Six games in the conference tonight, but not too many compelling matchups. Pitt at Villanova looks like the best one, though I am curious to see if Providence can finally pick up a quality win as they host Syracuse. (Regular readers know we here at RCR are always on the lookout for something bad happening to Syracuse.)
So, a couple of random notes on a snowy Wednesday morning here in NJ. (Kids are home from school -- yippee!!)
-Cracked Sidewalks points out two interesting things about Marquette's win at Notre Dame on Monday night. First, it was apparently the eighth anniversary of Al McGuire's death (which doesn't seem that long ago). Second, only four players scored points for Marquette in the game. That's right. They scored 71 points, and the only ones who scored were Jerel McNeal (27), Dominic James (15), Wes Mathews (16) and Lazar Heyward (13).
And they say Georgetown's not deep!
Seriously, though, you can get away with a lack of depth when your best four players are this good. I still think Marquette will lose a game here at some point. Once they stop playing DePaul every other game, maybe. Somebody will be able to out-physical them inside. Their guards will have a cold shooting night. Their schedule has been relatively soft so far, and their final five games at at Georgetown/UConn/at Louisville/at Pitt/Syracuse. So they will be tested. But they are good, and the ND win proves it. Even if it was a four-man effort.
-Our fighting Hoyas do need a win tonight at Cincinnati. Can't go to Marquette on Saturday with a four-game losing streak. Something needs to happen to stem the feel of a free-fall and avoid a situation like the one in which Notre Dame now finds itself. I'm among those who would like to see more of Henry Sims, if for no other reason than to help with the horrendous rebounding problems. (Though I do feel like this could be a case of the most popular player in town always being the backup quarterback.) GU will need some size and toughness inside to combat Mike Williams and Yancey Gates tonight, and if they get pushed around early (and they keep chunking those three-point bricks), I fear a disaster.
-The key for Villanova is always Scotty Reynolds, but I think the key tonight, if they're to have a chance against Pitt, is going to be Dante Cunningham. They'll have to do something to keep the Panthers honest inside, and Cunningham's energetic play last week in the first half was a huge reason the Wildcats were able to hang in the way they did against Connecticut.
That's just off the top of my head in the morning, with the kids screaming their heads off. Maybe I'll check back later.