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Saturday Mailbag: The aftermath

We’re back to the Saturday mailbag, where we’re taking your questions from Twitter, Facebook and email and answering them. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet @PaintTouches, write it on our Facebook wall or send an email to PaintTouches@gmail.com. On to the mailbag:

1. Best end-of-the-game lineup next year? (@JoePendergast)

We addressed the starting lineup in last week’s mailbag–albeit with Vander Blue in it–but this is a different story. Realistically Williams would like to have his five best offensive players on the court at the end of the game. Defensive swaps may occur, but for the most part Marquette will look for players who will take care of the ball, make free throws and stay poised late.

Without question Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson will be in the game, either as a 3-4 or a 4-5 combo (depending on how big or small Marquette is playing). Just a gut feeling, but Duane Wilson will need to be on the court over Derrick Wilson in the crunch. Nothing wrong with Derrick, but he’s closer to a Chris Otule-type player at this point in his career.

I said last week I like Steve Taylor to break out next season, so I could see his name being called late. As for the shooting guard spot, if Jajuan Johnson is as good a shooter as many have touted him to be, I could see him over Mayo. Then again, Mayo will be 23 and a junior, and that’s much safer late than a slashing freshman.

2. Who starts at the 2, and expectations for Todd Mayo this year? (@sam_asalways)

It’s tough for freshmen to crack the starting lineup on any team, and Marquette’s depth next season will make that even tougher. Todd Mayo has had his real struggles in Milwaukee, but (on the surface) it appears he has gotten over some humps, notably staying eligible academically. Jajuan Johnson is super-talented and will be part of Marquette’s early rotation, but I think Mayo gets the nod early in the season. Seniority matters to Buzz Williams, but I also think Mayo is the more ready player.

I tweeted earlier this month–shortly after Vander Blue declared for the NBA draft–that I was excited to see how Mayo would progress this summer. The last two seasons he “sat” behind Darius Johnson-Odom and Blue, respectively, and that’s tough to do for a rhythm shooter and scorer who needs to be on the court. He isn’t going to set the world on fire and average close to what Johnson-Odom or Blue did in their respective final seasons at Marquette, but I do expect him to average in double figures and lead the team in scoring in a handful of games. The talent is there, and now the minutes are, too. Let’s see what he does.

3. How will Marquette schedule in non-conference without usual Big East foes? (@joshlepak)

This is a good question because, while the talent coming into the new Big East (Creighton, Xavier, Butler) is solid, the quality of teams leaving far outweighs it. We don’t know much about Marquette’s non-conference schedule so far, but they will play Wisconsin in Madison and will take part in the Anaheim Classic against teams such as Miami, Creighton, San Diego State and Arizona State. Details will come out in the summer months, but expect Marquette to again have one of the top non-conference schedules in the country. As Larry Williams told Paint Touches, Buzz “isn’t afraid to play anybody.”

4. Relate the Marquette season to a non-sports movie. (@TTrentC)

I thought about this one for a while, and I came up with “Toy Story 3.” Not for the obvious “Buzz Williams/Lightyear” angle, or that Sid, the villain, is a dead ringer for Eric Devendorf. Here’s why:

The first “Toy Story” came in with a lot of hype and didn’t disappoint, but we didn’t really know what to expect from some company named Pixar. It’s easy to say that movie exceeded all expectations, the same as Marquette’s 2010-11 season did. “Toy Story 2” had a lot to live up to, and one Al’s Toy Barn rescue mission later (Bo Ryan is Zurg, obviously…right?) we came away again impressed. Same with Marquette’s 2011-12 season, where they tied for second in the Big East and reached the Sweet 16 again. Jae Crowder added a Big East player of the year trophy to Marquette’s trophy case.

So this year we faced “Toy Story 3.” What would the finale of the trilogy bring? Little did we know, more than we could have ever expected. The hype wasn’t all that high on “Toy Story 3” (if I recall correctly), but it wound up being my favorite of the three. That’s how I look at this team. They had so much to live up to from the past two teams, and they went farther in the NCAA Tournament than either had. I would love to see people’s answers to this in the comment section.

5. What will Buzz do with Marquette’s open scholarship?

Marquette is actively pursuing a handful of transfers who could play immediately with waivers. They haven’t given up on looking for a freshman, but the coaching staff isn’t trying to bring in a player who won’t mesh with the future the 2013 class has in store. That, and there simply aren’t that many uncommitted high-major recruits in the class (no, Andrew Wiggins isn’t coming to Marquette).

I think eventually Buzz Williams finds an immediate transfer to contribute for a year, leaving him with four open scholarships for next year. Jerome Seagears is the one player Paint Touches has confirmed, but there are a couple others Marquette is looking at.

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One Comment on “Saturday Mailbag: The aftermath”

  1. Mike Green
    April 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Your work is great. I really enjoy getting the news you provide on the program. Living out here in Maui, it’s not easy getting information on the Golden Eagles (Warriors forever!)

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