Now that they have completed their three game cupcake binge, Marquette is finally ready to start the conference season. After losing to Omaha in the third game of the season, many were ready to write off this season as a lost cause. The dramatic arrival of Luke Fischer has changed many opinions. The 6-11 transfer from Indiana has averaged 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, and 3.0 bpg while leading Marquette to a 4-0 record since his arrival. While the four victories have all been at home against mostly very sugary cupcakes, he has brought renewed hope to the Marquette faithful. Fischer will lead the Golden Eagles into the Chicago suburbs for their first conference matchup against the Blue Demons of Depaul.
Mascot: Blue Demons
13-14 Record: 12-21 (3-15)
13-14 RPI: 151
13-14 KenPom: 198
14-15 Record: 6-7
Best Win: 87-72 vs. Stanford
Worst Loss: 99-78 vs. Ohio (neutral site)
14-15 RPI: 267
14-15 KenPom: 208
Coach: Oliver Purnell (5th season)
PG: Billy Garrett Jr: 6-6 205 SO, 12.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 2.3 tpg, .390 3P
SG: Durrell McDonald: 6-2 173 JR, 5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.6 tpg, .379 3P
SF: Jamee Crockett: 6-4 202 SR, 12.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.6 tpg, .333 3P
PF: Myke Henry: 6-6 226 JR, 14.5 pgg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 2.7 tpg, .405 3P
C: Tommy Hamilton IV: 6-11 255 SO, 13.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 bpg, 3.2 tpg, .348 3P
Forrest Robinson: 6-10 223 SR, 6.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 0.5 apg, 0.8 bpg, 0.6 tpg, .358 3P
Aaron Simpson: 5-11 152 JR, 4.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.2 tpg, .344 3P
Darrick Wood: 6-5 190 SO, 4.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 1.3 tpg, .304 3P
R.J. Curington: 6-5 209 SO, 1.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.1 bpg, 0.5 tpg, .400 3P
Greg Sequele: 6-9 215 SR
Joe Hanel: 6-7 205 FR
David Molinari: 6-0 185 JR
Cory Dolins: 6-0 182 JR
Rashaun Stimage: 6-8 217 JR
Peter Ryckbosch: 6-10 241 JR
The Game Plan: This is both a great and terrible matchup for the Golden Eagles. Depaul is one of the worst teams in the nation on defense and in taking care of the ball. Through 13 games, Depaul has allowed teams to score 8.7 points per game above their season average. KenPom ranks the Blue Demons as the 318th best defense in the nation. Marquette’s guards will be able to score at ease against the Depaul defense. On the other end of the floor, Depaul chokes the ball up at an alarming rate, 15.2 turnovers a contest to be exact. Marquette has the 17th best turnover ratio in the nation and will be able to abuse the Depaul ball handlers. The Depaul bigs, Myke Henry and Tommy Hamilton combine for about six turnovers a game. Expect JaJuan Johnson to have another strong performance.
Unfortunately for Marquette, DePaul is one of the fastest and best three point shooting teams they will face all season. DePaul ranks as the 7th fastest team in adjusted tempo according to KenPom.com. Marquette fans might remember that Nebraska-Omaha, the Golden Eagle’s worst loss this season, ranked in the top-5 for adjusted tempo. The Blue Demons will push the ball as much as they can. Fatigue will be a significant issue in this game. Depaul shoots 35.8% from deep as a team. Every single member of Purnell’s rotation has the ability to knock it down from three. Marquette will need to counter with a lot of man to man because even Depaul’s bigs shoot at about a 35% clip from downtown. In fact, Depaul’s top three point threat is 6”10 Forrest Robinson who has nailed 19 treys this season. This will be a great opportunity to observe how good Fischer can play on the perimeter.
Best Case: Marquette’s high pressure defense is too much for the loose handle of the Blue Demons. Garrett Jr. can barely get the ball across half court before Jajuan Johnson is picking his pocket. The turnovers lead to a lot of easy run outs and Juan Anderson dunks. On the defensive side, Marquette manages to slow down the Depaul attack. Forced to play in the half court, Depaul takes a lot of ill-advised shots that all end up in Luke Fischer’s capable hands. Marquette wins by 15+, extending Depaul’s losing streak to 7.
Worst Nightmare: Depaul’s three point attack stretches the Marquette D. No matter what the Golden Eagles do, someone always seems to be open. Crockett and Garrett Jr. end up with 16 points each and Tommy Hamilton nets a double double. Carlino, Duane, and JjJ try to match Depaul’s three point shooting to no avail. Facing a true center in Hamilton, Fischer struggles and is hit with early foul trouble. Depaul wins by 8. Marquette fans everywhere feel the cold gripping reality of a rough conference season. Purnell feels his seat cooling, if only for a minute.
Final Predication: Marquette 80 Depaul 74