should have that 6th Man advantage. Pitt is an exceptional team, but I’m feeling a Marquette upset on this particular day.

01/16/12 vs. Louisville (MLK Day) – 2:30 p.m.

  • LOSS:  The Golden Eagles still can’t get over the fact that they collapsed and allowed a 24-5 Louisville run over the final six minutes in last year’s devastating loss on the road. The Cardinals have a tough non-conference schedule so they will be more than ready to take center stage in Milwaukee and steal one from the blue and gold on the road. Head coach Rick Pitino will have his guys and exceptional back-court ready to play.

01/21/12 @ Providence – 6:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  ESPN’s latest recruiting rankings for the class of 2012 ranks Providence as the second highest team from the BIG EAST at 7th in the nation. Surprisingly, the Friars may have a bright future ahead of them even though they haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2004. But for now, it is Marquette’s game to win.

01/24/12 vs. USF – 7:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The South Florida Bulls have some height on their roster that can both rebound and score, pondering the question, how much improvement will we see from Marquette’s Otule and Gardner as the season goes on. This could be a big test to see if our frontcourt can match up with the best of them and be effective come tournament time.

01/28/12 @ Villanova – 11:00 a.m.

  • LOSS:  Learning from their mistakes in their first matchup of the season will allow Villanova to upset Marquette as their younger players get experience and learn their roles on the team. The Wildcats’ frontcourt and 2-3 zone on defense will frustrate the Golden Eagles coming off easy wins over Providence and USF.

01/31/12 vs. Seton Hall – 7:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Marquette should win this game versus Seton Hall with ease because in my opinion, the Pirates will most likely finish dead last in the conference this season. It’s always nice to play a cupcake opponent like Seton Hall in the middle of the season to boost team moral and try some new rotations and shuffle playing time options for the Marquette players.

02/04/12 @ Notre Dame – 12:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Fanatics will be glad to know that one of our biggest rivals in the BIG EAST will be defeated this year as the Golden Eagles will take down the Fighting Irish for a big road W. Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame will be asked to carry the load for his team this year and his 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds along with a 42.9 percentage from beyond the arc will surely help. Notre Dame’s biggest downfall is that its bench lacks a lot of talent and depth.:

02/06/12 @ DePaul – 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The DePaul Blue Devils were able to muster only one BIG EAST win last season as they went 1-17 in the conference. Although they return four starters, Marquette fans are bred in Illinois too and thus will travel well and will enjoy a Golden Eagles blowout on the road.

02/11/12 vs. Cincinnati (National Marquette Day) – 2:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  Last season, Cincinnati finally saw its program put together a very successful season with 26 wins and a trip to the NCAA Tournament where they even won a game. The Bearcats start the season narrowly cracking the top 25 in the polls and unfortunately for Marquette, the Golden Eagles will draw the Bearcats twice this upcoming year. Marquette prevails on National Marquette Day at home in game one.

02/18/12 @ Connecticut – 11:00 a.m.

  • LOSS:  The 2011 national champion UConn Huskies will begin their 2011-12 campaign as the top dog in the BIG EAST and ranked 4th nationally. The Huskies have four starters returning and will miss the clutch Kemba Walker dearly. Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond will lead the way for UConn and are both future NBA prospects. Head coach Jim Calhoun got into some big recruiting troubles this offseason causing him to be penalized by missing the first three BIG EAST games along with scholarship reductions.

02/22/12 vs. Rutgers – 7:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The goal of second-year Rutgers’ head coach Mike Rice is to finish the season .500 and it will be very difficult to do so as six incoming freshmen join the Scarlet Knights’ roster. Rutgers will eventually reach that mark but for the time being, a Rutgers’ win sure won’t come against Marquette as they battle back at home and recover from the UConn defeat.

02/24/12 @ West Virginia – 8:00 p.m.

  • WIN:  The Mountaineers will also welcome six freshmen to their team as they look to rebuild with youth like many teams in the BIG EAST this season. Bob Huggins is a stellar head coach and will have his men ready to play at West Virginia where I think Marquette could be given a run for their money.

02/29/12 @ Cincinnati – 6:00 p.m.

  • LOSS:  Mick Cronin has done too good of a job as head coach at Louisville to not get a quality win and it will come at the expense of Marquette. Yancy Gates, a Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, led the Bearcats with 11.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks last year and he will be counted on to have another good season and game in the Louisville win over these two evenly matched teams.

03/03/12 vs. Georgetown (Senior Night) – TBA

  • LOSS:  Marquette has lost its past three Senior Night games dating back to the 2007-08 season and this loss to Georgetown will make it four. I have a feeling Marquette will be struggling and the fatigue will start to set in come the end of the regular season. The Hoyas youth surprises the Golden Eagles tonight.

BIG EAST Tournament

Finishing 5th in the BIG EAST would provide Marquette with a first round bye in the BIG EAST Tournament before drawing a No. 12 or 13 seed opponent in the second round which should make for an easy victory. I believe Marquette will also win their round three quarterfinal game against either Louisville or Pittsburgh before falling in the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament to likely favorites Syracuse or UConn. That being said, the Golden Eagles will still carry with them a great deal of momentum heading into the grand daddy of them all, March Madness and the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament

If the Golden Eagles can manage to stay healthy and have good productive senior seasons from Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, I expect Marquette to grab a 5-seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and make it all the way to the Elite 8. Excellent recruiting classes year after year and the ability to win close games under Buzz Williams have been big factors in the rapid rise of the program that is ascending up there with the best of them in college basketball today. Marquette being ranked in the pre-season poll and having Darius Johnson-Odom being selected on the All-BIG EAST First Team gives this team some great national recognition in hopes that they can do some damage come tournament time. The 2011-12 Marquette men’s basketball team is Elite 8 bound and their hard-work, dedication, and determination endured during bootcamp will help them achieve that goal.

by Ryan Ellerbusch
[email protected]

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Fans unsure where to turn

Posted on 09 October 2011 by WarriorAdmin

Never before have everyday Wisconsinite’s had a hard time deciding between which team to focus a party around. You can’t host a Saturday Badger game party, followed by a Sunday Packer/Brewer game party. Even then, if you choose the Sunday doubleheader you are forced to choose a game to focus on since they were playing at roughly the same time. The teams that we are able to cheer for at the moment are spoiling us, and here is why.

The Badgers have the potential to receive an invitation to the BCS national championship game this season for the first time in over a decade. While the championship was viewed as a possibility, this last Saturday’s match-up against eighth ranked Nebraska was viewed as the make or break game for the year. Entering Saturday’s game, the Badgers had already decimated each team they had faced. The offense ran over some of the worst teams in college football, while the defense was fairly staunch. Nebraska was viewed as their first real test, and the offense clicked as if the competition hadn’t improved. The defense, meanwhile, gave up more yards than would normally be comfortable, but forced several turnovers by mistake prone quarterback Taylor Martinez. Now the Badgers have risen from seventh to fifth in the rankings, and quarterback Russell Wilson has injected new life into a team that has never before had a QB that can beat any team with his arm or his legs. In fact, when was the last time they had a quarterback who could beat a team on his own, period? Montee Ball rushed for over 150 yards on 30 rushes, continuing the Wisconsin tradition of having a big, bruising back. Now the only potential bumps in the road seem to be October 22nd against Michigan State, and November 19th against Illinois. Neither team is expected to be as good of a team as Nebraska.

The Brewers are in a position that they haven’t been in since 1982. They are considered one of the teams that actually has the potential to make a World Series run. Yes, they made the playoffs in 2008, but they were in a similar position as Arizona is in these playoffs: a team that is just happy to make the playoffs. With Shaun Marcum, Zach Greinke and Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers fully expect to make a serious run at the championship this fall. After winning a team record 96 games this season, the Brewers won their division and the right to home field in the first series of the playoffs (and the second if the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies). The Brewers have never won a World Series here in Milwaukee, and fans are delirious at the possibility. More surprising than any of that, for me at least, is that for the first time fans are actually tuning in to a Brewers game instead of a Packers game. While emceeing at Replay Sports Bar, I actually witnessed fans requesting that the sound for the Brewers game be turned on instead of the sound for the Packers game. Fans asked to have some of the televisions showing the Packers game switched to the Brewers game. This is MILWAUKEE, we are a football city, not a baseball city. Helped by the fact that they are in the playoffs, the Brewers garnered more attention that the Packers. After the Packers game ended, no fans left. None. While I set up an auto-tune to the Jets/Ravens game, fans booed me because they thought that I may have been turning off the Brewers game (and because they were a little drunk from all the free shots). I got booed, loudly, incredibly loudly, because fans thought I was turning off a 9-4 seventh inning baseball game.

The Packers are a different story all together. This state has long been a Packer state. A cheese head state, if you will. The Packers won the Super Bowl last season (as predicted on November 11th by yours truly), and all expect them to make a serious run at repeating as champions, something rarely accomplished. Notoriously slow starters since Mike McCarthy took over, the Packers have jumped out to a 4-0 start and seemed to be in control at the end of every game. The Packers offense has been particularly explosive with QB Aaron Rodgers supplied with a “toolbox” of talent, Donald Drivers words, not mine. Each week it seems as if a different player steps up and grabs the attention of Rodgers. Each defense has tried to focus on one specific receiver, whether it be Jermichael Finley or Greg Jennings, but that always leads another talented receiver open. It’s not even fair sometimes, since rookie Randall Cobb has the talent to be much higher up on the depth chart than fifth receiver, and has excelled when faced with a teams inferior cover corner. Because of last year’s championship, there is a lot of residual excitement surrounding this year’s team. Fans have not had to experience a Packers loss since December of 2010. Since then the Packers have won ten straight games, including playoffs.

Talk about a spoiled fan base. Let’s take out southerly neighbors, the city of Chicago, and compare. In the three major sports, Chicago fans have had nothing to cheer about since Michael Jordan left. The last championship for the Bears was in 1985, and the last time the Cubs won a World Series was well before World War II. To be fair, I do not count the White Sox because before they wont the World Series five years or so ago I had never met a Chicagoan who actually cheered more for the White Sox than the Cubs. Oh, and their college football teams are terrible. Does this mean that we are simply better than Chicago? Probably. Does this mean that we should rub it in their faces? Maybe. Does this mean that we are one lucky fan base who does not quite realize how lucky we have it right now? Definitely.

by Roberto Ruiz

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Marquette Women’s Basketball – Summer Headlines

Posted on 24 September 2011 by Ryan Ellerbusch

What headlines you may have missed this summer…

Overview:

Looking to build off their second round NCAA tournament appearance from a year ago, the Golden Eagles have had a busy offseason in hopes of repeating that same success driven by belief, commitment, maturity, respect, and thankfulness. Head coach Terri Mitchell returns to Marquette for her 16th season as head coach of the program and these five principles serve as the foundation of her team. One of the team’s favorite Mitchell sayings is, “we didn’t come to just compete in the BIG EAST, we came to win it.” The Golden Eagles will refuse to think of this upcoming season as a rebuilding year and hope that their youth, lack of film their opponents’ have to study from, and development throughout the journey, will help mold together a successful team striving to make it back to the NCAA tournament come March for a second straight year. Marquette finished their 2010-11 campaign ranked 24th nationally in the final AP poll.

Schedule Highlights:

The Marquette women have an exciting schedule for the 2011-12 season and hope to see many Fanatics come out to The Al McGuire Center and support the Golden Eagles. With the NBA lockout currently in place, a Marquette basketball game could be the hottest ticket in Milwaukee this winter. The two big non-conference games for Marquette will be a Tuesday November 15th matchup vs. rival Wisconsin at The Al McGuire Center and a Saturday November 19th afternoon affair against Georgia Tech at The Bradley Center. To date, the largest crowd for a Marquette women’s basketball home game was 4,327 fans back on November 14, 2007, when the Golden Eagles defeated the Wisconsin Badgers at The Bradley Center by a score of 67-53. Marquette and The Al McGuire Center are the host of the Big East Volleyball Championship during this weekend so thus the venue change to The Bradley Center this year and back in 2007. Hopefully the Fanatics can garnish that fan support and Marquette can repeat the same end result too again this season. The Golden Eagles will travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam tournament where they will face Washington State, Prairie View A&M, and Michigan on three consecutive days from November 24-26. The tournament is held annually at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, USVI. The Golden Eagles return to the islands after a three year absence, winning the 2006 St. John Division championship and will look to be crowned Reef Division champions this time around. Marquette also travels to UW-Green Bay on December 2nd for a big game against the Phoenix. UWGB was ranked 13th in the national polls last year before Marquette upset them at The Al McGuire Center. That pivotal game proved to be UWGB’s only regular season loss before third ranked Baylor and center Brittany Griner scored a career-high 40 points on the Phoenix in a third-round NCAA tournament game defeat. In conference play this season, Marquette will host Big East foes Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, USF, and Connecticut. The February 25th showdown versus UConn will not only be the last home game of the season and a likely sellout, but it will also be against one of the most difficult teams in women’s basketball in recent years. Head coach Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies have never lost at The Al McGuire Center as they will look to continue their recent domination and win their sixth consecutive Big East conference title. Marquette’s sole nationally televised game will be on February 12th at DePaul on ESPN2. The site of the BIG EAST Championship is set for March 2-6 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

Incoming Freshmen:

Out goes six seniors, in comes six freshmen, and Sarina Simmons is left all by herself heading into the season as the leader of the Golden Eagles. Simmons will be the oldest on the team as a junior who averaged 7.5 points-per-game and 5.7 rebounds-per-game last year. Marquette’s roster currently stands at six freshmen, four sophomores, one junior, and no seniors. Due to graduation, Marquette has lost 74.8% of its scoring, but Coach Mitchell has done an outstanding job recruiting and has a talented group of freshmen whom she will be excited to see progress over the next four years as their team chemistry gels too.

According to ESPNU, Marquette’s 2011 recruiting class ranks as the 43rd best in the nation. Post players Apiew Ojulu (6’3”), Chelsie Butler (6’5”), and Lauren Tibbs (6’4”) should all be in the mix early for playing time and be given opportunities to see the floor as freshmen. Ojulu is the 86th best overall player in the Class of 2011 and the 8th ranked post. Ojulu is from Lakeville, Minnesota, and first got her start playing basketball in third grade when she made a shot in gym class. Butler comes to Marquette as the 22nd best post player in the nation and was the Division II All-Ohio Co-Player of the Year. She is from Minerva, Ohio, and initially set a four-hour limit away from home when being recruited, but upon visiting campus and meeting the players and coaches, she decided that Marquette was the right fit for her even though it is nine hours away. Tibbs is from Scott High School in Taylor Mill, Kentucky, and is ranked as the 38th best post player in the nation. Tibbs was a multi-sport athlete and twice won the Northern Kentucky Coaches Association Player of the Year honors in both basketball and volleyball.

Coach Mitchell balanced out her recruiting nicely by also adding three guards to her 2011 class in Margeaux Dupuy, Arlesia Morse, and Cristina Bigica. Dupuy is from Grapevine High School in Texas and has strong ties to the state of Wisconsin. Her mother graduated from Marquette’s College of Speech in 1981 and Margeaux has an older brother named Victor who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2010 and was a four-year letter-winner on the track and field team for the Wisconsin Badgers. Arlesia Morse hails from Flint, Michigan, where she helped guide Hamady High School to back-to-back Class C state titles in 2009 and 2010. Morse is a smart floor general on the basketball court and once nearly missed the team bus for a game because she and her teammates were instead in the library writing papers. Last but not least, Cristina Bigica brings some international flavor to this year’s Marquette squad and is from Bucuresti, Romania. Bigica was named the most valuable player at the 2010 FIBA U-18 Division B Championships and this past summer was a member of the Romanian National Team at the 2011 U20 European Championship averaging 11 points per game over the nine-game tournament held in Serbia.

Angel Robinson drafted to WNBA:

Former point guard Angel Robinson was selected by the New York Liberty with the 22nd pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft. Robinson’s rights were then traded to the Minnesota Lynx who later released her a week before the start of the WNBA regular season. Robinson is just the second Golden Eagle to be drafted to the WNBA joining Abbie Willenborg who was drafted by the Houston Comets with the 64th pick in 2000 draft and had her #34 jersey retired at a Marquette women’s home game last year at The Al McGuire Center. Robinson set a new Marquette record playing in 134 games and is the only player in program history to achieve over 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals in her illustrious career from 2007-2010. In Robinson’s only game with the Lynx in mid-May, she logged 13 minutes and tallied four points, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in a preseason victory over the Indiana Fever at Concordia University in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. Currently the Lynx are in the Western Conference Semifinals trying to complete a miracle season going from the worst team in the WNBA a year ago to first. Lindsay Whalen leads the Lynx at point guard and recently finished 5th in the 2011 WNBA MVP voting. The Lynx have strong depth at the guard position, but it will be interesting to see if Robinson can latch on with another team next year because she definitely seemed talented enough to play at the WNBA level.

Barnes and Quaye named assistant coaches, Consuegra leaves:

Cara Consuegra was named the head women’s basketball coach at UNC Charlotte after serving as Marquette’s assistant coach for seven seasons under Terri Mitchell. Consuegra worked closely with the backcourt in her time here, but will now be replaced by John Barnes. Barnes served as the head coach at Michigan Tech posting a winning record in all seven seasons (2003-2010) including a short stint with Wisconsin last year before coming to Marquette. Barnes played basketball for Michigan Tech and initially had a coaching job as an assistant with the men’s team for six seasons before taking over the women’s program and bringing both to national prominence. Former Marquette standout Christina Quaye will round out the Golden Eagles’ coaching staff as she will be serving as the graduate assistant this season. Quaye will assist with video coordination, student-athlete development and community service initiatives. Mitchell coached Quaye from 2003-2007 earning First Team All-Big East honors as a senior and ranks fourth and seventh on Marquette’s all-time scoring and rebounding lists.

Plouffe and Team Canada finished 5th at FIBA U19 World Championship:

Marquette sophomore Katherine Plouffe from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was selected to play on the U19 Canadian team this summer at the FIBA U19 World Championship where she helped lead Team Canada to a fifth place finish. Plouffe averaged 8.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game helping her team to an 8-1 record for the tournament. Plouffe was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team last season and started 30 of Marquette’s 33 games averaging 6.5 points-per-game and 5.1 rebounds-per-game.

New women’s basketball/Big East rule changes:

A number of changes in collegiate women’s basketball and the Big East will go into effect this upcoming season. The women’s 3-point line will be moved back a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches, the same distance the men have used since 2008-09. In both the men’s and women’s games, the terminology for fouls will be changed to match the NBA. Intentional fouls will now be called Flagrant 1 and flagrant fouls will be called Flagrant 2. Women’s teams will also test a 10-second half-court rule in exhibition games this season, which for Marquette’s sake, should occur for one game only vs. Carthage College on November 5th at The Al McGuire Center.

The Big East Conference announced this summer that the women’s basketball conference schedule format will change from 16 games to 18 games, beginning in the 2012-13 season. TCU’s arrival will put the Big East at 17 teams and each team will play 14 opponents once and two opponents twice. The process to determine repeat opponents will remain the same and chosen based on a list of criteria by the conference committee.

Marquette recruiting updates:

Ashley Santos, a senior point guard from Geneva High School in Illinois, has verbally committed to attend Marquette. According to ESPNU, she is ranked as the 86th ranked player in the class of 2012 and the 35th best guard. Ashley’s sister Sidney, who is two years younger than her, both play together on the Puerto Rican U18 national team. Basketball runs in the Santos family. Their father, Jose Santos, played for the Puerto Rican national team and in Puerto Rico’s professional leagues and their mother Lori, played basketball at Wichita State. Ashley’s dad believes that she has one of the best shooting and three-point touches around. Ashley may go to school in Illinois and will be here at Marquette in another year, but the Santos family still strongly embraces their Puerto Rican heritage.

Another verbal committee for the class of 2012 is Brooklyn Pumroy of Fairborn High School in Ohio. Pumroy is the 65th top ranked point guard in her class, but tore her ACL in June and had surgery. Her status for the beginning of her high school basketball senior year in uncertain although she is expected to be back in action some point starting in the winter granted her recovery goes smoothly. She has all the abilities to dominate at the college level and should do well in Terri Mitchell’s system of up-tempo and defensive-minded style basketball.

Possibly one of Marquette’s most unexpected and crucial recruits in the class of 2012 is centered on Heather Bowe from Regis High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The 1st team all-state forward led Regis to the WIAA Division 4 state championship last season. What makes Bowe’s story unique though is she actually committed to play at Wisconsin her sophomore year of high school until the Badgers fired head coach Lisa Stone and new Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey withdrew Bowe’s scholarship offer. As a result, Bowe reopened the recruiting process and has chosen Marquette and Vanderbilt as her two remaining schools she is interested in. Bowe expects to make a decision in the near future as she has already visited Marquette and has a visit scheduled to Vanderbilt this week. To make matters even worse for Bowe, she is also dealing with another coaching change at Regis High School this upcoming season with Cody Rumpel as the new girl’s basketball coach replacing Brady Hoolihan who resigned because his contract as a middle school teacher was not renewed. Nevertheless, I’m sure Terri Mitchell is hoping Bowe decides to choose Marquette because she is self-motivated and possesses tremendous ability to play both inside and outside.

Follow @MUWarriorBBall and @RyanEllerbusch5 on Twitter all season long for the latest updates on the Marquette men’s and women’s basketball teams.

by Ryan Ellerbusch
[email protected]

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It takes Juan, to know Juan

Posted on 27 April 2011 by Roberto Ruiz

It Takes Juan, to Know Juan

By: Roberto Ruiz

Juan Anderson insists that his jump-shot isn’t bad. Anderson is a normal guy who was gifted with the ability to grow taller, jump higher, and shoot straighter than the average person. I must admit, I expected Anderson to be a full of himself jerk. Simply put, I was not looking forward to talking with a basketball player who has had his butt kissed by college recruiters, basketball analysts, and coaches everywhere. When I conducted the interview, though, he had just finished working out because he knows that he still has to get stronger to make it at the next level. In fact, when I asked him about whether he has added some arc to his jump shot, he showed that he has insecurities just like everybody else. He says his jump shot “isn’t that bad.”

The Anderson Household

Anderson grew up with a Latino mother and a Caucasian father. He serves as the father figure to his younger siblings and shares a strong bond with his mother, who taught him responsibility by making him clean up after himself and his family. When asked which major he wants to declare, Anderson showed this bond by deferring to answer until he talks with his mom about it.

Anderson says the hardest part about leaving Castro Valley, California for Milwaukee is that he will have to leave his family behind. His mother, though, will be in attendance for many of the games next season.

Coming to Marquette

The saying is that “west coast players don’t go east.” But Anderson broke that mold by committing to Marquette, and he is proud of it. What exactly led him to our private college on the banks of Lake Michigan? The Big East. Anderson covets competition, something he rarely got playing in California, and he says that the Big East is the best conference in the nation.

Beyond the conference, Anderson fell in love with Marquette’s team camaraderie and is eager to become a part of that family. While here, he bunked with Joe Fulce and attended several team practices. Just watching Marquette’s fast style of play enamored Anderson, and within two weeks he committed to Marquette. Reinforcing his decision was Marquette’s Sweet 16 run in the previous NCAA tournament, during which he was incredibly excited and proud to sport his Marquette apparel.

To top it all off, going to a good academic school was one of Anderson’s top priorities, and he found that at Marquette. “I am thinking four years. I am not even thinking about the NBA right now…. I am thinking Business, Psychology, or Criminology [for my major], but I am not sure because me and my mom haven’t talked about that yet.”

What Anderson Brings to MU

What exactly should we expect from Anderson during his time here at Marquette? At 6’8”, 210 lbs, Anderson has a long, lanky body. He has long arms, and uses his length as an advantage against stockier forwards. Anderson’s real strength is his defense, but his offense is truly starting to take shape. “I was 5’7” my freshman year, and I was actually a really good shooter then. But as my arms started to grow, and as my legs started to grow, it kind of became weird…. I am just getting used to getting more consistent with my shot…. I am not used to my arm length yet [and how it affects the follow through].” This may be true, but he is getting more arc on his shots and sinking them with more consistency.

Of all the NBA players he can look to, Anderson tries to model his game after Carmelo Anthony’s. If Anderson bulks up, his game very well could match Anthony’s, but with better defense. When asked if he was more of a closer (like Dwyane Wade) or a complete package (like Lebron James), Anderson said he was the complete package. He loves the pretty passes, the tenacious defense, and the fast-break dunks. When presented with the idea of taking a cue from Tayshaun Prince, Anderson shunned the idea, claiming to be more built than Prince. While his offense may struggle at first as he tries to sink set up jumpers in set offenses, he will excel at fast-breaks, and will create many opportunities with his length and quickness.

My Final Thoughts

Anderson will bring his talents to Milwaukee this summer, and though he may not see much playing time his first year, he should be a catalyst to the Golden Eagles squad in the upcoming years. Anderson’s unselfish, unrelenting play will surely win him a special spot in Coach Williams’ heart. Over the course of his freshman season, Anderson’s style will guarantee him court time in meaningful games at the end of the season. In fact, Anderson’s play should mesh perfectly with Marquette’s system.

Marquette basketball fans should be excited for Anderson to be part of the team; his down to earth attitude and blue collar style should attract him to students and fans alike. Just don’t be afraid to say hi to that tall, lanky Latino guy walking through Central Mall.

Interesting Tidbits

Much like Buzz Williams coaches, Anderson plays with a lot of emotion on the court. Anderson loved watching Williams blow up at the end of the Syracuse game, knowing that this coach would be the perfect one for him.

When asked how he will deal with Milwaukee’s cold weather, Anderson admitted to being concerned about the transition. “I woke up this morning, and it was only like 23 degrees, but I told my mom I didn’t know how I was going to deal with the cold,” well he will have to figure out quickly, because it gets far colder than 23 degrees here.

A self proclaimed quiet, shy, and humble young man, Anderson is not sure how he will handle the celebrity of being a top basketball player in Milwaukee. He does know, however, that it is a gift and he should cherish it.

Juan Anderson Mixtape… Smooth & Versatile 2011 Wing

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Marquette fanatics in retrospect

Posted on 09 April 2011 by WarriorAdmin

Another season has come and gone for the Marquette men’s basketball team as the Golden Eagles’ Sweet 16 appearance and 22-15 overall record (9-9 in Big East) exceeded many preseason expectations.

Not only did Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler earn all-Big East honors along with a new contract for head coach Buzz Williams, but the Marquette student section comprised of nearly 8,000 Fanatics on any given gameday turned in an impressive season-long performance too.

The second oldest active arena in the NBA, The Bradley Center, hosted 18 Marquette home games this past year that brought 280,545 total fans through the turnstiles or an average of 15,586 per contest. In the most hyped rivalry game of the season that saw Marquette fall to the Wisconsin Badgers 69-64 on Saturday, Dec. 11, a sellout crowd of 19,074 fans were in attendance. Despite the early season setback, fans stayed committed through the ups and downs of a rugged Big East conference schedule and on Saturday, Jan. 29, the Golden Eagles captured a quality win at home by a score of 76-70 against Syracuse in front of 19,032 blue and gold supporters on National Marquette Day, marking the second largest home crowd of the season.

Newcomer and former National JUCO Player of the Year Jae Crowder, who averaged 16.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season for Marquette, had only positive things to say regarding what he likes about playing in the Bradley Center.

“I like that it’s an NBA court,” said Crowder. “It gives you a different atmosphere from a college basketball standpoint. You get a different vibe and feeling as you walk into the Bradley Center.”

Freshman Fanatic Spencer Bonahoom, who on average waits three hours outside of the Bradley Center prior to a game, believes that the Marquette players do feed off the energy and atmosphere of the home crowd on gamedays.

“I think the home games definitely give them a lot more energy,” said Bonahoom. “There’s not a lot of teams that have this many seats for the crowd so playing in this NBA arena definitely helps the noise level go up when we have a sellout. You can tell that the intensity picks up when the stadium starts to get loud and that all starts with the student section.”

Crowder also added, “That is when everything is at your best. You play hard and you feed off the crowd when you’re tired. That’s real college basketball when the crowd gets involved.”
And that one player who Bonahoom believes is the heart and soul of the Marquette team, none other than junior forward Jae Crowder.

“Crowder has been a huge addition,” states Bonahoom. “He always brings the intensity, he seems to get the key rebounds when we really need them, and of course he has been quite the scorer for us.”

Bonahoom, who can often be seen in the front row of the Marquette student section leading the cheers and wearing a gold shirt, gold shorts, wristbands, long socks and his infamous “We Are Marquette” bandana, has truly enjoyed his first full season as a Marquette Basketball Fanatic and the unique benefits and entertainment at the games.

“I like a lot of the pregame stuff,” admits Bonahoom. “Turning around when they introduce the opposing team, clapping back and forth right before the tip-off, and just all the chants and the yelling. It definitely gives it the great atmosphere that you have here.”

An assortment of giveaways, including each a yellow and baby blue Marquette basketball shirt as well as a special Father Wild shirt and bobble head, have surely kept students coming back to games too thanks to a fabulous effort by the Marquette promotions staff.

Buzz Williams, who will enter his fourth season as head coach with the Marquette Golden Eagles next year, making in excess of $2 million annually, is also very thankful and appreciative of the encouragement that the student section and fans give to his program. Prior to home games at the Bradley Center this past season, Williams has made it a priority to enter the court through the tunnel near the Marquette student section and either clap or shake the hands of the front row of fans and waving to the remainder as he proceeds towards walking to his team’s bench. In addition, Buzz has periodically bought and hand delivered donuts and pizza to the crowds of students waiting in line hours before the doors to the arena had even opened.

The dedication of the Marquette University freshman class in particular at the basketball games this winter has been nothing short of spectacular and the passionate Fanatics have even made the extra effort over Christmas break to show their support as they cheered on the Golden Eagles to a 73-65 victory over Rutgers at The RAC in Piscataway, New Jersey back on Jan. 5. Two Yonkers natives and Marquette freshmen, Joe Naber and Kevin Dolan, both saw the game in-person and had great experiences in doing so.

“Since I’m from New York, I know a lot of kids from the area and one friend was able to get me a ticket there,” said Dolan. “He brought a few of our friends from high school and he wore some of his Rutgers stuff, but I of course went with my trademarked Marquette t-shirt that the Fanatics get. I was actually sitting in their student section with a Marquette shirt on and it was kind of funny because Joe Naber, another fellow Fanatic who is from the same area, was also there and he got a picture of me on the other side and you can see this one little speck of gold sitting in the student section and it was me.

Although the game was not nationally televised, during halftime locally on Time Warner Cable Sports 32, the camera zoomed in on Naber and his autographed Marquette hard-helmet by the entire Golden Eagles’ basketball team that he wears to every game.

“I was sitting exactly across from the student section and their student section is behind the hoop as well,” said Naber. “Their student section was pretty packed. It was during break, but Rutgers is a state school so they had students who do live in the area. It was definitely a fun game to be at.”

When comparing Marquette’s student section to Rutgers, both Naber and Dolan were shocked at how different the gameday experience was.

“I was probably one of maybe 20 or 30 Marquette fans there so I was definitely the minority, but that athletic facility is very nice and it’s really small,” said Naber. “It definitely is a different experience from the Bradley Center and that place did get loud, but it’s still a lot louder here.” Simply put, “their student section is nothing like the Marquette student section,” stated Dolan.

The amount of support that the Marquette basketball players receive from the fans cheering on the team in the stands and off the court by sending encouraging messages via Facebook or Twitter is yet another benefit of being a student-athlete at a unique university in Marquette that is built around the tradition of basketball and the 1977 NCAA Championship won by legendary head coach Al McGuire.

“It’s big” said Crowder. “Marquette really evolves around basketball and you can tell from a player’s standpoint as you play here that everyone notices you, everyone knows you, everyone looks up to you, they speak to you, and they’re behind you, so just being here at Marquette I love it.”

And that support continued all throughout the NCAA Tournament as the team was welcomed back to campus by approximately 25 fans and members of the media at the Al McGuire Center at 2 a.m. following their 66-62 win over Syracuse to advance and clinch a Sweet 16 berth. Numerous team send-offs, viewing parties, and the upcoming postseason banquet on Wednesday, April 13, to honor the success of this past season and the graduating seniors are just a few instances to describe the loyal fan base that Marquette basketball is happy to be apart of.

“I love the team and I love when we win,” said Bonahoom. “So at the end of the game when you know that we got the game in hand and everyone starts chanting ‘We Are Marquette,’ nothing beats that feeling. The place is rocking, the ‘We Are Marquette’ chant is going, and that’s the best feeling there is.”

by Ryan Ellerbusch
[email protected]

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Recap

Posted on 06 April 2011 by Roberto Ruiz

Year of the (Under)Dog

Overview

Nobody could have seen this NCAA men’s tournament unfolding the way it did. The University of Connecticut Huskies (UConn) won the national championship game, beating the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 in Houston, Texas. Though third seeded UConn winning was not an absolute surprise, the rest of the tournament was tossed in a blender from the very beginning. Eleventh seeded Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) made a run to the Final Four, and eighth seeded Butler made it to the championship game. Predicting an NCAA men’s tournament is nearly impossible most years, but this year it was even more difficult. Seeding did not seem to matter as no number one or two seeded team made it to the Final Four, and upset after upset busted brackets everywhere.

Championship Game

UConn won an ugly basketball game Monday night, holding Butler to 18.8% shooting for the game, the lowest shooting percentage in championship history. UConn’s defense was not that great, but instead the Bulldogs just missed open shot after open shot. Even layups were rolling out for the Bulldogs, who were obviously bothered by the length of Jim Calhoun’s squad. Coach Calhoun, now the oldest coach to win the national championship (68 years old), won his third championship and did so by feeding the ball to Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb.

Lamb took over the end of the game for the Huskies, beating Butler with his length and athleticism. While Walker scored more points and led the team with his attitude and fearlessness, Lamb was there when it mattered, soaring over the Bulldogs for layups and dunks.

Connecticut blocked ten shots, a championship game record, and even disrupted three point shots by putting their hands in the faces of the Butler shooters. The blocks led to UConn dominating the paint,

allowing Butler to make only one basket in the paint.

For the second consecutive year, coach Brad Stevens’ team will be heading home after the championship game as losers. This has been an incredible two years for Butler, a mid major school that had never made a sustained run in the NCAA tournament until Stevens showed up. At the tender age of 34, Stevens seemed to be caught in the headlights the game, and his team showed it. Playing zone for the first time in the tournament because nothing else was working, Butler seemed out of sorts for the entire second half. Though there was probably little that Stevens could do, it was an ugly performance nonetheless.

Marquette’s Surprising Run

Marquette was the last Big East team (Connecticut was the second-to-last) to be admitted into the tournament, and they made the second longest run out of the ten Big East teams out of the eleventh seed. While few picked Marquette to upset Xavier, even fewer picked them to get past third ranked Syracuse. Led by the gritty play of Jimmy Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette made a run to the Sweet 16 for the first time since Dwyane Wade could be seen roaming the Marquette campus.

Coach Buzz Williams put himself in line for an extension with his excellent coaching during the tournament. Williams was thrust onto the national stage with his post-game antics after the Xavier and Syracuse games. Williams could be seen screaming into the stands, giving band members high fives, pounding on the scorers table, and stomping on the ground with full force. While his antics got him on the national stage, his savvy coaching got him the extension. Many Marquette fans questioned Williams’ coaching abilities over the last two years, but many of those questions have been answered after he obviously out-coached Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.

Jimmy Butler was Marquette’s most valuable player of the tournament. Butler shot nearly 50% from the field, while playing stingy defense, getting six steals in the two games Marquette won. Playing in his final games for Marquette, Butler led his team and showed why he is considered the heart of this basketball team. Butler will most likely go undrafted in the upcoming NBA draft, but expect him to latch on with a contending team solely because of his work ethic and quick hands.

Marquette struggled during the regular season, but this season has to be considered an overall success. Marquette was one of the last sixteen teams standing, and this season will impact the future years of Marquette basketball. When Wade led Marquette to the Final Four, it put Marquette on the map for recruits such as Dominic James, Wesley Matthews, and Jerel McNeal. We will know the true impact of this run when recruits come to Marquette when they otherwise would not have considered it.

Upsets Galore

Richmond (12), VCU (11), Morehead State (13), Marquette (11), Florida State (10), Butler (8), and Arizona (5) all beat teams that were seeded considerably higher than they were, and five of the teams made it to the Sweet 16. VCU was the true cinderella of the tournament, beating Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas to reach the Final Four. Butler beat the number one, two, and four seeded teams in their bracket. Florida State made it to the Sweet 16 after beating Texas A&M and Notre Dame. Morehead State beat fourth seeded Louisville in the first round before succumbing to Richmond. Richmond beat fifth seeded Vanderbilt and Morehead State before falling to Kansas. Arizona beat number one overall seed Ohio State.

Looking back on the tournament, every game felt like a toss-up. There were no dominating teams in the tournament, and that led to one of the most exciting NCAA tournaments of all time. There is no fun in a favored team going in every night and dominating their opponent. The overall lack of talent in the college pool may be frightening to fans, but it does lead to a more exciting tournament. At least fans have that to be thankful for.

Player of the Tournament

Kemba Walker is the obvious choice. Walker was the prototypical leader of the Huskies in every way imaginable. Walker was the closer for the team, often playing his best during crunch time, he also led by example when it came to walking the line of showing emotion. He never let the moment get the best of him, and often got in teammates faces when he felt they needed to be woken up. Walker, a senior, played like there truly was no tomorrow for him, and he brought a championship to Connecticut in his final game as a Husky.

Coach of the Tournament

Brad Stevens has a bright future ahead of him, despite his poor coaching performance in the last game. Butler lost two starters from last years squad, and they did not enjoy the stellar regular season that they did last year, but Butler ended up in the same position that it did a year ago. Butler regressed from last season, but Stevens found a way to maximize the talent available to him and once again consistently beat the bigger, richer schools in the tournament. Stevens’ star will only continue to rise, but let’s hope that we will see him out-coaching higher paid coaches again next year.

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Marquette vs Xavier

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Roberto Ruiz

Xavier is a formidable foe; Marquette has been facing elite teams all year, and this game will be no different. Jimmy Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom have got to be on top of their games to beat Tu Holloway and the Musketeers. Holloway has been the driving force of Xavier, averaging over 20 points and 5 assists per game, while being the veteran influence on the court. The big difference between these two teams is that Marquette has beaten quality opponents on several occasions this year, while Xavier lacks a big time win.

Five Keys:

1. Jimmy Butler over 2.5 steals

This is my biggest key, although it seems kind of inconsequential. Butler has to create turnovers by utilizing his long arms and quickness. Marquette can not win this game by running around Xavier, they must instead outsmart them. Butler has to play well on the offensive side as well, but Marquette’s defense will be key and Butler is the main thief on defense.

2. Quality Defense

This seems like a given, but this is twice as important against a team like Xavier. The Musketeers have shot 46.3% this season, and if they shoot anywhere near that then this game will be over quickly. Marquette has to overwhelm them with their quickness, and never allow an open shot. Having a hand in the shooters face will be key.

3. Offensive Rebounds

Kenny Frease, Xavier’s center, is a 7-foot, 269 pound behemoth, and he will be crashing the boards all night. Team rebounding will be essential to combating with Frease’s size, since Chris Otule only plays about 20 minutes a game and is not nearly as muscular. Keep in mind, though, that defensive positioning and boxing out will beat size and strength to every rebound, so if Marquette is playing disciplined basketball then they should be fine.

4. Buzz Williams’ Coaching

I like Buzz as much as the next guy, but his coaching style has hardly worked in big games. It is easy to pick apart, especially by a veteran team. Marquette may be one of the best conditioned teams in the tournament, and this would be the perfect time to use that as an advantage. Go ten-deep in the rotation, and keep a full-court press going for most of the game. This will allow Marquette’s point guards to flourish, and may even bring Marquette to infinity, and beyond.

5. Run, Run, Run

Anybody who watches Marquette knows that the half-court offense is not their specialty, so Marquette has to push the tempo as much as possible. Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan can run the Musketeers into the ground, so why not let them.

I am going to be honest here, Marquette doesn’t stand much of a chance. Xavier has made it to the sweet sixteen each of the last three years, including one trip to the elite eight. Xavier has the been there done that swagger, and that is necessary for this tournament; the shell shocked teams never make it far. This could be Marquette’s last stand, but I hope it’s not. If it is though, I hope they go down swinging.

Predicted score: Xavier 75 Marquette 69.

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2011 Men’s NCAA Tournament: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Roberto Ruiz

The NCAA tournament is finally upon us, and here is everything that you need to know while filling out your brackets:

Five Players to Watch:

(tournament seeds in parenthesis)

(3) Brigham Young University: G Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer has been a spark-plug for this BYU squad, and even with the loss of Brandon Davies, BYU is expected to make a deep run in the tournament. If this is to happen, Fredette has to continue his scoring binge (28.5 ppg this season, 35.4 over the last five games).

(1) Duke University: G Nolan Smith

Smith has been the heart and soul for this Duke team, leading the team in both points and assists per game (21.3 ppg, 5.2 apg). His defense has improved over the years, but he is still smaller than a lot of guards. His shooting percentage has improved every year that he has started in college, topping out at 46.1% this year.

(1) Ohio State University: F Jared Sullinger

In his first year in college, Sullinger has dominated the NCAA field with his brute strength and athleticism. Though his defensive game needs a bit of work, he can mask that by pushing his opponent around the paint. Sullinger averaged 17.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this year, but look for those numbers to jump in the tournament.

(3) University of Connecticut: G Kemba Walker

Walker has been quite the offensive stalwart this year, averaging 23.5 ppg this year while hitting several game-winning shots and clutch three-pointers along the way. Walker has gotten stronger as the season has gone on, so don’t look for him to quiet down in the tournament.

(1) Kansas University: F Markieff Morris and F Marcus Morris

The Morris brothers have been in complete control of the paint this season, averaging a combined 30.9 ppg and 15.4 rpg this season. Together they also average 1.8 blocks per game, even though many teams refuse to send their players into the paint against Kansas. Guards win games in the tournament, but I have not forgotten how the Lopez brothers guided Stanford into the sweet sixteen in 2008 by simply dominating the paint against smaller teams.

Four Upsets to watch for:

(5) Vanderbilt vs. (12) Richmond

Every year there are several big upsets in the first round, and this match-up is a juicy one. Richmond has been strong in the last few tournaments, and has shown the ability to out shoot the opponent on any given night. Vanderbilt is limping into the tournament, with three losses of their last five games. Look for another 12 seed upset in round one.

(1) Pittsburgh vs (9) Old Dominion

I am simply riding the hot hand with this pick. Old Dominion has won nine games in a row, while Pittsburgh has lost three of their last six. While Old Dominion has not beaten very many quality opponents this year, I just have a feeling.

(2) Florida vs (10) Michigan State

Michigan State has been underachieving all year, but they have the players to make a short run in the tournament this year. Florida, meanwhile, is quite possibly the worst two seed in years. This adds up to an upset special.

(2) South Dakota State University vs. (10) Penn State University

SDSU has had a strong season, but they are still seeded far too high given their strength of schedule. Penn State, though many believe Penn State should not even be in the tournament, has beaten several ranked teams recently and is coming out of a much harder conference in the Big-Ten.

My Final Four:

(1) Ohio State University:

OSU is the top seeded team in the tournament, and I can’t see them disappointing despite their tough region. OSU has the youth necessary to compete in the tournament, as well as veteran leadership, and a top head coach in Thad Matta.

(4) University of Texas:

UT was once ranked number one in the country, but has since fallen from that perch. UT still has the players necessary to make a run in the tournament, and I believe that they can come out of the weak West region.

(1) Kansas University:

As mentioned earlier, they have the size necessary to control any smaller team. They also have quick guards that can slash into the lanes at any point in the game, so this inside-outside combo makes me confident that they can run through their region with fairly little opposition.

(3) BYU:

This is a dark-horse pick. If Davies were still playing, this would be a common pick, but with Davies out BYU has fallen off the grid. I still believe that Fredette can lead this team to any platform, even without a serious inside presence.

Champion:

Ohio State University over Kansas University 69-63.

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Marquette Loss against Wisconsin

Posted on 11 December 2010 by WarriorAdmin

In the 117th series meeting all-time in program history, the Marquette Golden Eagles came up short against the in-state rival Wisconsin Badgers 69-64 in front of 19,074 fans at The Bradley Center on Saturday afternoon.
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan and his very unique style of half-court offense set the tempo early and frustrated Marquette throughout the game as the Badgers were able to slwoly capitalize on 21 second chance points. Wisconsin controlled the glass and we’re grabbing both short and long rebounds with ease.
“We got beat because they got 12 offensive rebounds in the second half,” said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. “Our speed and our athleticism have to help us rebound. Our speed and athleticism should not be nullified when a shot goes up. We have to use our speed and athleticism to take up space and to finish possessions. You can’t just turn and look when a shot goes up. Because we are small, you got to take up the space between you and your man when the shot goes up and then use your speed and athleticism to chase after the ball.”
Despite the Badgers dominance in rebounding, they were only leading Marquette by 2 points at halftime 32-30. Marquette was looking desperately for someone to step up and assume the role as the go-to-guy on offense, but it was a case of too little, too late.
Jimmy Butler and Dwight Buycks led their team in scoring with 15 and 13 points respectively and nearly staged a great Marquette comeback in the closing minutes as Butler’s clutch three-pointer brought the Golden Eagles to within striking distance. However, Dwight Buycks’ turnover with 2.6 seconds left to play sealed the deal for the Wisconsin Badgers as Jordan Taylor sunk 5 of 6 free-throws with 20 seconds remaining in the game to cap off the victory.
The Wisconsin Badgers (8-2) led by as many as 12 points throughout the course of the game even with Jon Leuer, a 2011 NBA Draft prospect, on the bench cheering his team on as the Badgers worked the 35-second shot clock well late in the game and took Marquette out of its typical rhythm and fast break style of play.
Marquette was in bonus the majority of the second-half and slowly crawled their way back into the game going to the free-throw line 22 times and converting 16 (72.7%). However, Wisconsin’s offense and rebounding was just too much as they often times quieted the Bradley Center and Marquette crowd regaining the momentum with crucial baskets down the stretch.
The nationally televised game provided a lot of excitement not only on the court, but in the student section and crowd too. In preparation for one of the biggest games of the season on Saturday against the Wisconsin, many Marquette students and even a few brave Badgers’ fans made their way into the student section. But none we’re more dedicated and prepared than Marquette junior Joey Godziszewski who waited nearly 20 hours and slept outside of The US Cellular Arena, across from The Bradley Center following a Milwaukee Bucks game that very same night with his friends to grab the most coveted and best seats in the house.
The Marquette Golden Eagles wore their gold uniforms for the game with a “HANK” patch commemorating legend Hank Raymonds, who was a successful coach and administrator at Marquette that passed away at age 86 earlier in the week. Both Marquette’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear this patch on their uniforms in honor of Hank Raymonds for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season.
One Badgers’ fan who stuck out like a sore thumb in the midst of the Marquette gold t-shirts in the student section was Noah Bown who is originally from West Bend, WI, and is currently a freshman at UW-Madison. Noah was able to come across this hot ticket thanks to a friend along with the consequences though of being the center of attention and heckled at prior to the start of the game in his red Wisconsin basketball jersey and shorts.
“I got the ahole chant, but it’s going to be a good game and a good environment,” said Bown. “I didn’t expect anything else.”
Another group of about eight Wisconsin Badgers fans sitting together in the student section said that they have been in worse places and thus far the Marquette Fanatics have friendly.
Fan-favorite “Blue Man”, who dresses in a blue jumpsuit every game, was also in attendance for the game and arrived early in the morning to get the best seat to watch his favorite player ironically, Vander Blue, face the school that he once verbally committed to during his junior year then backed out by decommitting and choosing Marquette instead.
“Vander Blue has to prove a point that Madison’s best thing off is not to have him and Marquette is where he belongs,” said BlueMan.
Freshman Aaron Ledesma and his friends on the 5th floor east wing of McCormick Residence Hall we’re also among the many who put aside studying for upcoming final exams to wait in line to see the Marquette men’s basketball team in action.
“Our number one goal was to get our same spot that we’ve had for the last seven games, we got here 15 hours early, it was hard, it was cold, we did it, and now we’re here and we’re going to beat Wisconsin.”
Even though Marquette’s late surge wasn’t enough to defeat Wisconsin, Big East play is under a month away as Marquette kicks off its conference schedule with a game on New Year’s Day against West Virginia at 10 a.m. Attendance and fan support is rapidly increasing at the Marquette basketball home games at The Bradley Center and we encourage you to stop on by and cheer on our Golden Eagles to victory.

by Ryan Ellerbusch
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