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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marquette vs Southern California

After getting blown out by Illinois and then getting their first win in Maui against Texas, up a fight against Marquette. They ended up losing 72-64, but it was an entertaining game.

Junior Cadouan has always been a steady point guard on both ends and was good again today. He never stands out, but just does his thing and provides a steady hand on the ball. Once Blue went out with an injury, Cadougan finally made his presence known by closing out the game. He scored all 11 points in the second half - when he was needed. Defensively, he shut down Jio Fontan which conversely, may have kept USC in the game.

There is the Ewing Theory where teams are better without a certain player. I would say this is applicable to Jio Fontan, but it is generally used when a player gets injured. Fontan was still in the game, he just was unable to launch up as many shots as he normally does. For this, its kind of like the opposite of what Shane Battier likes to do.

If Battier was playing, he would have let Fontan take as many forced contested jumpers inside the arc as he would have liked. Its what Fontan normally does and it leads to a very stoic offense. Nobody else gets involved and Fontan shoots a low percentage while turning it over.

Today, Fontan couldnt get a shot off which is saying a lot - he always manages to find a way to shoot. It put him in facilitating mode early and he actually used his quickness and ability to slash to get his teammates going.

He found the hot hand of JT Terrell, who ended up hitting five 3-pt shots on the night.

That kept them in the game, but ultimately Marquette's cohesiveness overcame a hot shooting night of one of the group of transfers Kevin O'Neill is trying to mend together.

If Cadougan is the steady hand of Marquette, Vander Blue is the opposite hand that shakes up the drink a little. Blue has a point guard's build, but has never had the pass-first mentality. He was coming off two good games against Butler and Mississippi State and showed some more nice things today.

He finished with only 6 points on 3-11 shooting, but made his impact felt. His shooting appears to be improved from his previous two season, shooting 5-11 from three this year. He didn't make a three today, but did hit a long 2 off the dribble on a one on one move.

Blue is a good ball handler and a crafty passer when he has his head up. He dribbles a lot though and his dribble is usually intended to create his own shot. He is able to weave through defenders with a crafty handle and quick change of direction, and gets off the court quickly when rising towards the rim.

Unfortunately, Blue doesn't have much of a position at the next level. Perhaps his best quality is his defense, which appears to be more disciplined this year. That is his best hope to make the league. He will probably stay for his senior season, but I doubt he will take over point guard. Blue has never had the maturity or mentality of a natural point guard and top 100 recruit Duane Wilson could start.

Other notes:

Devante Gardner is super crafty in the post and is impossible to keep out of the paint. In fact, Kevin O'Neill was complaining to get a 3 seconds in the key call all came. It is very fun to watch him execute below the rim post moves - he has a quick release and a very soft touch.

He abused Dewayne Dedmon down low and Dedmon picked up a technical and probably should have picked up another one later in the game. Dedmon should have been frustrated against Gardner, but he needs to learn to deal with it because this could be a frustrating campaign for him. His guards didn't get him any touches, well ok, he got 2 touches by my count. One he made the bucket through contact and got the foul shot. The other he found a teammate for a nice assists. He finished with 3 points and 1 assist - go figure. Dedmon may not be a draftable player, but he deserves a better chance than this. He has a nice body, shows some fight, and is active. He's rebounding the ball at a nice clip as well.

Jamil Wilson appears poised for the Hayward/Butler/Crowder role. At 6-7, Wilson is able to get own shot and has been hitting jumpers at a nice clip. He blocks some shots and picked up two steals today. He's not exactly in the same class as his predecessors, but he looked good today.


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