Head coach Buzz Williams thought something was off about how the Big East race was playing out in the media. With a victory against St. John’s, the Golden Eagles would be Big East regular season champions, yet no one seemed to mention that fact.
“I’m taking a shower today, and it’s amazing. I don’t think ESPN even knew that we were playing for a share,” Williams said. “It was Georgetown and Louisville.”
Georgetown wasn’t supposed to be near the top of the Big East, but Otto Porter Jr.’s stellar play has taken over national headlines. Louisville was pegged as one of the best teams in the country all season long, and has been ranked as such.
What about Marquette? What about the team that has won 14 games each of the past two Big East seasons? What about the only program to have at least a .500 record in every season since it joined the Big East?
Williams didn’t think his players were getting the attention their play deserved.
“I’ve got to mature at 40-years old because I just don’t handle that very well,” Williams said. “At some point in time, somebody has to do enough research to see that over the last two years we’ve won as many games as any teams in the league. Nobody says that. Nobody. Not student journalists. Not journalists that don’t work anymore. Not print journalists. Not TV journalists.
“We have 13 kids on our team that have moms, too, and at some point you have to be respectful of the work they have done.”
All season long, Williams has been open in admitting his team is not any good. He has said the Golden Eagles will not blow anyone out and have a little margin for error.
Still, all Marquette has done is consistently found ways to win this season. Because of that the team is a champion of the Big East.
It’s a moot point trying to explain how Williams’ team continues to do it. There is no formula or statistic that can explain the Golden Eagles’ success.
Because of that, the coach thinks his team has not gotten the credit it deserves. No matter how well they do and how many games they win, Williams felt there was always going to be something negative to point out about the Golden Eagles.
“I think somebody said the reason we started 7-2 was because of our schedule,” Williams said. “But when we go on the road we’re supposed to lose, and we finished 7-2 to close out our season.
“Somebody said that we couldn’t win on the road, and we had another winning record on the road. But nobody knows that we have a winning road record since I’ve been employed at Marquette in Big East games. Nobody will say it.”
No one has ever really paid too much attention to Marquette. Since they joined the Big East, regardless of how good the team was or how many games they won, the Golden Eagles have been afterthoughts to programs like Georgetown, Louisville, and Syracuse.
There are many reasons for that, but Williams just wants this group of Marquette players to get the credit they deserve. They have never been talked about with the likes of Georgetown and Louisville, who shares the regular season Big East title with the Golden Eagles.
Because they were predicted to finish lower in the Big East than they actually do and because they don’t receive the national attention of some of the other teams in their conference, Williams wants his team to get the recognition their play merits.
Whether it’s that they can’t win on the road, or they’re just not as good as some other teams, Williams thinks his team’s play is extremely underrated.
“I need to handle it more mature because I have an edge about it, but I already have an edge in how I coach, and so when I add that edge it’s not healthy,” Williams said. “But this is the first time I’ve ever said it this long.
“Maybe say something about these 13 kids. Something, because they won a share.”
It’s tough to ignore the Golden Eagles now, and it’s difficult to say anything but they are one of the best teams in college basketball.