After a thrilling win over Washington Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, the No. 11/11 Marquette Golden Eagles will return home to host the Green Bay Phoenix Saturday night at the Bradley Center.
Green Bay is in the middle of what is by far their toughest two-game stretch of the season. The Phoenix are coming off a losing bout with in-state heavyweight Wisconsin Wednesday night at the Kohl Center.
Green Bay head coach and former Marquette standout Brian Wardle, who is still Marquette's sixth all-time leading scorer, brings an inexperienced group to Milwaukee to matchup with his alma mater.
The Phoenix are headlined by seven-foot-one Alec Brown, who has emerged as a huge weapon for Brian Wardle. The sophomore is averaging 13.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories. Brown could cause a serious matchup problem for the Golden Eagles considering all of the injuries that have piled up the past few days.
First it was six-foot-10 center Chris Otule who hurt his ACL in the first few minutes in the Washington game. His status is still to be determined but it seems he will be out a few weeks—at minimum. Then on Thursday freshman forward Juan Anderson injured his right shoulder and is expected to miss three-to-four weeks. The final blow came yesterday afternoon as six-foot-seven forward Jamil Wilson sprained his ankle in practice and is doubtful for tonight's game.
Fellow sophomore Daniel Turner has been starting alongside Brown in the frontcourt. The 6'6" forward splits time with Brennan Cougill, who is averaging over 22 minutes off the bench for the Phoenix. The pair give Green Bay about 11 points and 11 rebounds per game. Cougill is an imposing body in the paint, filling out his 6'9" frame at 265 pounds. This should serve as an interesting matchup for Davante Gardner on both ends of the hardwood.
Green Bay tends to play guard heavy, usually starting three guards. Freshman point guard Keifer Sykes has been playing well, averaging 5.7 points and 1.8 assists per game. Defensively, he also applies ball pressure and forces turnovers.
Sophomore Terry Johnson and senior Steve Baker round out the backcourt for Green Bay. The Phoenix don't pose much of an offensive threat as Baker is their second leading scorer, averaging only 7.9 points per game. Their only chance will be to slow down the fast-paced Golden Eagles in hopes of containing them in the half court.
The Golden Eagles look to expand on an 8-2 all-time record against Green Bay with tip-off set for 8 PM CST Saturday.
Preview: Green Bay
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