Marquette will face Presbyterian College at home Sunday in its final tune-up before the start of Big East play.
The Blue Hose of the Big South conference stand at 2-8 overall, but have played a challenging schedule thus far. They dropped early season contests to ranked foes Clemson and Illinois and fell in their last three games to North Carolina, Ohio State and Dayton, respectively.
But make no mistake, this is a rebuilding year for Presbyterian. There are no seniors on the team, and three of their returning starters – junior guards Pierre Miller and Josh Johnson and junior center Al'Lonzo Coleman – have yet to see action this season.
The young Blue Hose bunch that has played thus far has averaged under 30 rebounds per game, committed 60 more turnovers than assists, and shot under 70 percent from the free-throw line.
Like Marquette, they are something of a depleted bunch, with only nine players on the active roster and four playing over 31 minutes per game.
Sophomore guard Chase Holmes leads Presbyterian in scoring and rebounding, with 14.8 points and 5.5 boards per game. The South Carolina native is shooting 39 percent (10-of-26) from beyond the arc and is their best free-throw shooter at 78 percent.
Holmes' main partner in crime is freshman forward Jake Troyli, who ranks second on the team with 14.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The 6-9 former-redshirt also leads the team in blocks, with seven, but has a tendency to get himself in foul trouble.
They also have Travis Smith back in the rotation after he missed the first four games of the season. He is averaging 8.3 points per game.
Perhaps the one potential danger posed by Presbyterian is that practically everyone on their roster is capable of hitting outside shots. However, without a true point guard on the floor, they will have a difficult time overcoming Marquette's tenacious ball pressure.
Tip-off is set for 1:00 PM CST at the Bradley Center.