I am sick right now.
Sick in the literal sense. I have been basically coughing up a storm since Friday afternoon, so I chugged Vitamin C by the boatload and took cold medicine like there was a run on it on my way to Milwaukee, where I was fortunate enough to be in pretty good shape voice-wise to call the game on WSOU.
Also, sick in the figurative sense. Sick and tired of being sick and tired of a less-than-40-minute effort from this team.
Here's the issue- the Pirates seem to think they're still in high school. Not literally, of course, but on the basketball court, there is an 8-minute difference in game times between high school and college. This is a team that gives good effort for 32 minutes consistently. But never more than that, and it usually smacks them in the face between the under-12 and under-4 media timeouts of the second half. Look back at the schedule- as Darth Vader once said "Search your feelings- you know it to be true."
I don't feel very much like being Darth Vader. Please, Pirates- prove me wrong. Next Saturday at Notre Dame would be a nice place to start.
- Hazell's Historic Night
Jeremy Hazell's game was a microcosm of the team's game on Saturday. He scored 10 points on a pretty efficient percentage in the first half, knocking down 2 threes to break the record for most career 3s in Big East play. Then he couldn't find the bottom of the net for the first 16 minutes or so of the second half, consistently leaving shots short as Marquette made their game-breaking 18-5 run. Then all of a sudden he knocked down a couple more threes, which tied him with Terry Dehere for most career threes in a Seton Hall uniform. He scored a game-high 23 PTS, and he certainly gets credit for the remarkable career that he has had statistically here at the Hall.
- Ground (and post-up) and Pound
Marquette's strategy was very simple- work the ball around in their normal offensive sets, and whenever a shot went up, attack the boards like it was Custer's Last Stand. At one point, Marquette had the same number of offensive rebounds as Seton Hall had TOTAL rebounds. Chris Otule, who for all his size (6'11"), doesn't contribute on the stat sheet all too much. He had 10 PTS/ 7 REB at the half, and he only didn't play many minutes in the second half because he couldn't make a free throw (0-5). All night long, the Golden Eagles attacked the shorter front line of the Pirates and it resulted in both Herb Pope and Patrik Auda fouling out of the game.
- Herb's Foul Woes
Herb Pope fouled out of this game with just 6 PTS and 2 REB in limited minutes because, you know, um, how do I put this......... HE COMMITTED TOO MANY DUMB FOULS. AGAIN. I think we may need to bring in some help for Pope, who keeps putting both himself and the Pirates in a bad position because of his pretty obvious and extraordinarily dumb fouls. And please don't bring up Mike Davis. We all know it's not that bad.
It is AWESOME. Saturday was the most brilliant crisp day in Milwaukee, and since I had mucho time to kill before the game, my color guy Bryce and I walked around town a bit, got a burger at Stack'd (one of the Top 3 Burgers I've Ever Had), saw the Harley-Davidson Museum, and interacted with some of the nicest people imaginable. There was cheese, of phenomenal quality and large quantity. Bryce said that he was definitely going to come back if given the chance. I concurred. It's a shame such an awesome day ended so badly with the game going the way it did, then a winter storm deciding to arrive just as we were about to go to the airport.