MubbCap: Disappointing Ending To a Promising Weekend
Marquette Golden Eagles had a chance to make a splash on Sunday. If they could beat Maryland, Marquette could have received the similar accolades that Michigan and Dayton received last week with their encouraging tournament performances. But Marquette did not seem ready for an elite team as Maryland laid down the hammer on Sunday afternoon with a dominating 81-63 win. What should Marquette fans take from this one? Should they be encouraged or disappointed?
A CASE FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
Marquette had a good weekend overall. They took down two KenPom Top 100 teams, and the wins will likely be Quad 2 wins at worst. If USC and Davidson play better in their conference season, this might push to Quad 1. That’s a good thing. Maryland is a top-five team, and maybe, they were underrated when talking about the great teams in college basketball this season. The combination of Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith is very tough to deal with. Marquette did not play well on Sunday, but they fought their way back into this one.
Another thing to be encouraged by from Sunday is Sacar Anim and Brendan Bailey both played really well. Bailey had 27 points while Anim had 21 points. Now, if they figured out how to free Markus Howard up with those guys scoring, Marquette will win a bunch of games this season.
A CASE FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
Marquette is not ready to hang with the top tier of college basketball, and they have not been that way since Steve Wojciechowski took over. Why is it that Marquette keeps getting dump trucked by anyone good? To me, Wojo needs to adapt more quickly when things are getting ugly. Golden Eagles went to a zone in the second half and slowed down Maryland for a time-being. They had cut the lead to 14. That zone defense should have been utilized in the first half before the Terrapins got up 15+. The same goes for finding opportunities for Howard when teams are trying to stop him.
Golden Eagles could use Greg Elliott or Koby McEwen as their point guard with Howard working off-the-ball to find more open looks. The concern here is Marquette seems to come in with the same gameplan against every team without any real adjustment for who they’re playing. That’s an issue.
Take this game and the weekend however you want. They play a cupcake in Jacksonville on Wednesday night before heading to Kansas State on Saturday afternoon. Wildcats had a bad tournament week losing to Pittsburgh and Bradley yet Kansas State is third in all of KenPom in forcing turnovers which is a major issue for Marquette.