Is Marquette Broken or Can They Figure It Out?
Marquette Golden Eagles are back at it again. For the second straight year, Marquette is falling apart. Golden Eagles have lost 10 of their last 17 games in February and March. Those are the months when college basketball teams are supposed to hit their stride, and instead, Marquette is falling apart. The fan base is ready to burn the Steve Wojciechowski program down the ground and start over again. Last year, there were some explanations with the health of Markus Howard, and Marquette having leads late yet couldn’t close the door. This year, Marquette struggled desperately in three games where they haven’t shown up from the tip with their grand finale against Providence. Let’s try to figure out what’s wrong here.
1. Is Marquette too predictable? – There isn’t enough research and data behind it yet Marquette struggles against a team the second time around. Now, there are variables for this such as home and road, injuries, and other things that do not show through in the box score. Marquette is 14-15 in the second half in the last four years. While they’re 22-13 in the first half, it’s a huge outlier with going 8-1 in 2018. These collapses do not happen as often we would like to believe. But if Marquette loses to Georgetown on Wednesday, this will be the third straight year with a four-game Big East losing streak.
2. Is Marquette too tired? – Part of the frustration with this Marquette collapse is the fact that Golden Eagles haven’t got even close to sniffing a victory. Paint Touches noted that Marquette only led for three minutes in the last three games or 120 minutes. I’m wondering if Wojo is treating kids like J.K. Simmons did with Miles Teller in Whiplash. Part of the reason why Marquette’s struggles get lumped together is the inability to trust his guys. Wojciechowski acting like a coach on the floor as a player is killing him as a coach. He needs to let off the reigns.
3. Has Marquette given up? – Some could make the case that Golden Eagles quit on their coach. I don’t buy into that. If they fail to show up against Georgetown or Seton Hall for that matter, questions need to be asked. And if that’s the case, how can you defend Wojo coming back even if it means losing Dawson Garcia? Because Marquette brings back a majority of the roster, this isn’t a true senior-laden class.
Can they be fixed?
Yes, I’m not going to throw dirt on the season yet. They still have Markus Howard. They still have a talented roster. But with three straight rough openings in the first 10 minutes, Marquette needs to shake up their starting lineup. Whether it’s moving Greg Elliot or Jamal Cain in the lineup, they need an early spark. Wojciechowski needs to be open to new ideas, although, I am concerned he will resist against them.
Next up: Marquette heads home to play Georgetown in a must-win scenario. No team in college basketball needs a win more than Marquette on Wednesday. Hoyas are also on a losing streak including a road loss to DePaul. They need to lay down the hammer and get ready for the showdown against Seton Hall.