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Player Grades: Marquette vs Rutgers

Vander Blue (22 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast) Vander started out missing an assortment of shots, threes, midrange jumpers, in the lane, you name it. They weren’t bad shots, they just simply weren’t going in. He started heating up as the half went on, though, and finished it with eight points all while keeping Marquett alive. He was the Golden Eagle’s best player throughout and had two huge momentum swinging plays: an offensive board and putback down 11 points and then a 3-pointer to tie it up at 51 with under four minutes to play only moments after he had drawn a 10-second violation with his defense. As if that wasn’t enough he hit two cold blooded free throws to push the lead to 58-54 with 13 seconds left. So much for him struggling. A

Junior Cadougan (10 pts, 3 ast, 3 to) The first half was a prototypical “bad Junior” half as he committed three turnovers and only had one assist. The nature of the turnovers is what is so frustrating, as they are completely unforced and are a result of lackadaisical plays. However, his second half was much better as he didn’t turn it over once. He was very aggressive in attacking the basket, making a pull up and a few floaters. The senior got bailed out a bit on a bad three, but missed two of three freebies with 1:30 left. You can’t give away free points like that.  B

Chris Otule (0 pts, 4 reb) After not missing a shot against Notre Dame, Chris couldn’t buy a bucket against Rutgers. He had a pair of open looks he has been money on this season, but they simply weren’t falling early on. He did have four rebounds, although they all came on the offensive glass. Not a great game for the big guy. C-

Trent Lockett (5 pts, 5 reb, 1-4 FT) Lockett uncharacteristically bricked two free throws early in the first half, helping to summarize the tone of the game for him. Lockett had a few dumb turnovers, but made up for them with 20 seconds to go, hustling for a loose ball and tapping it to Vander Blue. C-

Juan Anderson (0 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl) Juan was beat on the glass for easy put backs on the defensive end in the first half, but began the second by drawing two turnovers. He didn’t get on the stat sheet with much, but wasn’t as bad as his box score would indicate. C

Jamil Wilson (10 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast) Coming in with a bit of momentum, Wilson had a very poor first half going scoreless and committing turnovers on back-to-back possessions. That all changed in the second half, as Wilson would go on to score _ points, including a deep three to give Marquette the lead with under 3 minutes. No play epitomized his second half better than the blind side block that led to a patented trailer three, a huge 5-point swing with Marquette down eight. He was more aggressive at attcking the basket as well, a sign of progression for the Racine, Wis., native. B

Davante Gardner (4 pts, 3 reb, 2 stl) Davante simply was not a factor for most of the game. He had his lone bucket off a nice pass from Jamil and followed that up with a good poke steal, but he wasn’t able to get many touches to become a factor offensively. C-

Todd Mayo (0 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast) I would officially like to welcome Todd Mayo to Club Trillion. I’m quite sure his 11 minutes were the most by any Marquette player this season who failed to record any stat that showed up in the box score. I didn’t feel he played badly though, particularly on the defensive end, where he helped keep Myles Mack in check after the Rutgers guard got out to a quick start. C-

Derrick Wilson (2 pts, 2 ast, 1 stl) Derrick surprisingly got on the scoreboard fairly early in the game with a nice drive to the bucket, but wasn’t on the court very long after missing his next attempt. His defensive was absolutely crucial in the second half, though, highlighted by back-to-back strips under the basket. Buzz kept inserting him in for Junior on D, showing just what an asset he can be. B+

Steve Taylor (7 pts, 1 reb, 18 min) Down 16-6 and looking like the worst offense in the country, Steve Taylor looked at his teammates and said, ‘I got it.’ Taylor’s acrobatic lay-up started a 7-0 run by Taylor himself. It was an offensive explosion that Marquette had yet to see from the freshman this season. So of course it had to be cut short as he landed on a Rutgers players’ foot and had to come out for a bit. He would fail to score the rest of the game, but played meaningful minutes down the stretch. He still needs work defensively, as he left his man a few times to try and disrupt a passing lane but didn’t get back in time. Still, who knows if Marquette would have won without that offensive burst early on. A-

Jake Thomas, Jamal Ferguson and Dylan Flood did not play.

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