The last time we saw Marquette, the Golden Eagles were in peak form after scoring 90 in a loss at Villanova and dismantling Seton Hall by 20 in Milwaukee.
Since that rude awakening for the Pirates, Steve Wojciechowski’s group have lost five of their last six games including three straight at home.
And with Marquette (13-10, 4-7) embarking on a three-game, ten-day road trip that begins in Newark, there may not be a better time for Seton Hall (17-6, 6-4) to avenge their embarrassing loss and get off the schneid in February.
For the Hall, they will be relieved to be matched up against anyone not named Villanova after the onslaught they endured on Saturday, but as they will also surely remember, Marquette can be as potent as anyone on the offensive end.
Despite their offensive firepower, its been a leaky defense that has let the Golden Eagles down in conference play as they sit last in conference-only defense, having allowed 86 ppg over their last four games — all losses.
And perhaps fortunate for Seton Hall is the fact that they are now up against the second-most feared perimeter team in the conference after facing by far the best.
While Villanova has an unheard of five guys shooting north of 40-percent from deep (all with 65+ attempts), Marquette sports a trio of outlets in Markus Howard (78-207, 38%), Andrew Rowsey (72-176, 41%), and stretch-four Sam Hauser (63-132, 48%); surely three is more manageable than five.
I’ve mentioned it before and it deserves repeating: Kevin Willard is fond of breaking up seasons into chunks of games and he will be likely eyeing two wins out of the next three as an acceptable result; road games at Georgetown and Xavier are the next two on the docket.
That said, this one is clearly the most winnable of the three and projects much like Seton Hall’s clash with Providence last Wednesday night as a must-have home game, especially with DePaul, Villanova, and Butler still to come to town. Two of the last four at home will be far from easy, which shifts some more pressure on taking care of business against the Golden Eagles and Blue Demons.
On the court, Willard’s guys need to have their perimeter game operating at a higher level than the 4-for-13 mark (Ish Sanogo was 2-of-2) they posted in Milwaukee and the 7-for-18 showing at Villanova, which is slightly inflated as four of those seven made shots came over the last 12~ minutes — a little too late.
Elsewhere, Khadeen Carrington and Myles Powell will need to play better as a collective backcourt unit as the duo combined for just 14 points (2-7 3pt) and 9 assists in the first meeting while Andrew Rowsey and Markus Howard put up 43 points and looked to tire out their guests on the defensive end; it seemed clear that the Hall was always trying to respond to Marquette as the Golden Eagles took the initiative last month.
Series history (since 1950): 7-17 SH
KenPom says: No. 28 Seton Hall 83, No. 50 Marquette 77
Projected Marquette starters
PG – Andrew Rowsey
G – Markus Howard
G/F – Sacar Anim
F – Sam Hauser
F – Harry Froling
Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ish Sanogo
F – Angel Delgado
TV: 7pm, FS1
Radio: AM970 / SIRIUS 119 / XM 202
Opening line: SH -6.5
Please use this post for all in-game and immediate post-game discussion.