Grading the Marquette game

Arizona got a big win over Marquette on Saturday, but the Wildcats were shaky at times. They had to come back, not once, but twice. Marquette exploited a number of things before finally wilting to Arizona's defensive pressure and athleticism.

Triangle & Too is a longtime contributor to the Cat Tracks' message boards. He hands out grades following every Wildcat basketball game.

Transition Defense – B
Marquette didn't try to run much. When they did, they had moderate success. The Golden Eagles are a semi-running team – but nobody looks like they can run with or against our CATS.

Transition Offense -- A
The most effective play – run it up and shoot an open 3. There were great moments inside, like Shakur's coast-to-coast lay-up, but the damage was done by the good old "run and shoot".

Half-Court Offense – A
How could it be an A????? Surely there were times the offense was sluggish and ball movement was non-existent in the first half. TRUE. The inside game was lacking. IF the outside shots had not been falling, it would have been a L------O------N------G afternoon. But the shots WERE falling at a RECORD pace – UA finished 13-20 on 3's. Figuring if you shoot 100% on 2's for 20 shots you get 40 points, this kind of shooting for 20 shots netted 39 points – so it was like NOT MISSING AT ALL!!!!!!!

Half-Court Defense – B
The Zone gets a "D" and the man-to-man gets an "A". Since we played mostly man, it averages out to a "B". Switching was good, except when Kirk Walters was in. Not to pick on him, but he's just not in the flow. On the outside, who is Steve Novak and why can't anyone guard him?????? 6 of 10 three-pointers – once again an opponent has a CAREER night from the outside. It's been the UA story for a FEW years now. Throw in Diener's 5-11 shooting on 3's and EXCELLENT playmaking, along with COACH EXTRAORDINAIRE Crean and UA saw as good a half-court offense as they are likely to see. THIS was somewhat of a preview of UA vs Stanford. If FEW is not our next coach in 7-8 years we should take a long look at Crean!!!!!!

Offensive Rebounding – B
Nice putbacks on occasion against a bigger team. Nice offensive interference no call by Channing. Adams – "hops" like we may NEVER have seen. Enthusiasm TOO. Hassan Adams will become one of the most HATED players in the Pac-10 this year. Opponents do not like a yeller.

Defensive Rebounding – A
No problems here. Marquette got one more rebound for the game. Considering their size advantage, the Golden Eagles needed to out-rebound us by 10 to win.

Officiating – B
WHAT????? IT STUNK TOO. HOW CAN YOU GIVE A "B"????? Well, these were Conference USA officials and they proved to be just as inept as Pac-10 officials. There were some horrendous calls, but if anyone got the biggest break, it was UA. The 4th foul on the big man Merritt at the 16 minute mark KILLED Marquette. The 4th foul on Salim did not HURT nearly as much. Officials did not call many cheapies. It's the way the Pac-10 OUGHT to be. DON'T LET THE OFFICIALS DECIDE THE GAME.

Intangibles – A
This is OUR house. This is also the MOST EXCITING UA team – possibly EVER. The crowd loved the Hassan show-boating and tolerated the Salim pouting. Road crowds will not be so kind. Of course, now that Fox is out, CANDY BARS are no longer an issue for hecklers!!!!

Passing/Ball Handling -- C-
There was no penetration and scoring inside. The passes were to the outside – and it worked like a charm because we shot the lights out. BUT – there were 17 turnovers, many unforced in the first 5 minutes of the game. Had we continued at that pace, we would have earned an "F". Watch when teams press us. We are picking up the dribble TOO close to half-court. In fact, CR had a half-court violation that was not called. We must dribble through the half-court line or pass over it. THIS is going to result in turnovers down the road and COST A GAME if it is not corrected!!!!!! MARK TOO'S WORDS!!!!!!

Bench Depth – A
Bench???? We don't need no stinkin' bench!!!!!!! Kirk Walters got all of 4 minutes. The guys didn't even look winded. The conditioning is THE BEST Too has ever seen on ANY college BB team. Remember, Salim has asthma. Right now, he has it well under control.

OVERALL 3.4 GPA for Marquette game.
OVERALL SEASON GPA -- 3.32

GRADES TOO DATE
NAU 3.4
FLA 3.1
SLU 2.3
Tejas 3.8

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