Hoopcap: Providence Escapes Milwaukee With A Win
After being back-to-back top 10 teams, many Marquette faithful expected a letdown against a Providence Friars team still looking for their identity for the season. To make things more difficult, Friars fell to St. John’s earlier this week meaning this game was a must-win if they wanted to keep their bubble’s heartbeat from flatlining. Providence found a way to beat Marquette in a thrilling 79-78 victory giving Ed Cooley his first win at Milwaukee, and a loss that leaves Marquette no room for error.
Andrew Rowsey held it together
In the last few games, Andrew Rowsey came on really strong for this team. He’s starting to play smarter and not have such a quick trigger, and it’s helping Marquette’s offense. He led the charge back in the second half. Rowsey finished with a game-high 23 points making three 3-pointers and getting to the line 10 times thanks in large part to Providence biting on his pump fakes. He played really well minus a bad entry pass late in this one.
Markus Howard needs to be involved late no matter what
With Rowsey playing at a high level, this left no room for Markus Howard on the floor in the last four minutes. Even though Rowsey and Howard are both under six feet, they need to be on the floor together late in the game. Howard came on for one possession, and that was it. He can run the team from the point while Rowsey plays as the off-guard. That needs to happen even when Howard isn’t having his best night out there. I’m not surprised by this mini-slump from Howard as this is part of the growing pains of being a freshman and playing an extended season.
Wojo’s last play call was suspect at best
One of the things to be critical of this game was Marquette’s last play of the game. They had the ball underneath the basket. Instead of running a play heading towards the rim, Steve Wojciechowski ran an isolation play with Katin Reinhardt. Now, he’s hit some big shots of late, but Reinhardt struggled with only nine points on three made baskets. The young Marquette plays need to learn that an iso play doesn’t mean they should stand still on the floor. Hopefully, Wojciechowski learns from this and goes in another direction when this situation arises at another point in the season.
This loss doesn’t hurt Marquette
According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, he puts Marquette as an eight seed after the loss to Providence. To him, they are the highest eight seed meaning they’re not far off from the seven line. Golden Eagles need to take care of business against a weaker schedule in February, and they’ll be gravy. I can make a case that they could be as high as a sixth seed if the cards break right for them. Still, there’s a month left of the season and a lot can happen but it’s very fun to talk about the tournament in relation with Marquette.
Players of the Game: Andrew Rowsey (Marquette) Kyrion Cartwright (Providence)
Next Up: Marquette heads to New York City to play St. John’s on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Johnnies might have a sub-500 record for the season, but they’re 4-5 in the Big East. They haven’t been blown out much at home so Marquette will have its hands full. Shamorie Ponds versus Howard will pit two of the best freshmen in the Big East.