NCAA Preview: Marquette Golden EaglesPosted by rtmsf on March 16th, 2009
MARQUETTE (#6, West, Boise pod)
vs. Utah State (#11)
March 20th, 12:30 P.M.
Vegas Line: Marquette -4.5
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Conference: Big East, at-large bid
Coach: Buzz Williams, 24-9 at Marquette
08-09 Record: 24-9, 13-7 Big East
Last 12 Games: 5-7
Best Win: 79-72 v. Villanova, February 10th
Worst Loss: 56-57 v. South Florida, February 6th
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.7/ 9th overall
Def. Efficiency Rating: 94.2/ 56th overall
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Jerel McNeal- 19.7 points/game, 4.6 rebounds/game, 4.0 assists/game, 2.1 steals/game ;Wesley Matthews- 18.4 points/game, 5.6 rebounds/game, 2.6 assists/game, 48.8 FG%
Unsung Hero: Lazar Hayward- 16.1 points/game, 8.6 rebounds/game, 35.5 3PT%
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Jerel McNeal- projected 52nd overall
Key Injuries: Dominic James- season-ending broken left foot
Depth: 24.6%/ 311th overall
Achilles Heel: It is not just a lack of depth that has been exacerbated with the loss of Dominic James, the Golden Eagles were essentially a four-horse team and almost all of their meaningful production came from McNeal, Matthews, James, and Hayward. Without James, Maurice Acker takes over, but he isn’t the same type of threat. This is still an extremely talented team, but you could tell down the stretch how they hang with teams for awhile, and then fade.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: If the Golden Eagles shoot the lights out, they could make a deep run. The team loves to shoot and McNeal, Matthews, and Hayward have no qualms about chucking it up. If they shoot the ball well, they will beat a lot of teams because they play great defense and don’t turn the ball over a tremendous amount. They need their Big Three to play well in every game, if they don’t it will be a short first tournament for Buzz Williams.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: If McNeal or Matthews or Hayward has an off-night, Marquette just doesn’t have the players to make up for that type of scoring loss…period.
Last Year Invited: 2008, lost to Stanford in the Round of 32
Streak: Three straight years
Best NCAA Finish: They won the National Championship in 1977
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.20 wins per appearance
Six Degrees to Detroit: None
Distance to First Round Site: 1736.47 miles away from Boise, Idaho
School’s Claim to Fame: Al McGuire was the coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles from 1964-1977, won their only National Championship, and is still celebrated like a king at that school. Known for his colorful personality, he is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and he could probably be elected Mayor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin had he not died in 2001.
School Wishes It Could Forget: In 2007, the school played Michigan State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and the whole school turned out to see the game, even though it was during spring break. The Golden Eagles then proceeded to get shut out for the first nine minutes of the game and make it a very long spring break for Marquette fans and students.
Prediction: The Golden Eagles are still a good team without Dominic James, and they have more than enough talent to beat Utah State. But if Missouri makes it through to the second round, their full court press will wreck havoc on the Golden Eagles, especially Acker. They don’t have the depth to play with the Tigers for 40 minutes.
Major RTC stories: ATB: Marquette’s Dominic James Out for the Season
Preview written by… Mike Lemaire