Marquette vs. Fresno State Preview

Team huddle

Photo by Ryan Messier

Probable Starters:
1: Jaron Hopkins: 6-6 205 lb RSJR SG: 31.3 mpg, 14.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.9 spg, 0.4 bpg, 3.1 tpg, .517 FG%, .556 FT%, .100 3P
2: Jahmel Taylor: 6-0 175 lb JR PG: 31.7 mpg, 13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.4 tpg, .500 FG%, .737 FT%, .524 3P%
3: Paul Watson: 6-7 215 lb SR SF: 33.1 mpg, 14.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.9 tpg, .458 FG%, .815 FT%, .394 3P%
4: Bryson Williams: 6-8 225 lb FR PF: 16.4 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.9 bpg, 1.3 tpg, .731 FG%, .417 FT%, .000 3P%
5: Cullen Russo: 6-9 235 lb SR PF: 29.7 mpg, 9.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.1 bpg, 2.3 tpg, .455 FG%, .711 FT%, .222 3P%

Probable Bench:
Deshon Taylor: 6-1 180 lb RSSO SG
Terrell Carter II: 6-10 290 lb JR C
Sam Bittner: 6-6 200 lb SO
Johnny McWilliams: 6-6 195 lb FR SG
Nate Grimes: 6-8 215 lb RSFR SF

Probable Benchwarmers:
Darryl McDowell-White: 6-1 175 lb FR SG
Ryan Beddeo: 6-2 185 lb FR PG
Jacob Holland: 6-4 195 lb JR SG
Grant Shell: 6-3 190 lb SO
Ountae Campbell: 6-4 195 lb SO SG
Lazaro Rojas: 6-11 235 lb FR C (Likely Redshirt)
Karachi Edo: 6-6 235 lb SR PF (Suspended)
William McDowell-White: 6-5 185 lb FR SG (Academically Ineligible)

• Fresno State is a team that lives for transition basketball. They lack a true PG on their roster so their half-court offense often sputters. To make up for this, they utilize a high pressure man to man defense, not unlike Marquette’s, to try and force turnovers. They are top 100 in the nation at turning teams over and the sixth best team in the nation at collecting steals. The best offense for the Bulldogs is their defense.
• The Bulldogs feature one of Division 1’s top thieves. Jaron Hopkins averages 2.9 steals per game, good for 9th best in the country. Hopkins was the first man off the bench at Colorado before transferring to Fresno. Now he acts as an impromptu PG for the Bulldogs. From there he has produced decently, leading the team in points (tied), assists, and steals. However, he’s never played the point before and it shows. His 3.1 turnovers per game lead the team which is already turnover prone.
• In addition to a top thief, Fresno State also has a top sniper on their squad. Jahmel Taylor, another Pac 12 transfer, has come out of nowhere to lead the Bulldogs in outside shooting. His 3.1 3PM per game is top 40 in the nation and his 3P% of 52.4% is top 20. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, he is a bit of a one trick horse. 22 out of his 28 FGs this season have been from beyond the arc. Dedicate a quality defender to live in his jersey and he should be contained.
• The most complete player on the roster is wing Paul Watson. He is one of two returning starters from last year MWC winning squad. He has the speed to blow past defenders, the strength to defend in the post, and a long wingspan that allows him to be very disruptive as well as grab rebounds. He leads the team in points (tied) and rebounds. He is much better on the wing but due to Fresno State’s lack of size, he will spend a lot of time in the post.
• Despite having an elite level sharpshooter in Jahmel Taylor, the Bulldogs are a poor three point shooting team. They rank in the bottom third in 3PM per game, 3PA per game, and 3P%. Outside of Taylor and Watson they don’t really have any three point shooters. The rest of the team is a combined 6 for 47 from deep. That’s 12.8% for those of you keeping score at home.
• Fresno State is sitting at 5-2 as they head to Milwaukee. They have one mind-boggling loss at home to sub-300 RPI Prairie View A&M and one decent win on the road at high major Oregon State. However, their non-conference SOS currently sits at 325. Marquette will be the first true challenge that they will face.
• While the Bulldogs should be an easy win for the Golden Eagles, they may end up looking like a quality win come tournament time. Fresno State is on track to add two quality players to its roster for the spring semester. Karachi Edo is the best returning player but is on suspension for a domestic violence charge. He has been cleared to return for the spring. William McDowell-White is a highly rated freshman guard from Australia. By some services he was a 5 star. Due to some complications with international academics, he was not able to join the Bulldogs for the fall but is expected to be available by the spring, though he may redshirt to save the year.

Final Score:
Marquette: 88
Fresno State: 69

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Categories: Home, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic


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