Marquette Doubles up on Titles, I on Thank-Yous

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

First ever sole owners of the Big East regular season crown.

First ever Big East Tournament title.

First trip into the top-6 of the AP poll since 1978.

And through it all, the only phrase going through my mind is thank you.

Thank you to Oso Ighodaro for battling against the best collection of bigs in the country and still shining on both ends of the court, to the point I needed a paper bag to calm myself any time he was subbed out.

Thank you to OMax for crashing the offensive boards with reckless abandon and blanketing all sorts of players on the defensive end. Your role may not have been rewarded by the Big East this season, but your plus/minus stats will always reveal your worth to those who know ball.

Thank you to Kam Jones for having the best collection of moon shots and post moves of any guard in the country. Your joy was infectious and your ability to shake off whatever happened last possession legendary. A toast to Kam time.

Thank you to Bill Scholl and the Marquette board for pulling the trigger in 2021 when no media member on Earth thought this was possible.

Thank you to Chase Ross for tantalizing us with your incredible aggressiveness at the rim, and reminding us that though the fanbase may have slept on you coming into the season, you sir are a Dude.

Thank you to Sean Jones for battling through an injury we feared might sideline you the rest of the season and providing a spark when called upon. Your first half against UConn at Fiserv helped make all of this possible.

Thank you to Ben Gold for your pump fake and drive. Your role may have been limited this season, but the fanbase can’t wait to see you blossom into the the type of big man the NBA will salivate over.

Thank you to David Joplin for being instant offense off the bench, and even more impressively, morphing into a trustworthy defensive presence even in late game situations. Shaka has told us since Day 1 you will lead the Big East in scoring one day, and we can now all see it’s not just coachspeak.

Thank you to Stevie Mitchell for being the soul of this team. Your glue guy credentials are certified nationally, but you are so much more than just a do it all on the floor player. Your ability to to be an infectious giver of life is an example to us all.

Thank you to Zach Wrightsil for providing the energy and leadership despite being dealt a rotten hand by life. I would have loved to see you shine on the court with your brothers, but the way you were still the biggest smile in the locker room at every turn showed us your contribution to this team is larger than any stat.

Thank you to the bench mob of Keeyan, Jonah, Caleb and Michael for going through all of the practice pain for so little of the on court glory.

Thank you to #mubb Twitter for making this ride such a joyous adventure we have taken together. I love being a small part of the best fanbase in the conference.

Thank you to Cam Brown for giving the speech to help turn around the St. John’s game, and proving that the best part of this team is the TEAM. No one player is above any other.

Thank you to Ben Steele of the Journal Sentinel for connecting us to the team in a way no beat writer had in decades. With each new wrinkle, I could always count on you to deliver the goods.

Thank you to Emarion Ellis for continuing to battle through injury to get on the court. Seeing you in uniform and on the bench is a great testament to your persaverence.

Thank you to Neill Berry, Cody Hatt, and DeAndre Haynes for helping to bring this roster together and being the support system to one of the best, if not least heralded, coaching staffs in the country.

Thank you to Nevada Smith for brining an offensive philosophy that has 362 fanbases (and multiple NBA teams) jealous. Your imprint on this team is evident in every game chart I fawn over.

Thank you to Mike Broeker and the staff in the Al for bringing the pop back to Fiserv. All the work behind the scenes to set up the team for success and gets the fanbase to connect with this amazing team.

Thank you to Josh Levin and the social/creative team for giving us cinematic level visuals to commemorate almost every week. I get chills thinking about how good each extended recap highlight video has been.

Thank you to Tyler Kolek for brining an edge back to Marquette. I know you didn’t necessarily mean to tell the world to eff off for underestimating you all going into the season, but the way you have backed up those words have made you a legend for the rest of time.

Thank you to Shaka Smart for, well, much more on that to come.

I am so grateful for everything that has gone into making this the most successful regular season since Al’s time. May this dream never end.

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Categories: Analysis


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5 Comments on “Marquette Doubles up on Titles, I on Thank-Yous”

  1. Chris
    March 12, 2023 at 11:00 am #

    Don’t forget Jop! Great stuff

    • March 12, 2023 at 10:18 am #

      OMG thank you so much!

    • Casey B
      March 12, 2023 at 8:20 pm #

      and Jake!

  2. Dale Puhl
    March 12, 2023 at 8:31 pm #

    Thank you for all the wonderful acknowledgements of the basketball team and staff. I have followed Marquette basketball since 1955. I

  3. John E Lenartz
    March 13, 2023 at 12:42 am #

    Well written. Thanks for extending all our good wishes and appreciation.

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