On Sat, Marquette [12-18, 4-14 Big East] ended a 6 game losing streak with a 58-48 win over DePaul in the final conference game of the regular season. It has been a rebuilding year for new Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski. After two Xmas transfers, MU entered BE Conference play with a roster of 8 active scholarship players. The depth became thinner when top scoring 6-2 Sr 2G Matt Carlino [14.7 ppg] was lost for two weeks after suffering a concussion on Feb 21 vs Villanova and fellow 6-5 SR PF Juan Anderson suffered a foot injury in late Feb which has reduced his minutes and has prevented him from practicing.
Unfavorable matchups and fear of foul trouble caused MU to junk its man to man defense in favor of a 2-3 match-up zone defense. At times, they have employed a 1-3-1 half court trap to dictate tempo but that was effective only when Anderson, the long and lanky PF, could play at the top. Since his injury, MU has limited the 1-3-1 but Anderson was able to play 16 minutes on Sat vs DePaul but looks like he is operating at 75%. MU’s starting lineup includes three 6-1 guards and the most notable aspect to MU’s 2-3 zone is that PG Derrick Wilson plays in the back line of the zone. In addition, the 6-1 Wilson is often positioned on the lower blocks for FTs, a testament to MU’s thin roster.
Seton Hall vs MU in ‘15
In MIlwaukee on Jan 28th, SH might have played the best half any BE team has against MU in ’15 when it shot the lights out from three [13-26 3FGA] in an 80 -70 Hall win. G Sterling Gibbs led Hall with 24 pts and Coach Wojo called him the best guard in the Big East. However, the tables turned on Feb 7th, when MU, without leading scorer Carlino, down to just seven active scholarship players, beat a flat Pirates team 57-54 in Newark. MU won despite shooting 1-10 from three and 12-22 at the FT line. My guess is that Seton Hall will be jacked up for a revenge match.
MU Players to watch vs Seton Hall:
- Carlino had to shut it down completely for 2 weeks but his stamina has returned scoring 20pts vs DePaul.
- 6-1 guard Duane Wilson [12.5 ppg] is the leading freshman scorer in the BE but he tweaked a shoulder vs St John’s on March 4th and was held scoreless in 15 min vs DePaul.
- 6-11 Soph Luke Fischer has 48 blocks this yr. [4th best ever at MU as a Soph] and is averaging 10 ppg, 5 rpg.
Prediction: Marquette will keep it competitive for 30 min, but Seton Hall's depth and their ability to shoot threes over MU's zone defense will allow Hall to move on to play Villanova.