Marquette’s conference opener was a disappointment to say the least. Playing in what was basically a home game for the Golden Eagles, Marquette blew an 11 point lead late in the second half and limped into a 61-58 defeat at the hands of the Depaul Blue Demons. Three point shooting was the death of the Golden Eagles as they went 3-23 from beyond the arc. Their game plan got them plenty of open looks but they were unable to convert and they paid the price. Marquette returns home to the Bradley Center where they hope to correct that statistical imbalance. They welcome in the Friars of Providence College who have never managed to win a game in the unfriendly confines of the Bradley Center.
13-14 Record: 23-12 (10-8)
13-14 RPI: 43
13-14 KenPom: 51
14-15 Record: 11-3 (1-0)
Best Win: 85-65 vs. UMass
Worst Loss: 77-67 vs. Brown
14-15 RPI: 14
14-15 KenPom: 48
Coach: Ed Cooley (4th season)
PG: Kris Dunn: 6-3 205 RSSO, 12.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 7.4 apg, 2.8 spg, 3.9 tpg, .250 3P
SG: Jalen Lindsey: 6-7 195 FR, 4.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.3 tpg, .395 3P
SF: LaDontae Henton: 6-6 215 SR, 21.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.9 tpg, .343 3P
PF: Tyler Harris: 6-9 223 RSJR, 11.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.1 tpg, .281 3P
C: Carson Desrosiers: 7-0 250 RSSR, 7.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 2.9 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .625 3P
Kyron Cartwright: 5-11 195 FR PG, 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.7 tpg, .083 3P
Ben Bentil: 6-8 230 FR PF, 4.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.3 bpg, 1.0 tpg, .400 3P
Paschal Chukwu: 7-2 226 FR C, 2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.5 bpg, 0.5 tpg, .000 3P
Junior Lomomba: 6-5 200 RSSO SG, 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.3 tpg, .250 3P
Ted Bancroft: 6-6 215 RSSR SG
Tyree Chambers: 6-2 182 FR PG
Tom Planek: 6-6 195 FR SF
Casey Woodring: 6-2 180 SO SG
Rodney Bullock: 6-7 220 RSFR PF
The Game Plan: The Friars have two legitimate Big East player of the year candidates on their roster. Kris Dunn is the top assist man in the Big East with 7.4 a game, he is also in the top 10 in steals with 2.8 a game, and is the top rebounding point guard in the Big East. Ladontae Henton is the top scorer in the Big East with 21.1 a game, 2 more points a game than the person in second (St. John’s D’Angelo Harrison). Henton is about as unstoppable as they come. The best Marquette can try to do is to force him into three pointers rather than drives to the hoop. Even then, he is Providence’s top three point option with 23 makes at a 34.3% clip. Dunn is the more important, and easier one to stop. He makes everyone around him better but is prone to sloppy turnovers (3.9 tpg) and is not a great shooter (.667 FT% and .250 3P%) Since Providence other true guard, Kyron Cartwright, is not a threat to score (he has stats that make Derrick Wilson look like an all pro), the defense can afford to run trapping zones that utilize Cartwright’s defender to force Dunn into mistakes. Expect a lot of zone from Marquette. The Friars have tremendous size and would use it to abuse any attempt at man to man defense. Combine that with a roster than only has two established three point threats (Jalen Lindsey 17/43 and Henton 23/67) and you have a team tailor made to be defended by a zone.
Providence’s aforementioned size will cause fits for the Golden Eagles on offense. Not only are they tall but they are long defenders with the ability to disrupt passes and block shots. Marquette needs its guards to make their open threes. Carlino cannot repeat his Big East debut. Juan Anderson also needs to start taking more threes when he is open. He is shooting 50% from three but has shown an unwillingness to take open treys with only 16 attempts this season. Marquette will need to make open threes but should concentrate on driving to the hoop. Former MU target Carson Desrosiers fouled out in Providence’s conference opener. As the Friar’s best interior defender, the more time he spends on the bench, the better for Marquette. Foul trouble for Desrosiers means stretch 4 Tyler Harris is playing out of position at the five or true freshman Paschal Chukwu will have to carry the load. Either outcome would spell disaster for the friars. Dunn is also highly foul prone for a PG. He has never fouled out but has ended up with four fouls in half of the Friar’s games. With only two PGs on the roster, and one of them being extremely limited, foul trouble for Dunn would likely give the game to Marquette.
Best Case: Marquette drives straight at the giants of Providence and quickly get Desrosiers in foul trouble. The drives open up space on the perimeter and Car3no and SwaggyDu make up for the performances against Depaul by combining for seven treys. Even #freestevetaylor gets in on the action by slaying a few bunnies. Dunn tries aggressively for steals to make up the difference and ends up committing several ticky tack fouls. Without their floor general and center, the Friar offense can’t get anything going against the zone. A lot of desperation shots go up and end up in Big Fisch’s capable hands. MU wins by seven.
Worst Nightmare: The refs swallow their whistles and allow for a very physical game. The Friars use their size to bully the Marquette offense. Desrosiers ends up with 5 blocks, mostly at the expense of Duane Wilson. The lack of foul calls also allows Dunn to live in the passing lanes and that leads to a lot of Dunn to Henton alley oops. On offense, Dunn gets the ball exactly where it needs to be in the zone. None benefit more than Henton who ends up with a 30 point performance. Providence wins by 9 in their first victory ever at the Bradley Center.
Final Predication: Marquette 67 Providence 69