[Derrick Wilson guards Ohio State]
Bait and Switch
Ohio State was red hot on Tuesday night against the Golden Eagles. Many of these shots were wide open; which begs the question how did they get so open? The answer to this is in Marquette’s inability to switch. Good college basketball teams will make you pay if you leave them open. On virtually every opportunity, Ohio State was open. Wojo has made it clear that this team will play predominantly man-to-man sets, with zone thrown in between. On Tuesday night, the amount of easy baskets Ohio State earned from poor switches in the frontcourt and transition will have the coaching staff pulling their hair out. In the preseason, Wojo forced his guys to do sprints for not talking. After the game in Columbus the nine active players should bring their running shoes to practice for the rest of the week.
[Wojo watched his short bench struggle on defense.]
Sometime Today Please
Often times last season, we saw a Marquette team that moved the ball across the halfway line at a recreational pace. Marquette’s slow paced was on display again against Ohio State’s moderate press on Tuesday night. One would think bringing the ball up the court against press would not be an issue for a team that sees it everyday in practice. But somehow, this aspect of the Golden Eagles’ game has fallen through the cracks. For all of the positives and negatives of Tuesday night’s performance, this one looks to be of the utmost importance. If Marquette can’t get within 50 feet of the basket against good competition, it doesn’t matter if they shoot 46 percent from the field because the opportunity to score won’t be there.
[Steve Taylor defends out in space.]
By this point, we’ve seen three different players step up for Marquette. Against Wisconsin Lutheran Juan Anderson went for 27 points. JaJuan Johnson scored 20 against UT-Martin, and on Tuesday it was Steve Taylor Jr. turn, as he went for 20 points in the loss to Ohio State. For Marquette to have consistent success this season it is imperative for them to find a consistent scorer. Having different guys go off every night is fantastic, but it is equally as important to have guys who can provide consistent production night in and night out. One would expect this would be graduate senior Matt Carlino. Through two games the veteran has put up 11 and 10 points respectively. If Taylor can score 20 a night like he did against Ohio State, and the Golden Eagles can get consistent production from Carlino, then Steve Wojciechowski and his staff will have a foundation to build upon as non-conference play continues.