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1999 - 2000 Season

Coach: Tom Crean
Record: 15-13
Final RPI: 67

When Kevin O'Neill left Marquette, Mike Deane was handed a roster that included two future NBA players, Marquette's all-time leader in assists and five players who would finish their careers as 1,000-point scorers. When Tom Crean took over for Deane, he inherited a team with a losing record and just two players who would finish their careers as 1,000-point scorers. The team's total of 44 blocked shots on the season was the lowest total since they started tracking that statistic in 1979.

In his first season as head coach, Crean took a team projected by many in the preseason as sixth in Conference USA's American Division to its first postseason appearance in two years. Facing a schedule that featured 13 games with teams who participated in the 1998 NCAA Tournament and four nationally ranked opponents, the 33-year old first-time head coach led his squad to 15 victories overall, including two over Top 25 teams (#21 DePaul and #25 Louisville) and an 8-8 conference mark.

Schedule

DATE OPPONENT RESULT RECORD
11/20/1999 Chicago StateW 62-43 1-0
11/23/1999 at Minnesota L 66-57 1-1
11/27/1999 WoffordW 74-59 2-1
12/3/1999 Western Michigan W 76-69 3-1 Blue & Gold Coca-Cola Classic
12/4/1999 Appalachian State W 57-51 4-1 Blue & Gold Coca-Cola Classic
12/7/1999 DaytonL 63-60 4-2 Milwaukee Arena
12/11/1999 at BaylorL 72-68 OT 4-3
12/20/1999 HamptonW 67-52 5-3
12/23/1999 at UW-Madison L 86-74 5-4
12/29/1999 Coppin State W 63-55 6-4 Milwaukee Arena
1/2/2000 Xavier (OH) W 65-63 7-4
1/5/2000 Saint LouisW 56-38 8-4 (1-0)
1/8/2000 at #3 CincinnatiL 67-48 8-5 (1-1)
1/12/2000 at #19 DePaulW 69-60 9-5 (2-1)
1/15/2000 #25 Louisville W 66-64 OT 10-5 (3-1)
1/19/2000 UNC CharlotteW 65-55 11-5 (4-1) Brian Wardle tied a Bradley Center record for three point field goal percentage (100%)
1/23/2000 #1 CincinnatiL 72-60 11-6 (4-2)
1/26/2000 at Saint LouisL 67-52 11-7 (4-3)
1/29/2000 at UNC CharlotteL 60-54 11-8 (4-4)
2/2/2000 at Southern Mississippi W 79-67 12-8 (5-4)
2/5/2000 HoustonW 65-61 13-8 (6-4)
2/13/2000 at Louisville L 76-64 13-9 (6-5)
2/16/2000 DePaulL 55-35 13-10 (6-6)
2/24/2000 at South Florida W 61-60 14-10 (7-6)
2/26/2000 Memphis State L 53-49 14-11 (7-7)
3/1/2000 UABW 68-58 15-11 (8-7)
3/4/2000 at Tulane L 73-68 15-12 (8-8)
3/8/2000 vs HoustonL 77-75 15-13 (8-8) Conference USA Tournament
3/15/2000 at Xavier (OH) L 67-63 15-14 (8-8) National Invitational Tournament (Cincinnati, OH)

Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/High School
4 John Cliff G 6-2 210 Sr. Decatur, Ill./MacArthur
10 Cordell Henry G 5-9 160 So. Chicago,Ill./Whitney Young
12 Brian Barone G 6-0 175 Jr. College Station,Texas/Consolidated
22 Brian Wardle G 6-5 212 Jr. Clarendon Hills,Ill./Hinsdale Central
32 Bart Miller G/F 6-5 205 Sr. Brandenburg,Ky./Meade County
33 David Diggs G 6-4 203 So. Dayton, Ohio/Northmont
34 Jon Harris F 6-7 213 So. Edwardsville,Ill./Edwardsville
35 John Mueller C 6-11 232 Jr. Cedarburg,Wis./Marquette
40 Krunti Hester F 6-6 240 Fr. Indianapolis,Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit
42 John Polonowski F 6-8 235 Sr. Rockford,Mich./Rockford
43 Oluoma Nnamaka F 6-7 213 So. Uppsala,Sweden/Sallen Basket
55 Greg Clausen C 6-11 265 Jr. Dixon, Ill./Dixon

Coaches

Head coach: Tom Crean
Assistant coaches: Tim Buckley, Dwayne Stephens, Darrin Horn
Special assistant: Brad Burris

1999-2000 Season Statistics

name G GS MIN FGM FGA FG% 3PM3PA3P%FTMFTA FT% REBASTSTLBLKTOPFPTSPPG
Brian Wardle 29 29 915 169 380.445 50 125.400 94 120.783 132 64 15 2 81 68 482 16.6
John Cliff 29 29 943 159 391.407 67 178.376 37 53.698 111 54 34 5 87 57 422 14.6
Cordell Henry 29 28 766 91 255.357 34 109.312 48 60.800 75 102 35 1 69 76 264 9.1
Oluoma Nnamaka24 22 718 71 143.497 12 34.353 50 79.633 161 27 16 9 38 62 204 8.5
John Mueller 29 28 510 51 103.495 0 0 26 40.650 135 7 10 7 39 76 128 4.4
Jon Harris 28 1 722 46 85.541 0 0 13 51.255 188 19 13 4 39 80 105 3.6
Brian Barone 29 1 440 18 57.316 7 22.318 15 25.600 42 57 22 1 32 51 58 2.0
John Polonowski23 7 251 24 60.400 0 4.000 9 16.563 32 9 5 12 21 44 57 2.5
David Diggs 28 0 319 20 72.278 9 40.225 4 6.650 37 16 6 0 11 26 53 1.9
Greg Clausen 21 0 197 15 33.455 0 0 6 17.255 47 2 7 3 18 42 36 1.7
Bart Miller 13 0 67 3 10.300 0 0 3 5.600 11 3 3 0 5 6 9 0.7
Krunti Hester 2 0 2 1 11.00 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 1.0
TOTALS 29 - 5850 668 1590 .420 179 512 .350 305 472 .646 972 360 166 44 440 589 1820 62.8

Season Wrap-up

FOR THE RECORD — The 1999-2000 Marquette men’s basketball team finished with an overall record of 15-14. In Conference USA action, the Golden Eagles, tabbed for sixth place by the majority of preseason prognosticators, posted an 8-8 won-lost ledger, good for fourth place in the American Division. The eight wins in league action were two more from the previous campaign. Marquette earned a berth to the NIT where it dropped a 67-63 first-round decision at Xavier.HEAD

COACH TOM CREAN — Head Coach Tom Crean completed his first year at the helm of the Golden Eagles' program in 1999-2000. Crean, who came to Marquette via Michigan State where he served the Spartan program for four seasons, the last two as associate head coach, led MU to pair of wins over top 25 foes as well as guiding the program to itsth th35 overall trip to postseason play and 13 bid to the NIT.

HOME SWEET HOME — The Golden Eagles concluded the 1999-2000 campaign with a home record of 12-4. In games played at the Bradley Center, Marquette registered an 11-3 effort while showing a 1-1 mark in games played at the Milwaukee- Arena. MU has won 10 or more games at the Bradley Center in each of the last nine years and now stands 139-53 all-time at the Bradley Center.

MORE ON THE HOME COURT — In Marquette’s 16 home games in1999-2000, the Golden Eagles enjoyed a 61.8-56.9 per-game scoring advan-tage. Marquette held opponents to just 36.9 percent from the floor and 24.4percent from three-point range. MU allowed just one of its 16 home oppo-nents to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor (Louisville, 50% on Jan. 15).

DEFENSE PLAYS A KEY ROLE — Marquette ranked among the leaders among Conference USA teams this past campaign in a number of defensive categories. The Golden Eagles ranked No. 2 in the conference in scoring defense in both overall (62.4 ppg) and conference (61.6 ppg) contests. MU held down the No. 5 position in field goal percentage defense in overall affairs and was No. 1 in three-point field goal percentage defense in both overall (.279) and league (.273) outings.

CRASH THE BOARDS — An emphasis of the 1999-2000 Marquette team was solid and consistent play on the boards. MU out rebounded 18 of its 29 opponents and posted a fine 14-4 mark in those contests. The Golden Eagles concluded the campaign with a 36.9-31.5 per-game advantage in rebounding and the +5.4 per-game margin ranked it second among conference squads in overall play. In conference outings, the Golden Eagles finished with a +4.4 per-game advantage, good for the No. 3 position. A particular strength of the Head Coach Tom Crean team was its determination on the boards at the offensive end of the floor. MU averaged 14.4 offensive rebounds per game in league games, good for the No. 3 spot, and finished the year with 18games of racking up 15 or more offensive rebounds.MORE

GLASS ACTION — The Golden Eagles enjoyed an advantage of 10 or more boards in nine games and finished with a record of 7-2 in those games. The team’s biggest margin in rebounding was 34 against Coppin State (12/29/99). The following is a list of games where Marquette finished with more than 10 rebounds that its opponent.

COMEBACK KIDS — Marquette recorded a pair of major come-from-behind wins in 1999-2000. The Golden Eagles opened the year 2000 in dramatic style, rallying from an early second-half deficit of 18 points (23-41) before stealing a 65-63 win at home against Xavier on Jan. 2. On Feb. 24, MU faced a 16-point deficit (31-47) with 16:51 remaining in the game before rebounding to snatch a 61-60 win at South Florida. Sparking the win against the Bulls was junior Brian Wardle who notched 19 of his game-high 31 points during the second half of action.

NAILBITERS — The Golden Eagles were involved in 10 games that were decided by five points or less. In those outings,MU compiled a record of 4-6, 3-2 at home and 1-4 in road/neutral sites. The last three games of the season were all decided by five or fewer points — unfortunately for Marquette, it came out on the short end of all three of those contests, 73-68 at Tulane, 77-75 to Houston in the C-USA Tournament and 67-63 at Xavier in the NIT.

GET TO THE LINE — Marquette attempted more free throws than its opponents on seven occasions in 1999-2000 and recorded a perfect 7-0 won-lost ledger in those games. A closer look at the free throw attempts statistics reveal that the Golden Eagles fashioned an impressive 13-4 mark in affairs when they finished with 15 or more attempts from the charity stripe. On the year, MU averaged 16.2 free throw attempts per game vs. 22.7 for the opposition.

HOLDING THE FORT — Marquette ended the year with a 12-3 record in games when it lead at halftime. At one stretch during the year, the Golden Eagles won eight straight games when enjoying a lead at halftime before a loss at Tulane ended that streak. Conversely, MU finished 2-11 in outings when it faced a halftime deficit.

60 THE MAGIC NUMBER ON DEFENSE — Marquette held 13 opponents to 60 or fewer points in 1999-2000 and finished with a 10-3 record in those games. To take it a step further, the Golden Eagles limited eight opponents to 55 points or less and racked up a 6-2 record in those games.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS — In Marquette’s 15 wins, it held a 40.1-28.7 per-game edge in rebounding (+11.4) … In the squad's 14 setbacks, the Golden Eagles were out boarded by a 34.4-33.4 per-game margin … In Marquette’s 14 defeats, the team averaged 11.8 free-throw attempts per game compared to 27.6 for the opposition… MU showed an 8-4 record when shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range …Marquette held opponents to less than 10 field goals in a half on 17 occa-sions … The Golden Eagles held opponents to 20 or fewer points in a half on seven occasions … In its 15 victories, Marquette enjoyed a 66.2-57.0 scoring advantage and shot 43.5 percent from the floor while limiting the opposition to 38.6 percent … The Golden Eagles finished with a 14-1 record when leading with 5:00 remaining.

WARDLE AND CLIFF A POTENT COMBO — The 1999-2000 season was a productive one for Brian Wardle and senior John Cliff. The pair combined for 49.6 percent of the team’s scoring (904 of the squad’s 1,820points) and 65.3 percent of the team’s three-point field goals (117 of 179).In addition, they combined to pace the team in scoring in 26 of the 29 Golden Eagles’ contests. Wardle and Cliff finished the year as Marquette's most prolific scoring tandem since the 1993-94 season when Damon Key (515) and Jim McIlvane (449) totaled 964 points between them.

WARDLE NAMED TO ALL-C-USA TEAM — Wardle was Marquette's lone representative on the 2000 C-USA All-League Team, bringing home a second-team berth. Wardle paced MU and ranked ninth among conference players in scoring (16.6 ppg) in overall action. In league tilts, the 6-foot-5 Wardle’s 16.9 points per game mark led the Golden Eagles and was seventh Brian Wardle in the league. Wardle, the team’s leading scorer in 14 games, ranked eighth among C-USA players in field goal percentage (.445), fourth in free throw percentage (.783), fourth in three-point field goals in three-point field goals per game (1.72 tpg).percentage (.400) and

MORE ON WARDLE — Wardle became a member of select company this year when he cracked the 1,000-point scoring plateau with a 15-point scoring performance at Southern Miss. Wardle finished the campaign with 1,146 career points and holds down 25 place on Marquette’s all-time scoring list. Season-wise, his 482 points were the ninth highest total ever turned in by a Marquette junior. His 50 three-point field goals were fifth most by a junior while his free throw percentage of .783 ranked him sixth. The owner of 23 double-figure scoring games in ’99-00, Wardle lit up the opposition for 20 or more points on 11 occasions including a pair of 31-point contests (vs. UNC Charlotte on Jan. 19 and South Florida on Feb. 24).th

CLIFF NOTES — John Cliff finished the year No. 2 on the squad and 11 in C-USA in scoring with a 14.6 points per game. The 6-foot-2 Cliff knocked down a team-high 67 three-point field goals, fifth on the school’s seasonal chart, and his2.31 treys per game average placed him fourth in C-USA. Cliff wound up the year seventh among league players with a 37.6percent effort in three-point field goal percentage.

CLIFF NOTES II — Cliff’s 23 games of double-figure scoring tied him with Wardle for the team high in that category. He registered five games of 20 or more points including a season-high 28 points at Southern Miss. He posted 12 games of three or more three-point goals and was on fire from beyond the arc over the last three games, shooting 60 percent (15-of-25).Career-wise, Cliff finished sixth at Marquette in three-point field goals (169), fifth in trey attempts (486) and 10 in trey percentage (.348).

NNAMAKA BOUNCES BACK — After sustaining a stress fracture in his foot that forced him out of action for five games early in the year, sophomore forward Oluoma Nnamaka recovered nicely and concluded the year fourth on the squad in scoring (8.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.7 rpg). His effort on the boards ranked him 11 among C-USA players in overall play while his 6.8 per-game effort in league action tied him for ninth place. The 6-foot-7 Nnamaka appeared in 24 games and scored in double digits on 10 occasions while turning in a pair of double-figure rebounding contests. One of his best performances of his Marquette career came at Louisville (Feb. 13) when he hit seven-of-nine from the floor en route to 15 points while totaling a career-high 12 rebounds. In MU’s final home game of the regular season against UAB, he tied that rebound total while tossing in 11 points in a 68-58 triumph. Nnamaka proved to be a force on the offensive glass by tallying a team-best 82 offensive boards, and his 3.42 offensive rebounds per game average ranked No. 2 in C-USA.

CORDELL DIRECTS THE ATTACK — Sophomore Cordell Henry led the team and finished tied for eighth among C-USA players in assists with a3.25 per-game average. Henry’s 102 assists were the ninth most by at Marquette sophomore and pushed his career total to 195. The second-year performer tied or led for the team’s lead in assists in 22 games and ended the year No. 2 in C-USA in assists/turnover ratio (+1.63) for league contests. As the season progressed, Henry became more of a scoring factor and ranked third on the club in point production (9.1 ppg). He scored in double figures in four of his last five and in a total of 12 games during the year and registered a pair of 20-plus point contests. In the Golden Eagles’ NIT game at Xavier, Henry blitzed the Musketeers with a career-high 26 points, 21 coming in the first half. The 5-foot-9 guard finished the game with a career-high 10 field goals in 15 attempts and also dished out six assists, tying his season best. Finally, he ended the season with an eight-game streak with at least one three-point field goal, tops on the team.

REBOUNDS ARE HARRIS — Sophomore Jon Harris is another of the young Marquette players who showed continual improvement during the in C-USA season. The 6-foot-7 Harris finished second on the team and 13th in rebounding (6.4 rpg) in overall play and his average of 2.75 offensive rebounds per outing in league games was good for the No. 8 spot among C-USA players. Harris registered four games of double-figure rebounding Cordell Henry and paced the club in rebounding in 12 games. Harris led the team with110 defensive rebounds and recorded 17 outings of six or more boards.


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