No. 10/13 Marquette is flying high at 8-1. Here's a quick look at their next opponent, Coppin State.
Coppin State Eagles
(3-8, 0-1 MEAC)
Tywain McKee SR G, 6-2
Robert Pressey SR F, 6-7
Vince Goldsberry FR G, 6-0
Antwan Harrison SR F, 6-3
A'Daeron Duncan JR F, 6-6
Eddie Hayden FR F, 6-6
Julian Conyers SR F, 6-6
The Eagles of Coppin State are coming off a 66-34 loss to the University of Dayton, I which they scored the second-lowest point total in school history. The team has played some challenging opponents this season, including No. 17 Xavier, but its closest loss came against Ohio State. Coppin State was picked to finish eighth in the 11 team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) before the start of the season.
"They've had some interesting games, said Marquette head coach Tom Crean. "It went down to the wire with Ohio State. It did not go down to the wire with Xavier and Kent State. They've got some good players. This is one of their better shooting teams."
The Eagles are led by senior guard Tywain McKee, who was recognized as All-MEAC last season and this year's preseason in light of his 17.4 point per game average from to 2006-07 campaign. McKee, who has played in only eight of Coppin State's games this season and started only three, leads the team in minutes, points, three-pointers made and free-throw percentage.
McKee has been one of the best shooters in the mid-major college game over the last two seasons. This year, he has been averaging 17.1 ppg while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. McKee is shooting an even 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (14-28), and he has been sinking 90.2 percent from the charity stripe (37-41).
Fellow senior Robert Pressey, who is one of two players to have started every game for Coppin State, is the Eagles' second leading scorer, averaging 8.3 ppg. His 5.5 rebounds per game leads the team.
Vince Goldsberry, the other Eagle that has started every game, is Coppin State's true point guard, leading the team with 2.6 assists per game. His 10 point effort against Dayton was the second double-digit scoring total of his young career. Goldsberry is also Coppin State's premiere pressure defender, having forced 19 steals on the season.
Fellow freshman Eddie Hayden has also been a strong shooter, converting 56.3 percent from the field.
"We'll know early on how they want to play," said Crean. "Sometimes they're going to come in and they're going to cut and jump to the ball sometimes they're going to play a little bit slower."
Marquette has scored 81, 82 and 80 points, respectively, in each of its last three games and is averaging a robust 80.3 point per game this season. Since the introduction of the three-point shot in the 1986-87 season, Marquette's highest season scoring average is 78.5 ppg in 2002-03. Look for the Golden Eagles to push the tempo early and force opportunities for themselves in transition to continue their high-scoring ways against Coppin State.
After facing Marquette, Coppin State will turn around and play at Indiana Saturday at noon. The Eagles have played only one true home game this season (a loss to Morgan State) and are in the midst of a nine game road trip. The team will not return to the Coppin Center until a January 19 conference matchup with Bethune-Cookman.
Marquette is 4-0 all-time against Coppin State, including a 65-55 victory in their last meeting in 2005. The Golden Eagles and the Eagles tip of at 7:30 p.m. CDT at the Bradley Center.
**Jeff Wolf is a sophomore majoring in Advertising and is also the head student writer for MarquetteHoops.com. Jeff is also the Assistant Sports Director for Marquette Radio.