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Thoughts and reactions from Marquette’s loss to LSU

It’s not even remotely close to the time to hit the panic button on Marquette, but no one would blame you if you’ve thought about locating said button. The fact of the matter is Marquette will struggle mightily against teams with true inside presences.

Davante Gardner hasn’t shown enough improvement defensively. Buzz Williams admitted that Jamil Wilson has not progressed as quick as other players, and Jae Crowder can’t be asked to provide all the strength in the paint defensively.

LSU “only” had eight offensive rebounds tonight (it helps that it shot 53.5 percent from the field) but just about all eight were costly and dictated the pace of the game. If Chris Otule misses an extended period of time in the Big East, it looks as though Marquette will struggle.

It was an up-and-down night for Darius Johnson-Odom. On one hand, he finished with 16 points and hit some major shots down the stretch, but he had six turnovers and seemed out of control most of the game. DJO was uncharacteristically careless with the ball and it cost Marquette, allowing LSU to break out in transition, where it hit most of its 3-pointers. Defensively, Johnson-Odom struggled in the full court press Marquette put on LSU. He needs a strong showing against Milwaukee.

Last night showed why it’s risky to rely on a freshman to be a consistent scorer. Todd Mayo never really found his rhythm in the game, missing all five of his shots from the field and finishing with just two points. Marquette needed a third scorer to step up when Johnson-Odom couldn’t, and last night Mayo wasn’t that guy.

Vander Blue was one of the bright spots last night, crashing the offensive glass like Williams had wanted him to (he finished with four offensive rebounds) and playing good on-ball defense. He couldn’t get to the basket against the lengthy LSU defenders, but overall Blue contributed to what Marquette did and didn’t make many mistakes in a night filled with them.

Watching the game a second time, it’s perplexing as to why Williams stayed in the full court press. Anthony Hickey’s super-fast and tiny frame was built to break the press, and LSU got far too many easy buckets because of it. On the other hand, many of the Tigers’ turnovers came in the half court. Williams loves his defenses being the aggressors, but last night it backfired.

Three point shooting is still a major issue for this team. Johnson-Odom and Crowder combined to go 8-for-17 from beyond the arc, with the rest of the team missing all nine of its attempts. On the year, the “rest of the team” is 23-of-75 (30.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and that’s in large part due to Mayo’s 38.3 percent clip (13-of-34). Last night a lack of outside shooting killed Marquette.

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2 Comments on “Thoughts and reactions from Marquette’s loss to LSU”

  1. Marquette FAN
    December 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Not sure how Blue was a bright spot. He didn’t do anything. Without great inside presence, we are going to have to team rebound. He is suppose to crash boards… along with all of our other players. It is easy to play “mistake free” when you sit on the sidelines and not do anything on offense.

    Unfortunately, some of the blame goes to him. He is a 5 star sophomore with a ton of athletic ability to get to the rim. Everyone is giving him a free pass if they think Mayo, a true freshmen, should have contributed more. Blue had 4 points in one of our lowest scoring performances. Jae had 22 and DJO had 16. The blame has to partially fall on his shoulders.

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