Buzz Williams

Did Buzz Williams’ technical cost Marquette?

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There are a couple of standards rules that every journalist has ingrained in their consciousness from the first day they open up their computer and launch a blog on WordPress:

– There’s no cheering on press row.

– The team name is singular. The nickname is plural: Kansas lost its third straight game because the Jayhawks missed all their shots.

– If Buzz Williams gets a technical foul, you ask him about it in the press conference.

The latter happened on Monday night, and as you might expect, Williams provided every hack in the room with some gold:

“I was trying to get my average up on technicals,” Williams said. “This is my 162nd game in the Big East and I’m averaging one every 50 games. So I felt like I needed to get one because I haven’t had one in two years. That was my fifth technical since I’ve been here. I think any time you get a technical, it’s a bad time.”

(It’s worth noting here that Williams has five technicals in 164 games, so his math is a bit off. He’s getting one every 33 games or so.)

“If you average one technical per year in a BCS league, I think you’re probably doing OK. I think we have the best officials in the country. I was just hollering at somebody that would respond. We can make a big deal out of it if you want. I got a technical. I’m sorry. I may get a technical again next year. That’s my average. It’ll probably be on the road. If you want me to, I can tell you who has given me the technicals. I’ve gotten five technicals, three by one guy and one by one guy and one by another guy. That’s a pretty good ratio.”

The problem with the technical that Williams got on Monday is that it turned out to be the difference-maker.

Marquette had cut a 10 point halftime lead to just three, holding a Georgetown offense that got into a rhythm at the end of the first half to four points in eight minutes, when Williams got T’d up. Georgetown would get two free throws and a layups from Otto Porter on the possession pushing their lead to seven points. That lead would end up getting extended to 15 points, and the Golden Eagles never threatened again.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.