Top 2012-13 Performances: No. 10 Trent Lockett vs. Miami

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Stat line: 8 pts, 11 reb, 2 ast, 38 min.

Quality of opponent: 9/10. Miami came into this Sweet 16 matchup as a solid favorite to advance. They were the ACC regular season and tournament champions, having spent the last two months of the season in the top-10 of the AP polls, reaching as high as No. 2. They boasted the National Coach of the Year in Jim Larranaga and one of the top point guards in the country in Shane Larkin. However, the Hurricanes were missing one of their big men Reggie Johnson, who had undergone knee surgery earlier in the week. While Johnson would have helped, his role on the team had diminished in the final weeks, limiting the impact of is absence.

Magnitude of game: 10/10. The Sweet 16 of an NCAA Tournament? It doesn’t get much bigger than that. This game was Marquette’s opportunity to get over the hump, having lost in the Sweet 16 the previous two years. There was a bevy of national media attention and very few pundits were giving Marquette a chance to win. All of this makes Lockett’s performance that much more impressive.

Rundown: Trent started off quickly scoring four of Marquette’s first five points and grabbing two early rebounds. The most impressive part was that he never stopped. Buzz Williams simply couldn’t take him out as Trent was Marquette’s best rebounder and best defender. A lot was made of Buzz’ strategy to pin Larkin on every pick and roll, deservedly so, but what goes unmentioned is the terrific job Lockett did to both prevent penetration when Larkin got around the screens and clog the passing lanes, not allowing the ball to get to the open shooter.

Below is a perfect example of this. Lockett is moving at full speed having gone under a screen at the top of the arc yet still manages to get his body in position to prevent any penetration and disrupt the pass.

Picture 5

As a result, Vander Blue gets an easy steal and a runout for a dunk. The very next possession, Lockett kept Durand Scott in check as Scott tried to get to the hole and blocking the lay-up attempt. These types of plays won’t make many highlight reals, but they are absolutely vital. Lockett happened to make them over and over again.

Key play: There was no one play that turned the tide on this game as it was a blowout for the final 25 minutes of game time. However, Lockett’s rebounding prowess really stood out. He finished with a season high 11 rebounds, grabbing eight defensive boards, a full 30.1 percent of Marquette’s total. That’s a ridiculous percentage, particularly not being a 6-foot-11 center.

Wow factor: Trent didn’t force the issue all night, finishing with only one turnover and an O-rating of 132. That’s not to say he didn’t have any highlight reel plays. This putback dunk epitomized Lockett’s game. Aggressive rebounding, intelligent spacing and legitimate athleticism in short bursts. The NCAA doesn’t allow us to embed the play so you will have to click the link to see it for yourself.

Historical precedent: Jimmy Butler vs Syracuse in NCAA Tournament Round of 32.  Darius Johnson-Odom will be remembered as the hero of Marquette’s victory over the Orange, and rightly so, but Jimmy’s contribution transcended the box score. The senior played 39 minutes and did a little bit of everything else scoring 10 points, grabbing five boards, dishing out three assists and picking three pockets.

While Lockett picked up more rebounds, the two performances were very similar in that they did a little bit of everything for their teams and came up clutch in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Not to mention Buzz relied on both for practically the full 40.

Closing time: There were no late second heroics needed but just overall contributions in every aspect of the game. The Arizona State transfer capped his college career with his best performance at Marquette and the tenth best performance overall.

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Categories: 2012-13 Review, Analysis, Home, Offseason


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