Zoning up Marquette

In Monday night's CBE Classic opening round victory, the Golden Eagles could not solve Idaho State's pesky 3-2 defense. Explanations were given, and adjustments are on the way.

Just two games into the season, the Golden Eagles have had a weakness exposed. For the majority of Monday night's narrow win over Idaho State, the Bengals baffled Marquette with a stifling 3-2 zone defense. At times, it seems like Idaho State was playing with six men on the floor, plugging up Marquette's dribble penetration and forcing wild three point shots. The zone defense held Marquette to just twenty five percent shooting from behind the arc and twenty nine percent shooting for the game.

"We just had to just play more basketball," said Jerel McNeal about beating the zone defense. "When our set plays broke down, we just stood around. We have to penetrate the gaps a lot harder and take better shots."

Marquette will have to make quick adjustments as they square off against Detroit in less than twenty hours. MU can expect a lot more of the same tomorrow, as every Titan coach was in the house scouting the game. Tom Crean expects to use more ball fakes and penetration to amend his team's poor offensive attack against Idaho State.

"We have to do a better job of attacking; we are also not shot faking like we want to," remarked Crean. "I thought are ball movement improved from our first few games but it's definitely a work in progress."

The Golden Eagles were able to press like their hair was on fire in the game's closing minutes. MU created turnovers, a total of twenty five to bring a 40-32 deficit to a 40-40 tie with just over nine minutes left. Jerel McNeal led the way with six steals followed by James's four. Crean pointed out that his team would have pressed a lot earlier in the game but the Bengals shot the ball far too well to take that risk.

Added Crean, "To give those guys open looks tonight would have been a big mistake. The last thing we wanted to give a team, who was feeling a lot of confidence early in that game, was open looks."

The drawing board will barely be used tonight as Marquette rests up for tomorrow's tilt with the Titans. Detroit staged a furious comeback to sink Maine in the 4:30 game by a score of 57-50. The winner will advance to the semi-final game of the CBE classic played in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium.

**Andrew Sharos is a senior majoring in History and Secondary Education.


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