Well, the Golden Eagles have played better, but this certainly isn’t any cause for concern. It’s never good to lose the way Marquette did tonight, but the combination of Cincinnati’s stifling zone and ability to beat the Golden Eagles at their own game (transition points and limited turnovers) was the perfect equation for a game that wasn’t close.
The lone bright spot was Jae Crowder. Despite Marquette’s size disadvantage and having to play in the half court much of the night, Crowder did all he could to keep Marquette in the game. His missed bunny in the first half hurt, but he still finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and recorded a steal in his 22nd straight game. He wasn’t all that good, but he was the only player who didn’t have a negative night.
Darius Johnson-Odom looked great the first two minutes and finished with a nice line, but he missed a couple open looks and never got going the few times the Golden Eagles could run in transition. His Big East-best seven rebounds came at the hands of 20 missed 3-pointers from the Bearcats, but overall Johnson-Odom couldn’t get going.
Jamil Wilson struggled much of the night. He contests more than he rebounds in the paint, and tonight he did not record a block or steal, and had just four rebounds. He turned the ball over four times, a season-high, and couldn’t be the third scorer the Golden Eagles needed when Johnson-Odom was struggling from the field.
He didn’t factor in the outcome, but Derrick Wilson showed improved defense and ran the offense well in his five minutes. He didn’t record a foul against a Cincinnati team that was getting to the paint at will, and had one assist to zero turnovers. It was a small thing, but after a drubbing like tonight that’s all there is to talk about.
Juan Anderson and Jamail Jones are both playing extended minutes as power forwards, but neither provided much in the loss. At this point, Jones needs to be eating up most of Anderson’s minutes. It is NOTHING against Anderson, who has played from behind most of the season and is working to get quicker and stronger, but he isn’t ready for important minutes just yet. Of course, as long as Davante Gardner is out he may need to log them.
Any NCAA Tournament opponent should DVR this game and watch it on repeat, because the book is out on how to beat Marquette. Yes, it was Senior Night and the Bearcats needed a win, but the Golden Eagles still really struggle against 2-3 zones, and slowing the game down while taking care of the ball offensively puts Marquette in a bind without Davante Gardner.