Havin' More Fun

After four consecutive Big East wins, the hardest working team on hardwood squares off against Seton Hall at home. After an 11 day hiatus from the Bradley Center, the Golden Eagles are looking to avoid a let down against the Pirates, who are just one game behind them in the Big East standings at 3-3.

After four consecutive Big East wins, the hardest working team on hardwood squares off against Seton Hall at home. After an 11 day hiatus from the Bradley Center, the Golden Eagles are looking to avoid a let down against the Pirates, who are just one game behind them in the Big East standings at 3-3.



Marquette Head Coach Tom Crean


On the importance of defensive drills:

"We had a great rotation at the end of regulation the other day [against Pitt], something we practice every day, and Wes Matthews shot in front of a pass and he made the steal and we go down on the other end and we get a chance to win the game when they see that payoff… nobody wants to do the tedious drills day after day, but when you see that happen you realize how valuable it is."


On avoiding the letdown:

"We made it easier for everybody else in this league with the win on Sunday because now there are a lot of teams that are in a league chase.  We're playing a team that last year went to the NCAA's. The last time their coach was in Milwaukee he won, with Manhattan. We have faced those players. They're very good players. They're very fearless and they're one game away from where we are in the standings. So when you let all that out, there's no reason to not be excited [to play]."


On looking towards a Big East title run:

"It's not about creating separation. It's not about catching up. It's not about going ahead. It's about getting better.  Everybody keeps an eye on the standings. You have the old crazy cliché of ‘one game at a time,' but really it's deeper than that. It's about getting better every practice. And if your practices aren't spirited and full of energy there's going to be a letdown."


On the importance of ball security against Seton Hall:

"They are tremendous at [creating turnovers].   Paul Gause is second in the country in steals I think.  He can flat-out reach in and get it that's going to be paramount in this game. We have to improve our turnovers."



Marquette Point Guard Dominic James


On how the team bounced back from early Big East losses:

"Most teams try to forget about losses. We try to remember them. We remember what we did in that game. And we did a lot of things that were not accustomed to doing, and that's why we lost the game. Coach told us not to panic and get back to doing some of the things we usually do. Getting each other involved and playing great defense. And that's why were winning right now."


On his own recent play:

"I've been trying to let the game come natural to me and have fun. There were a couple where I really wasn't having a lot of fun and I wasn't playing that well.  I worked on getting my team involved and playing great defense and that's where my game improved."


On Dan Fitzgerald:

"He's a confidence shooter, and we all go out and try to instill a lot of confidence in dan. If he can shoot the ball the way he has the last couple of games its going to be hard for other teams to stop us. And him."


On holding off a letdown:

"Were back home. We're trying to protect our house.  And just coming back home in front of our fans…  We've been on the road so long in hostile environments.  It's time for the other team to get a taste of that."



Marquette Wing Wesley Matthews


On getting up to play against Seton Hall:

"It's not hard to get up for a home game. If you break it down its like five months out of the year and you do it for four years of your life. That's not a long time.  You have to make the most out of everything, especially when you're coming home."


On what sparked them on their recent run:

"It had to be just us doing what we do. In the Syracuse game and the Providence game we were out of character as a team and we got back to what we do. We watched tapes about how we played when we won against Duke and against Texas Tech.  We watched those tapes and thought, ‘Why don't we go back to what we do? Why did we ever get away from what we do well?'"


On whether expectations have changed after recent success:

"From the start of the season we've had high goal regarding what we wanted to do.  And the first two losses hurt, but they were never out of reach for us. We never said, ‘Okay we lost two games. Now we have to change what our goals are.'  It's still the same thing. We're just going to have to work harder.  And now it's just even more motivating coming off the win."



Marquette Guard Jerel McNeal


On the reaction after Coach Crean called for the players to spend more time in the gym:

"The main thing was that we had to get back to doing what we do and the style of play that we play.  Like coach says, we had to play Marquette basketball.  And he did a great job of getting the message through without getting down on guys' confidence."


On his own defensive play:

"That a big part of my game, the way I carry myself on defense.  I try to get everyone else involved and let them know, ‘Hey, shut you're man down because I'm going to shut my man down.'  I take that upon myself as a challenge each game."


On what to expect from Seton Hall:

"They're a really good team.  They're an athletic and fast team that likes to play an up-tempo style.  We also know that they're a really underrated team, and last year they went to the NCAA Tournament."



Seton Hall University


Location: South Orange, NJ

Mascot: Pirates

Conference: Big East

2005-2006 Record: 18-12 (9-7), were defeated by Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

2006-2007 Record: 11-7 (3-3)

All-time series with Marquette: Tied 1-1 with Marquette winning at Seton Hall last season 67-63. 

Coach: Bobby Gonzalez, first year at Seton Hall after coming over from Manhattan College where he compiled a 129-77 record in seven years. 


Probable Starters:

#15 Eugene Harvey: a 6'0" freshman guard from Brooklyn, NY.  Averaging 15.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 4.8 apg on 46.8% shooting from the field (103-220) and 14.3% shooting from beyond the arc (3-21).  Leads the Hall with 51 turnovers on the season and is a high school teammate of David Cubillan and Dwight Burke. 


#2 Jamar Nutter: a 6'2" junior guard from Bloomfield, NJ.  Averaging 12.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 2.4 apg on 32.1% shooting from the field (71-221) and 30.6% from beyond the arc (41-134).  Second on the team with 41 turnovers.


#35 Larry Davis: a 6'3" freshman guard from Middle Village, NY.  Averaging 8.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 1.2 apg on 44.8% shooting from the field (52-116) and 44.0% from beyond the arc (22-50).  Will be making his 6th ever start for the Pirates.


#14 Brian Laing: a 6'5" junior guard/forward from the Bronx, NY.  Averaging 16.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 2.0 apg on 47.6% shooting from the field (120-252) and 29.5% from beyond the arc (13-44).  Leads the team in scoring for conference games with 18.8 ppg. 


#23 Stan Gaines: a 6'7" senior forward from Chicago, IL.  Averaging 6.1 ppg and 4.3 rpg on 38.0% shooting from the field (35-92).  Leads the Pirates in blocked shots with 18. 


Key Reserve:

#31 John Garcia: a 6'9" freshman forward from Bayshore, NY.  Averaging 5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, and 0.5 apg on 83.0% shooting from the field (5-6).  Has only attempted two ft's all season. 


**Andrew Phillips is a senior majoring in Political Science and is also the President of the Marquette Band!!

**Jeff Wolf is a freshman majoring in Advertising.


**Andrew Sharos is a senior majoring in History and Secondary Education and is the Head Student Writer for MarquetteHoops.com!

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