Highlights and notes from MU Madness scrimmage

We say it every year and it never ceases to apply: It is wrong to give any sort of weight or apply any sort of credence to player performance in a setting like the one seen during the scrimmage at Marquette Madness. Think of correlation not causing causation. Just because you see it now doesn’t mean it will anything like what you will see come November.

With that out of the way, here are a few general notes from the 26 hectic minutes of Marquette’s intrasquad scrimmage.

-The starting lineup for the Blue team: Derrick Wilson, Jajuan Johnson, Juan Anderson, Jake Thomas and Chris Otule. Jameel McKay generally came on to replace Otule while Deonte Burton spelled Anderson.

-The starting lineup for the White team: Duane Wilson, Todd Mayo, Jamil Wilson, Steve Taylor Jr., Davante Gardner.  John Dawson replaced Duane initially while Dylan Flood went in when anyone needed a quick breather.

-The biggest thing I noted all night was Mayo’s aggressiveness to score. He’s never been shy about launching before, but tonight that was even more evident. That’s not a bad thing, either. His guard play will be crucial, particularly early on in the season as the freshman guards get their sea legs under them.

-As you will tell by the videos, Mayo put on a scoring clinic, hitting jumpers, scoring in transition, blowing past defenders and getting to the hole with ease. He just plays so smoothly. There’s no herk or jerk in his style. Let’s see if he can put it together for a full year. (Also of note, Buzz Williams said Mayo wasn’t at 100 percent yet after undergoing knee surgery to repair a meniscus this summer.)

-Here’s another pretty finish by Todd.

-Last one from the Todd Mayo fan club.

-Jamil Wilson’s biggest play of the night came on a huge posterization of Chris Otule that had Sandy Cohen on his feet. He hit a few jumpers and generally looked like himself. He did have two gorgeous entry passes to Davante Gardner when Gardner was being fronted. That’s not something we saw much of last year so keep an eye out for more of that.

-Jajuan Johnson was very aggressive in looking for his shot early on and did hit a few jumpers. He’s gotten rave reviews from players and coaches alike thus far and looks like he might be an offensive contributor from Day 1. His defense on Mayo was a different story. It’s tough staying in front of someone as quick as Todd, but watch the Mayo videos again and Johnson’s legs barely react as his man is two feet past him. Again, this is just a scrimmage and it’s just an observation, not a definite indictment of him as a defender.

– Jameel Mckay is going to give defenses fits with his tipping of rebounds. He just never stops jumping and is so quick to the ball. His handling is a work in progress, though. For now, most of his scoring will come from putbacks and dunks as he is still hesitant to pull the trigger and doesn’t create much for himself.

-Derrick Wilson was also abnormally aggressive, taking isolation shots on back-to-back possessions. He missed both, but that is still something you would have never seen last season, even in a scrimmage. And where did this dish come from? It was so unexpected that I pretty much missed capturing it. You can sort of tell what happens, but that execution was lovely.

-Ox was Ox. He loves to handle it and shoot threes in this setting. He’ll be in the blocks getting buckets when it counts.

-Chris Otule didn’t show any limitations unlike Madness last season. He had a few moves on Gardner and one throw down on a put back.

-Jake Thomas’ troubles hitting shots when it counts continued, as he missed a pair of treys early on and didn’t attempt any afterward.

-Duane Wilson’s first step is still lightning quick (even more impressive considering he’s going against a great physical defender in Derrick) but unlike in high school where he could reach the basket unperturbed, he found the trees both taller and quicker, getting a few shots altered. He did hit the only three I saw him take and did find multiple ways to score.

-Juan Anderson in transition is fun to see. One advantage of him becoming a bit more perimeter-oriented (or so Buzz says) is that he will be a great conductor of the fast break. It seems to come very naturally.

-Deonte Burton was in attack mode all night, though I’m not sure he has any other mode. He will have his work cut out for him trying to get minutes, as he doesn’t yet handle the two naturally but is stuck in a logjam at the three.

-Steve Taylor was very active on the offensive glass. Imagine that.

-John Dawson didn’t wow at any point but didn’t make any glaring mistakes either. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him get a steady 3-5 minutes per game.

Overall, the action was at breakneck pace, which isn’t very realistic of a game situation. Yes, Buzz wants to play faster this year, but this was beyond fast. It’s nice to see the amount of talent that can’t even get off the bench in a scrimmage, but it’s much too soon to say who that will be.

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  1. Morning Dump for 10/14/13; Big East Style - Play for the Garden - A Big East Sports Site - October 14, 2013

    […] Marquette Madness took place on Friday night, which included a scrimmage, three-point contest, dunk contest and a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award given to sixth year senior Chris Otule.  Freshman Deonte Burton, who seemed to be the favorite entering, won the dunk contest.  And one Marquette team beat the other Marquette team by a score of 49-43.  This is the best we have to feed our hunger until real games start — which can’t come soon enough. […]

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