On Friday, December 19, Marquette will play host to Alabama A&M, but the game will be at the Al McGuire Center on campus instead of the Bradley Center. It will be the first ever men's game contested in the McGuire Center since the building was opened in 2003.
First, let's talk about the logistics here. Good news: It's gonna be jam packed in there, as The Al only holds 3,700 people and Marquette has been averaging over 15,000 for the past several seasons. Bad news: The tickets are not going to be part of the regular season ticket package, and will be made available to season ticket holders during their usual early access to single game tickets. Also bad news: the tickets will be made available based on season ticket priority points, aka "the same order we do reseating in every year." Mixed news: Season ticket holders will be restricted to just two tickets per account. That's good, as it will help filter more tickets downwards to more people, but it's bad because some people *coughcough* don't like picking between their children as to who gets to go to the game.
If you're a student and you're going to be around campus during winter break, well, keep your pants on for now. Details on how students will be able to acquire tickets will be coming out before the on sale date for Fanatics tickets.
As for the game itself....
Friday, December 19 - vs Alabama A&M
2013-14 Record: 14-16
Returning Points Leader: Nicholas West, 6.0 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Nicholas West, 3.7 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Nicholas West, 0.8 apg
Final 2013-14 KenPom.com Ranking: #301
WOOF. If you remove non-Division 1 games from their schedule last season, the Bulldogs drop to 12-16. They did go 10-8 in conference, but said conference is the SWAC, so that's not very exciting. Making this worse is the fact that Alabama A&M lost six seniors off that team, although you may have guessed that from looking at the returning statistical leaders. On the upside, it appears that Nicholas West was A&M's version of Deonte Burton, so to speak. While he's way down the stat page from the actual leaders, he somehow managed to have the highest usage rate on the team according to KenPom.com. Had he accumulated enough minutes to qualify, he clearly would have ended up amongst the national leaders in several statistical categories. It'll be up to head coach Willie Hayes to try to assemble something around the 6'10" junior.