Marquette should be even better in 2013-2014

Vander Blue

While the disappointment of laying an egg in the Elite 8 against Syracuse still lingers, the future remains extremely bright for a Marquette program coming off their third straight trip to the Sweet 16.  Assuming Buzz Williams returns for his sixth season and the incoming recruiting class remains in tact, the Golden Eagles should be even better in 2013-14.

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#20 Marquette Golden Eagles: College Basketball 111 in 111

buzz williams dance

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

WARNING: As a Marquette alum and obsessive Golden Eagle basketball fan, this is going to take my lengthy, in-depth, nerdy previews to a whole new level.  If I were you, I would clear out ten minutes of your schedule before beginning to read this.

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Marquette’s Chris Otule Out for Season

chris otule marquette

It really comes as no surprise, but as first reported by CBS Sports, Marquette center Chris Otule will undergo surgery Tuesday on his injured ACL and miss the remainder of the season.

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Legit Cause for Concern as Marquette Begins Big East Play

jaw crowder marquette

This is more than just my annual “over-reaction to a Marquette loss” article. It just so happens that the timing of this  comes after an embarrassing 74-57 defeat at the hands of Vanderbilt in which the score doesn’t accurately depict how big of a blow-out it actually was.

Now prior to the season if you would have told me that the Golden Eagles would finish 11-2 in their non-conference slate, I would have happily taken it without a second thought.  However, after ten straight wins to start the season there is now reason for concern as Marquette enters Big East play having lost two of their last three.

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Marquette: Looking Ahead to the 2011-2012 Season

Marquette basketball

Rather than dwell on the embarrassment that was Marquette’s Sweet 16 performance against North Carolina, I prefer to take the glass half-full approach and look ahead to next season.  Since it looks like Buzz Williams will not be fleeing the Brew City for Oklahoma, Missouri, or any of the other rumored coaching vacancies that his name has been linked to in the past couple weeks, the Golden Eagles only have to replace three seniors; Jimmy Butler, Dwight Buycks, and Joe Fulce.  (I guess four if you count Rob Frozena.)  Here is a look at how the 2011-2012 Marquette roster is shaping up and what I like and the role I would like to see each player have next season.

By: David Kay
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Marquette Loses Otule for Season… CRAP!

St. Johns Marquette Basketball

by: David Kay

Dwight Burke, Ousmanne Barro, Marcus Jackson, Mike Kinsella, Terry Sanders.  Not since the Final Four run in 2003 when Robert Jackson was roaming the paint has Marquette had a legitimate post presence who was a reliable scorer and rebounder.  Three games into this season, MU’s low post game just took a major blow as Buzz Williams announced sophomore center Chris Otule will be sidelined for the year after suffering a fractured right foot in practice.  (Otule missed a big chunk of the beginning of last season with a broken bone in his left foot.)

By no means was Otule going to have a Robert Jackson-like impact for the Golden Eagles, but Buzz had praised how hard the rec-spec rocking Otule had been working and how much he had improved from the end of last season.  Plus at 6-10, 250 pounds, Otule was the only real “banger” Marquette could throw on the floor.

With Otule sidelined for the season, Marquette will have no choice but to once again rely on their wing players to carry the load.  7-2 freshman Youssoupha Mbao played in his first game for MU Saturday against Grambling State, but is a LOOOOOOOONG way from being a real contributor as he is still learning the system, very raw with his all-around skill set, and skinnier than Lara Flynn Boyle.

After Mbao, the tallest Golden Eagles are junior Joe Fulce and freshman Erik Williams.  Both stand at 6-7 and are lengthy and athletic but by no means can handle the banging down low that the Big East brings on a game-by-game basis.  6-6 freshman Jeronne Maymon has spent a fair amount of time early this season playing the four position but has looked out-matched inside as he relied more on his finesse game than his physicality while earning Mr. Wisconsin honors at Madison Memorial High School.

lazar at uwSo that will once again leave Lazar Hayward to play much bigger than his 6-6 build.  This will be nothing new to Hayward as the senior has spent much of his collegiate career playing out of position at the four, even times last year playing center.  My real concern is that Hayward has not learned how to stay out of foul trouble when guarding bigger and often times stronger players.  He has gotten into first half foul trouble in Marquette’s first three games of the season against less physical teams so imagine what is going to happen in conference play if Hayward has to guard the likes of Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, Syracuse’s Arinze Onuaku, Louisville’s Samardo Samuels, or Cincinnati’s Yancey Gates just to name a few.  MU CANNOT afford to have Hayward spending stretches of games on the bench because of foul trouble as he is their most reliable and efficient offensive weapon.  Maybe it is time Buzz adopts Jim Boeheim’s tactic of playing strictly a 2-3 zone???

With Otule joining freshman point guard Junior Cadougan (ruptured Achilles) on the bench, Marquette’s re-loading year just took a turn for the worse.  Barring amazing growth from some of the younger players, I really cannot see Marquette winning more than four Big East games this season which means there will be no chance of them making any post-season tournament.  We will see how much Otule’s injury effects the team beginning Thursday when Marquette opens up the Old Spice Classic in Orlando against Xavier.