To the new freshmen of the Marquette University Class of 2016, I say welcome. You have joined a proud heritage and tradition, and perhaps you don't even realize it yet. Don't worry, that's what Anonymous Eagle is here for.
We understand that many of you haven't gotten a chance to bring yourself up to speed with the past, present and future of Marquette Basketball. So we prepared a brief primer on the team to get you ready for Marquette Madness on October 12 (just eight weeks away!) and the season opener on November 9, when YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles take on Ohio State on the deck of the USS Yorktown in the 2012 Carrier Classic.
Once you're up to speed on this year's squad, be sure to check out two pieces we wrote last year: a review of the greatest players in Marquette history and a rundown of some Insider Knowledge about our traditions and rivals. We'll be back tomorrow with a look at Marquette's other spectator sports, including the men's and women's lacrosse teams which will debut this spring!
Let's get things started with a GIF, and then we'll talk about the Dancing With the Stars contestant featured in it.
(via our SB Nation overlords)
Ladies and gentleman, your head coach, Brent "Buzz" Williams. That's Buzz after Marquette went in to Morgantown, West Virginia, last year and walked out with a win for the first time ever. There are a few extenuating circumstances as to why Buzz was extremely happy to get the win, so when he heard Country Roads playing over the PA, he decided to dance on West Virginia's logo. The smirk towards the end tells you what you need to know about Buzz: he knew exactly what he was doing, where he was doing it, and the reaction that he was going to get for it.
But that's Buzz for you. The nickname refers to his dedication to work and improvement and not his haircut. We should probably bring you up to speed on the story about how he got his first job out of college. He's prone to positive emotional outbursts on the sideline. He has a few catchphrases, and I don't mean that in a condescending way. This will be his fifth season at Marquette, and his sixth season as a head coach overall. Rubie Q [Rubie sez: OH HAI FISHIES!] and I will spend the season disagreeing over how much influence coaching has on the outcome of a game, with me supporting Buzz and Rubie finding every possible flaw. It's a living. [Rubie sez: it's not.]
Let's move on to the players, shall we?
Last year was the first season with Junior Cadougan (#5, 6'1", 205 lb., Toronto, Ontario, Canada) fully in control of the Marquette offense, and he performed admirably, averaging more than 5 assists a game. He's Marquette's leading returning player in minutes played, and that tells you about how much Buzz both trusts and relies on Junior to keep things together on the floor. Buzz will joke that MU beat Wisconsin last year because Cadougan didn't play (one of his two suspensions last season), but you can expect heavy doses of Junior on the court all season long. You can follow Cadougan on Twitter as @JRwontLOSE.
The second of Marquette's three seniors is center Chris Otule (#42, 6'11", 275 lb., Richmond, TX). Big Chris only played in 7 games last year before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season. Marquette fans have seen three of Otule's four seasons at Marquette end due to injuries, and yet, these aren't the biggest setbacks that he's had in his life. It's a hell of an accomplishment for Otule to turn himself into a serviceable starting Big East center when he's playing high major Division 1 basketball with only one eye. Just remember this, and you'll be ahead of most broadcasters: It's pronounced oh-TOO-lay and no, it does not have an apostrophe. You can follow Otule on Twitter as @Tule42.
Marquette's third senior is the only one of the three who's not a returning player: Trent Lockett (#22, 6'5", 210 lb., Golden Valley, MN) graduated in May from Arizona State University and elected to make use of the NCAA's rule that allows players who have graduated to transfer without sitting out a year. The real reason that Lockett decided to transfer is because his mother has been diagnosed with lymphoma after having already surviving breast cancer. Lockett has already lost his father to a heart attack while he was being treated for leukemia when Trent was just three years old, so it's very important to him to be closer to home now. Lockett averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game while playing almost 35 minutes a game for a lousy Arizona State team last season, and his move to Marquette has given national writers a reason to take Marquette seriously even though the Golden Eagles are losing two Big East Player Of The Year candidates from last year, including the eventual POY, . Lockett can be found on Twitter as @T_Lockett22.
The three juniors on Marquette's roster are all expected to be major contributors this season. Forward Jamil Wilson (#0, 6'7", 225 lb., Racine, WI) stepped into the starting lineup late last year in his first year with the Golden Eagles due to injuries to other players and his unique athleticism allowed Marquette to change how they played. Having a player with Wilson's defensive talents (47 blocks last year, just eight shy of breaking into the ten best Marquette seasons ever) allowed Buzz to turn the Golden Eagles into a running team. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see a lineup with Wilson as the tallest player on the floor at least once a game this season. You can find Wilson on Twitter as @Jamil_Wilson.
Vander Blue (#13, 6'4", 200 lb., Madison, WI), for some reason, has become the most divisive Marquette player in recent memory: it seems like half the fanbase loves him and will defend him come hell or high water, while the other half treats him as MU's biggest bust since Chris Farley and his man-cans were gallivanting on campus 20-some years ago. The truth, as usual, is probably somewhere in the middle: as the highest-rated recruit Marquette has landed in the last 30 years, and given his very public decommitment from UW-Madison before coming to MU, a lot of people expected Van to be the second coming of Dwyane Wade -- which is kind of silly when you think about it, since nobody expected Dwyane Wade to be the first coming of Dwyane Wade. ANYWAY, while Blue's repertoire on offense might be a bit limited, you can count on him to stuff the stat sheet game in and game out: last year, in over 25 minutes per game, Van averaged 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals. You can follow Blue on Twitter as @Vander13lue.
The Man Of Many Nicknames might be Marquette's most dependable scorer for this season. "Big Smooth" Davante Gardner (#54, 6'8", 290 lb., Suffolk, VA) has the most reliable around the basket scoring ability I've seen in a player of his notable size in I don't even know how long. The ball goes up and it goes in, again and again. It doesn't matter what position he's in, or the angle the shot is on. It goes in. It's Ox Magic. He draws fouls like crazy and drives opposing fans crazy. I can't count the number of times I've seen tweets to the effect of "THE FAT GUY WASN'T FOULED!" from infuriated Bucky or Blue Demon fans. It doesn't matter to Gardner: He be chillin doe.
With the loss of the majority of Marquette's scoring from last season, the instant offense provided by Todd Mayo (#4, 6'3", 190 lb., Huntington, WV) will be a critical piece for the 2012-'13 MU squad. Provided, of course, his suspension from earlier this summer is lifted and he's actually on the team, which, as of this writing, appears probable. Maybe. OK, fine: we have no idea, and neither does anybody else, so let's assume Todd will be back and will improve on his impressive freshman year, when he was a sparkplug off the bench and averaged eight points and 2.7 rebounds per game. You can follow Mayo on Twitter as @TheRealToddMayo. Or maybe @DaOtherRealDeal. We'll see what happens.
Next up is our AE Primer contest winning entry! Loyal reader I Want Frys wrote in to talk about Juan Anderson (#10, 6'6", 210 lb., Oakland, CA). Frys, I know you're reading, so email us with your choice of throwback Tshirt, shirt size and a mailing address so we can set you up with your prize pack!
Juan Anderson plays basketball for Marquette. You may know that already, but let me tell you something you may not know, Juan is from California (A.K.A Cali Juan)! Okay maybe you knew that too. BUT, did you know Katy Perry is also from California? Unlike Katy Perry, Cali Juan has a badass twitter handle: @juanonjuan10. The cleverness is off the charts. Officially, Juan is a forward. Unofficially, Juan is a switchable, a term Coach Buzz has all but officially made his own. As a senior in high school Juan averaged 16.6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. At Marquette last year, Cali Juan averaged decimals in each of the major statistical categories. Huh…that either takes skill, or a lack of playing time. To be frank it’s probably due to Cali Juan’s lack of playing time because he was behind players like Absolut Weapon Jae Crowder and fellow switchable Jamil Wilson. While Juan never scored more than his season high of 2 points, he showed flashes of talent and promise. He is a fairly decent rebounder and very creative passer (check out this mixtape).
So, what can we expect from Juan in the 2013-2013 season? For starters, he will not be a starter (unless a player is injured, suspended or Juan absolutely kills it in team practices). I am very sure about this. If I am wrong, feel free to take my entire collection of Marquette Basketball trading cards. The reality is that Juan will probably experience a repeat of his freshman year; garbage minutes when Marquette is demolishing an opponent. However, Cali Juan has the talent to be an important player for Marquette when us fans least expect it.
The final returning player from the 2011-'12 season is point guard Derrick Wilson (#12, 6'1", 215 lb., Anchorage, AK). Truth be told, we're not quite sure what to expect from D-Wil this year: he showed flashes of being a solid-if-unspectacular backup last season, and he excelled in an area where a lot of freshmen guards struggle: not turning the ball over (he only had nine TOs total in almost 300 minutes last season). But he hardly ever looked for his own shot (only attempting 16 field goals all season long) and averaged less than an assist a game (0.7 per), which isn't exactly what you're looking for from the quarterback of your offense. That said: kid still gets an A for the season, if only because he stepped in to fill the void when Junior Cadougan was suspended against UW-Madison last year; you put in 20 minutes without turning the ball over and help your team to a win in the Kohl Hole, you're OK in my book. You can follow Wilson on Twitter as @Mr_Bicenten.
Marquette has two freshmen on the roster this year. Jamal Ferguson (Twitter here, highlight reel here) is a 6'4", 180 pound guard from Norfolk, VA. Hopefully he didn't take too much attitude from Norfolk State fans last year after Marquette beat the Spartans twice. 6'7", 230 pound forward (Twitter here, highlight reel here) is the other freshman joining the team this year. Taylor is from Chicago, where he attended Simeon Career Academy and won three consecutive Illinois high school state championships.
There are also two walk on players on the roster this year, but only one is eligible to play. Jake Thomas (#23, 6'3", 200 lb., Racine, WI) sat out last year after leaving his scholarship at South Dakota to walk on at MU. Garrett Swanson (6'7", 200 lb., Spokane, WA) will sit out this year for the same reason, although he is leaving Idaho State behind.
We can already look forward to next year, as Buzz has three recruits committed to start playing for Marquette in the fall of 2013, and all three are Milwaukee area natives. ranked 39th by ESPN) attends Vincent High School in Milwaukee, Duane Wilson (6'3", 176 lb., ranked 54th by ESPN) won a Wisconsin high school state championship last year at Whitefish Bay Dominican High School, and Jameel McKay (6'7", 190 lb.) went to Pulaski High School in Milwaukee before beginning his college career at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.(6'4", 228 lb.,
That gets you up to speed on the men's basketball team! We'll be back tomorrow with a look at the other spectator sports at Marquette! In the meantime, you can follow Anonymous Eagle on Twitter and be sure to Like us on Facebook as well! See you then!