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Preseason Preview: Chicago State

Marquette Men's Basketball

Marquette Men’s Basketball

The first official practices of the 2017-’18 college basketball season are in the books and Paint Touches is celebrating by counting down every Marquette opponent from worst to first. Each preview will contain a look at how the opponent did last season, who they lose, who they gain, reasonable expectations for their season, and our own prediction of how their matchup(s) with Marquette will go. This series will start with the most under of underdogs and progress all the way up to most unbeatable of opponents. First up is the fattiest cupcake that Marquette will face all year. A familiar opponent from just south of the cheddar curtain, the Cougars of Chicago State.

Team: Chicago State Cougars
16-17 Record: 6-26 (1-13 WAC)
Postseason?: Not even close
16-17 KenPom: 335
Date: 11/29/17
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center
Coach: Tracey Dildy (8th Season)
Projected KenPom Range: 300-351
Projected Conference Finish: 8/8 in the WAC

Departures from 16-17:
Clemmye Owens: Starting PG: 25.8 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.9 tpg, .341 FG%, .365 3P% (Graduated)
Trayvon Palmer: Starting PF: 36.0 mpg, 15.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.9 tpg, .454 FG%, .281 3P% (Graduated)
Joshua Batson: 1st Man off the Bench: 17.4 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 1.3 tpg, .234 FG%, .172 3P% (Graduated)
Brian Greene Jr: 2nd Man off the Bench: 16.3 mpg, 3.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.9 tpg, .346 FG%, .344 3P% (Graduated)
Anthony Eaves: 3rd Man off the Bench: 15.1 mpg, 4.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.9 tpg, .320 FG%, .328 3P% (Transferred to University of the Cumberlands)
Gentry Hunt: 6th Man off the Bench: 3.8 mpg, 1.1 ppg 0.5 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.3 tpg, .368 F%G%, .333 3P% (Graduate transferred to Grand Valley State University)
Jordan Madrid-Andrews: Benchwarmer: Did not appear in any games (Graduate transferred to Richmond)
Miles Weber: Benchwarmer: Did not appear in any games (Transferred to Western Kentucky)
49% of scoring, 47% of rebounding, 58% of assists, 58% of steals, 46% of blocks, 52% of 3PM

Arrivals:
Glen Burns: Starting G, returns after missing 20 games due to injury
Jelani Pruitt: Transfer SF from D2 University of West Florida
Anthony Harris: JUCO Transfer SF from JUCO D2 South Suburban College
John Joyce: JUCO Transfer SF from JUCO D2 Triton College
Montana Byrd: Backup SG, returns after missing 18 games due to injury
Ken Odiase: JUCO Transfer SF from JUCO Kankakee College, returns from redshirt
Simeon Henton: 2 star unranked FR PG
Cameron Bowles: 2 star unranked FR PF
Travon Bell: Former walk on SG, returns from redshirt

Probable Starters:
PG: Glen Burns: 6-3 205 lb SR: 22.2 mpg, 5.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.9 tpg, .341 FG%, .417 3P%
SG: Delundre Dixon: 6-3 180 lb JR: 22.0 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.0 bpg, 1.5 tpg, .389 FG%, .250 3P%
SF: Fred Sims Jr: 6-4 193 lb JR: 34.5 mpg, 18.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.3 tpg, .361 FG%, .314 3P%
PF: Deionte Simmons: 6-8 230 lb SR: 15.0 mpg, 5.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.4 bpg , 0.9 tpg, .475 FG%, .000 3P%
C: Patrick Szpir: 6-9 230 lb SO: 17.8 mpg, 3.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.4 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .422 FG%, .000 3P%

Probable Bench:
Jelani Pruitt: 6-5 185 lb RSSR SF
Anthony Harris: 6-5 190 lb JR SG
John Joyce: 6-6 220 lb JR SF
Montana Byrd: 6-4 225 lb SR SG
Ken Odiase: 6-7 205 lb RSJR SF

Probable Benchwarmers:
Alex Dubosviskiy: 6-6 200 lb RSSR SF
Simeon Henton: 6-2 175 lb FR PG
Cameron Bowles: 6-7 185 lb FR PF
Travon Bell: 6-3 180 lb RSFR SG

Notes:

• Just about every non-conference schedule is going to have a true dog on it. This season that dog is Chicago State. They were one of the twenty worst teams in Division 1 last season, and with the departure of double double machine Trayvon Palmer, they could be even worse in 17-18.
• The Cougars return just one double digit scorer from last year’s six win squad in SF Fred Sims Jr. As a sophomore, he was one the top scorers in the WAC netting almost 19 points a game. He likes to work inside the arc by breaking down defenses and scoring close to the rim. He has range as well and led the team in three pointers but lacks the accuracy to be a true deep threat. Next season he will be one of only two Cougars with proven three point shooting ability and that could cause defenses to make him the focus even more, lowering his accuracy.
• The leading candidate to replace the departing Palmer could be reserve forward Deionte Simmons. Despite only getting 15 minutes a game last season, he is second in both returning points per game (5.1) and rebounds per game (4.3) behind only Sims Jr. in both categories. The rising senior is unlikely to match Palmer’s impressive 15.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, but with more minutes he should see his per game averages increase nicely. Defense and foul trouble is what kept him off the floor a season ago, he’ll need to work on that as he is one of only two players on the roster taller than 6-7.
• The Cougars were hampered last season when starting PG Glen Burns went down with an injury only twelve games into the season. He is expected back for the 17-18 campaign at 100% strength. More of a facilitator than a scorer, Burns was leading Chicago State in assists before the injury. He did show off a more accurate three point shot in the early goings of the season but only shot from deep about once per game. His role will have to change to more of an attacker this season simply because there are few proven scoring options around him. Burns was the best defender on the squad a year ago. At 6-3 205 lbs he is bigger than most WAC guards and he uses that size to bully smaller opponents into turnovers.
• The Chicago State class of 2017 is not much to write home about. The newcomers likely to make the most immediate impact are a trio of transfers, one from D2 West Florida and two from the JUCO ranks. JUCOs and D2 transfers have come in and been difference makers for teams like Chicago State before, but in this case, that might be cause for concern. Jelani Pruitt was not even a starter for D2 West Florida, and both Anthony Harris and John Joyce come from D2 JUCO schools. The fact that a former D2 reserve and two transfers from the D2 JUCO ranks are likely going to be heavily relied upon in their first seasons as Cougars does not inspire a lot of confidence in Chicago State’s prospects for this season.

Prediction:
Marquette jumps out to a 20 point lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and Wojo treats the rest of the game as a scrimmage and experiments with some new play calls and rotations. After getting their first taste of legitimate college big men in Maui, both Theo John and Matt Heldt enjoy going back to cream puffs with no real interior presence and each end up with a double double. Lead stretches past thirty early in the second half and the only reason it doesn’t stretch to 40 is because Wojo calls the dogs off and plays Cam Marotta and walk on to be named for the last 8 minutes.

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Categories: Offseason, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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