Game #33: Marquette 74 vs St. John’s 45 – Keys to the Game and Postgame Media
5 Points, or, Keys to the Game
Forward Effort? Two free throw attempts by Rob Thomas. 6 shots by Sean Evans with 4 turnovers. 3 boards from Justin Burrell , and 5 apiece from the other two; the team gave up 17 offensive rebounds to a team that missed 27 shots? And only picked up 8 offensive boards on 28 misses. St. John’s didn’t just get defeated on the glass, they were mutilated. Score: F.
Young Legs: The postgame remarks below talk about tiredness, lack of energy (and preparation). The team defended poorly, got out-hustled, and couldn’t score. Score: F.
Defense and Pace: The game was at St. John’s slower pace, but it didn’t matter; the team turned the ball over anyway. Marquette couldn’t score early, but that didn’t really matter, because St. John’s scored like an elementary school team. The defense was hardly there. Score: D.
Repeat Performances: Horne wasn’t terrible, overall, but not an impact player early. Kennedy was relatively okay. Sean Evans didn’t have a repeat performance in him, and the rest of the team actually performed far worse in this matchup than against Marquette on Valentine’s Day. Score: F.
The Basics – Make Shots: Wow. They couldn’t even get shots off. It was sad, disgusting, and I still haven’t seen the second half. Score: F.
(click on the “read the rest…” to see the postgame media and quotes below.)
Statsheet tells me the game was statistically over with 12.22 to go in the second half. Wow.
I’ll start with a long quote taken from the postgame and transcribed by Todd Rosiak, who follows Marquette for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Note how Buzz identifies a numerical metric and gets his team to execute a plan that, though simple, made the Red Storm a non-factor offensively. Defeating another team shouldn’t be this simple, should it?
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Recap: St. John’s/Game 33: Villanova
Granted, St. John’s isn’t terribly talented offensively, but it does have a pair of legitimate scorers in Paris Horne and D.J. Kennedy, and some talent on the inside. But MU was stifling from the outset, never gave the Red Storm any room to breathe, and reaped the benefits of that by basically coasting to an easy victory over the final 30 minutes or so.
Coach Buzz Williams was asked afterward if that first half represented a perfect defensive performance.
"They scored three baskets, so it was relatively close," he said, drawing laughs. "We did a much, much better job."
Wesley Matthews, who led the way offensively with 20 points, said MU’s success defensively could be traced to intensity.
"I think it was just the fact that we took them out of what they wanted to do," he said. "St. John’s, they’re a hard-playing team, and they pride themselves on their intensity and their work, and that’s the same thing we pride ourselves on.
"When they played their hand and we played ours, we were just able to take them out of what they wanted to do. We were able to out-work them on both ends of the court, and that’s the story."
Williams had pinpointed two specific areas in which MU had to be strong in: transition defense and playing ball screens. In his opinion, the Golden Eagles turned in passing grades in both.
"I think the thing that was best for us — and we spent a lot of time on it — St. John’s set 88 ball screens on us at Marquette when we played, and yesterday against Georgetown they set 55," he said. "So it was paramount for us to have a chance to win from a team defensive standpoint, that we would have to guard their ball screens and once the shot goes up…we had to block out and make sure we secured the defensive rebound in order to finish the possession.
The only good thing about St. John’s performance yesterday against Marquette in the Big East Tournament is the colorful words one can dig up to describe it. The most accurate might be "atrocious." "Horrendous," "appalling" and "ghastly" fit, too.
You get the picture.
The Red Storm saved its most dreadful half of the season for its final game. The Johnnies scored only 10 points before the break – the fewest in a half in the tournament’s 30 years – en route to getting pasted, 74-45, in a second-round game at the Garden.
"There was so much shame," Justin Burrell said.
Immediately after the game, Burrell sat in the locker room, head in hands and tears running down his face. He needed several minutes to compose himself then said: "We did all this work all year long so everyone would say we are a good team. To be on national TV and have what just happened be our last game? It hurts. It’s just plain embarrassing.".…
The deathly silence in the locker room at the half was broken only by Roberts’ encouragement, but Burrell said "mentally we felt outmatched."…
"Maybe we weren’t as ready as we should have been and, yes, this was embarrassing," Kennedy said. "But it doesn’t take away from the progress we made. I know we’ll be better next year."
Kennedy and Paris Horne (15 points) needed to do most of the scoring, and yesterday, against a small, quick Marquette (24-8) team that put intense man-to-man pressure on the perimeter, there was nowhere for the Red Storm’s scorers to go.
"They had a lot of energy and we didn’t make any shots," Horne said. "It’s tough. They just blew us out."
Every starter will be returning for St. John’s next season – which, according to Kennedy, "starts real soon. We’ll be in the gym, working." Instead of a collection of long faces in the visitors’ locker room at the Garden, there were more hopeful looks and hopeful words than one might expect after such a dismantling.
"We can’t call ourselves young guys anymore. We’re veterans," Kennedy said. "We can’t go out like this next year. We’ve got to be one of the top five teams in the Big East and make the NCAA Tournament. We can’t settle for this."
…the only member of the St. John’s basketball family who could possibly have walked out of the Garden yesterday believing he had a sparkling diamond instead of a lump of coal was strength and conditioning coach Patrick Dixon.
Dixon has an offseason worth of motivation in the grotesque form of the Red Storm’s 74-45 loss to Marquette yesterday in a second-round Big East Conference Tournament game.
NY Post/ Back Page: Marquette 74, St. John’s 45
But here is something else to think about: Neither Roberts nor his program needs to be judged solely on yesterday’s calamity. Consider this: St. John’s played 10 conference games, including this one, against teams that weren’t forced to play in yesterday’s trophies-for-all-the-kiddies extra round of Big East play, meaning teams that finished in the top eight. And it isn’t just that they were 0-10 in those games.
No. Digest these numbers for a second: 21, 23, 12, 19, 17, 13, 14, 29, 19 and 29. Those are the margins of those 10 losses. That is an average gap – average! – of 19.6 points. Which means that when Roberts says, "Nobody is going to tell me things aren’t bright," you have to wonder if maybe the man needs a new flashlight….
Monasch has been defiant in his assertion that this will be an NCAA tournament team next year, the closest Roberts’ feet have ever been nudged to an open fire in five years on the job.
Staten Island Advance: Quick downgrade for Storm at Big East Tournament
"I’m not going to let one game dictate what happened this year," said coach Norm Roberts after the Red Storm finished the season with a 16-17 record. "We’ve had a decent season. We worked through a lot of things, toughness things."
A day after looking sharp and determined in a win against Georgetown, the 13t h-seeded Red Storm (16-17) needed almost six minutes to get its first basket. St. John’s missed a staggering 19 of its 22 first-half shots. Unfortunately for St. John’s, you only have to go back to 2007 to find a similarly futile half. That season, Duke also held the Red Storm to 10 first-half points en route to a 67-50 victory.
TorchSports Backpage: Storm recordholders in tourney loss
The Red Storm were so tired in the first half that they shot just 3-22, 13 percent, from the field. So tired that they did not hit a single three-pointer and turned the ball over ten times. So tired that they attempted just six free throws.
Five Boro Sports: Positive feeling lasts just 24 hours for Johnnies
"They beat us on the boards," sophomore guard Paris Horne said. "Everything just felt slow, because we couldn’t hit shots. We can’t let that effect us when we can’t hit shots. We have to keep playing defense and get loose balls, but they beat us to everything today."
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Smother lode: Defense ignites rout