SCOUTING MAQUETTE!! TOUGH TO BEAT IN MILWAUKEE??
Andy Mac Williams,
Marquette has been an offensive juggernaut so far playing at the brand new FISER FORUM which they share with the NBA Milwaukee Bucks. Xavier can't decline the trip. They must play the Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon(Noon EST-FOX WXIX TV 19 in Cincinnati). MU is a perfect 10-0 in their new digs with three quality home wins over Top 25 caliber Kansas State, in-state rival Wisconsin and MAC power house Buffalo. Overall, The Golden Eagles sit 11-3 with road losses at Indiana in the Gavitt Games and at St Johns New Years night.
They also lost to Top 10 Kansas at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn where they beat Chris Mack's Louisville Cardinals in a controversial overtime game. It's Year Five for Duke product Steve Wojo and his Eagles are deeper-bigger and better defensively.
The pundits are taking notice with MU ranked 16th in AP and holding down #23 in the NCAA's NET rankings. Marquette should be motivated against Xavier.
They were waxed 89-69 at St Johns Tuesday evening in their BIG EAST Opener. Nothing went right for them. Star Junior guard Markus Howard was smothers(2-15 shooting for 8 points). St. Johns led almost the entire game with all 5 starters in double figures led by Shamorie Pond's 26 points. Wojo was forced to play zone with the Johnnies beating his guys consistently off the dribble.
They drop out of the Top 25 if they lose to the Muskies and tumble to 0-2 in the BOG EAST. Wojo isn't hearing job foot steps, but he's made just 1 NCAA Tournament so far and this team is expected to contend for a BE title.
MU IS LOADED!!
They lost 20PPG guard Andrew Rowsey to graduation, but Wojo has added plenty of talent. 6-8 230 Joey Hauser is starting now beside his 6-8 Junior brother Sam and they are impressive.
Joey enrolled at Marquette second semester last year to rehab a foot in jury. He's a bit better than his bro inside(10PPG-6REBS) with fewer threes. Both get to the FT line and make about 85% there. They played well at St Johs. Sam is All BIG EAST(14PPG-7REBS-42% from three).
The main guy is 6 foot or less Junior guard Marcus Howard(23.9PPG #8 NCAA-16 shots/ game). Howard loves the FISER FORUM rims(45 vs K-State, 45 vs Buffalo with a 40 point second half including 25 MU points in a row). Marcus shoots more FTs than anybody around(19-21 vs Kansas State). He's a handful and the ultimate streak shooter.
6-5 guard Sacir Anim is a second year starter who knows his role which is not to shoot much. Rugged ledadpoer Theo John (6-9 240) starts in the post. He is an animal rebounder and shot blocker. MU has added size with Nebraska transfer Ed Morrow(6-7 235). He is playing more after scraping off the red shirt rust.
They've added a bigger grad transfer guard Joseph Chartouny(Fordham).He's playing 23 minutes/game. Rangy 6-3 guard Jamal cain(Sophomore) gets minutes as does Frosh wing Brendan Bailey(Thurl's son-NCAA 1983 Championship team under Jimmy V).
Marquette gets running and gunning in front of 15,000 plus at home. They average 85PPG and they are +9 on the boards. MU shoots it well(38% from three-75%FTs) and they are defending better using mainly man-to-man. Wojo was National Defensive Player of the Year slapping the floor at Duke. His team can get stops now.
MORE MARCUS HOWARD:
In his last three home games, he's averaged 32.3PPG and made 19-25 three point shots(76%). St Johns switched every ball scfreen and frustrated him and he played just 26 minutes.
A Xavier win in Milwaukee might be a bridge too far?? MU is favored by at least 10 points. KenPom has it Marquette 77-70 giving the eagles a 76% chance of winning. MU may be pissed after losing at St Johns, but Xavier is in a foul mood too after blowing a second half lead and losing at Cintas 80-70 to Seton Hall.
X might not be able to win a fire fight jump shot war at Marquette with the score in the 80's or 90's, but if they bang inside and use the BIG guards to post up and control Howard and the Hauser brothers, the Muskies could pull the upset.
X has had good success vs Marquette in the new BIG EAST(9 wins-4 losses) and they're 7-3 against Wojo teams with two wins at the Bradley Center.
Mix in some zone and switch ball scfreens in the packline and Xavier gets stops and a few kills and wins this in the low 70's-or not!!