Before the season began, our resident late-night college basketball expert, Mr. Kensington, told you what to expect from BYU transfer Matt Carlino, a guy with plenty of talent (and also the requisite lack of conscience) who was completely capable of shooting his team right into or right out of a game.
Mama ain't said there'd be days like this, though.
Doing massive damage from beyond the arc and at the free throw line, Carlino put up a career personal best -- and set an Orlando Classic record -- with 38 points, carrying YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles to a 72-70 win over the pesky Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech in the opening game of the Orlando Classic.
Carlino came out of the gates ready to go, burying three triples in the first 10 minutes to boost MU to an early 17-10 lead. In what became the other storyline of the night, Tech wouldn't go away, clawing back with superior inside play (plus a couple of 3s from Quinton Stephens and Chris Bolden) to grab a two-point lead at intermission.
Carlino finished the half with 15 points, all on 3-pointers, but it turns out he was just gettin' warmed up. After intermission, he erupted for 23 points on the strength of three more triples and 14 free throws, including seven critical makes from the stripe in the last 2-plus minutes of the game. That proved to be the difference, as Georgia Tech roared back from a 10-point deficit in the last 5 minutes of the game and shaved the margin to 1 with 13 seconds left. But Carlino buried two more throws, and then Marcus Georges-Hunt did Marquette an incredible solid by finger-rolling in a layup with 1 second left and Tech down 3.
In other notes: Juan Anderson continued his solid play with 12 points, 6 boards, two steals, and an Association-level move between two defenders that nearly left me in tears. Derrick Wilson, save for his usual shaky showing at the free throw line, stuffed the stat sheet with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals, and Deonte Burton managed 5 steals to go along with his standard 3 fouls in 16 minutes of action.
With the win, Marquette advances to play Michigan State and its Lilliputian head man, Tom Izzo, in the second round, or semifinals, or whatever, of the Classic. The tip's around 8:00 p.m. CST tonight.