Marquette Men's Basketball Non-Conference Game #11: Morgan State

Cedric Blossom is the Bears' leading returning scorer and rebounder. - Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that'll wrap up the non-conference schedule.... OR WILL IT?

Yet another non-conference opponent that Marquette is undefeated against.  We last saw the Bears in December of 2006, when Jerel McNeal had 25 points, three rebounds, and seven assists to guide Marquette to the 77-57 win.  From the final scores of the all time series, it looks like Morgan State has always been a buy game for the Golden Eagles, although the Bears did give them some trouble (Marquette won 66-60) in the first outing back in 1988.

Sunday, December 28 - vs Morgan State

2013-14 Record: 15-16
Returning Points Leader: Cedric Blossom, 6.9 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Cedric Blossom, 5.3 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Donte Pretlow, 2.4 apg
Final 2013-14 KenPom.com Ranking: #222

That final record for the Bears is kind of misleading.  They went 2-10 in the non-conference end of their schedule, while only playing three home games.  They ended up finishing 11-5 and tied for third place in the MEAC before falling to North Carolina Central in the conference tournament title game.  So, while they had a good second half of the season, this coming season might still be a struggle for MSU.  Their top three scorers were all seniors, and two of them - Justin Black and Ian Chiles - were two of the five most valuable players in the entire MEAC.  Getting a now very young team to gel together might be rough sledding, but head coach Todd Bozeman didn't get where he is today by giving up easily.

For those of you wondering: Yes, the Green Bay Packers play on Sunday, December 28.  It's the final day of the NFL's regular season, and the Green & Gold is scheduled to play the Lions at noon Central.  Needless to say, the attendance at this game against Morgan State could be interesting depending on how the NFL season shakes out.

While the official announcement of this game said this is the "final" non-conference game, that might not be entirely true.  It will likely be the latest game when it comes to the calendar, but Deputy Athletic Director Mike Broeker had this to say yesterday:

That certainly would explain the lack of a game one week after the Wisconsin game.  The last few years has seen Marquette play the Badgers on the Saturday before finals week and then play their next game at home the following Saturday.  There is no post-finals Saturday game on the schedule right now.  My original thought was that MU was intentionally foregoing that game in order to play more games after Luke Fischer becomes eligible, but if there's going to be a game added, December 10th would be the most likely slot in the timeline.

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