Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Marquette vs. UWSP

One quick bit of housekeeping before I get to the game. I've updated the comments section so that anyone can leave one. Sorry I missed that earlier. Props to Cothroll (I believe) for actually registering in order to point out an omission on my part. On to last night's contest:

Last night I had the chance to attend my first game of the season, an exhibition between Marquette and UW-Stevens Point, the defending Division 3 national champs. I met up with my friends Dave and The Franchise in their seats for the season, which were better than my last minute $9 nose bleed purchase. Given UWSP’s return of all starters from last year, I predicted no greater than a 10 point spread in this one. Marquette proved me wrong, winning 78-65 and controlling most of the way. The Pointers were a nice challenge, though. A few thoughts on the events of the evening:

1) The real story of the night was Gene Mueller, of WKTI’s morning show taking over as the PA announcer. Let’s hope that Gene was doing this as a one time deal, because his antics led to one of the most annoying first halves of basketball I’ve ever watched. Dave aptly noted that some of his calls sounded like those singing chants you hear from the minister in a church service. There’s probably a name for that, but hey, I flunked confirmation back in the day, so I don’t know what it is.

2) In my first chance to see Marquette’s newcomers, Ryan Amoroso impressed me by far the most. He’s got a bigger body than I expected, and looks more like a banger than the roaming perimeter guy that I expected to see. He’ll be getting huge minutes by mid-season, because he knows where to be on the floor, and Marquette’s other big guys are wretched.

3) Travis Diener is still ridiculously good, and will have obscene point and assist averages this year. Obscene.

4) In perhaps my favorite moment of the night, The Franchise was relaying a story about Marquette radio announcer George Thompson. Thompson, not the brightest bulb, during a broadcast last year commented on a red-hot Dameon Mason "He’s not just gold, he’s platinum!" The Franchise then, in a sarcastic tone, said "Yeah George, because platinum is better than gold," to which I replied "Actually, as I’ve always understood it, platinum is really better than gold." The guy to the right of us chimed in that platinum is more costly, thankfully backing me up in setting this error straight. So in addition to seeing a good game, The Franchise learned a bit about precious metals last night.

5) Nick Bennett of UWSP is not shy about shooting the ball, and thankfully, he’s pretty good at it. Apparently anyone named Bennett knows how to do two things: shoot an defend.

6) It was a pleasant experience enjoying the game with Dave and The Franchise last night. Perhaps most shocking about the evening, though, was that I found myself agreeing with most of the things coming out of The Franchise’s mouth. Usually, I like to disagree with him, often because he’s blatantly wrong, and sometimes just to be contrarian. Last night he was 95% dead on with his comments. Well, except for his thoughts on platinum.

7) Steve Novak still looks like a 12 year old girl when he drives to the rim.

8) As noted earlier, Marquette needs serious help up front. I think Marcus Jackson had maybe 5 touches last night, and Chris Grimm isn’t exactly quick at recovering after helping on defense.

9) Biggest difference between the Division 3 champs and an average Marquette squad? After watching last night, I’m wondering if there’s a rule in D-3 barring the use of weight rooms.

Up next, tonight I go to the Mecca (as any good Milwaukean still calls it) to watch UWM vs. Lawrence. See you tomorrow.


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