A loss that was decently contested but ultimately, Marquette didn't have the horses to finish. A win that was much closer than necessary. A loss that exposed all of the bad things about the Golden Eagles all at one time.
That's a decent summary of Marquette basketball through three games this season. Belmont, IUPUI, Iowa. That's how you get to 1-2 on the season.
It's also how you get to 1-2 on the season a year ago. Maybe Marquette handled Tennessee-Martin more easily than they did IUPUI, and maybe the Ohio State game was a little bit more one-sided than the loss to Belmont. But that third game, last year's loss to Nebraska-Omaha... that one exposed everything Marquette was doing wrong up to that point of the season, just like this year's loss to Iowa exposed this year's squad.
If you want to find a silver lining on things (and I suspect that most Marquette fans do want to at this point), then here's what I have to offer you: the loss to UNO last year is where Steve Wojciechowski threw everything out and started over.
After the third game of the season last year, Wojo changed his lineup. Through the first three games, he had started Juan Anderson, Matt Carlino, Steve Taylor, Jajuan Johnson, and Sandy Cohen. Game #4 against NJIT, Johnson and Cohen went to the bench in favor of Derrick Wilson and Duane Wilson. The Golden Eagles ended up escaping with a 62-57 win.
After the fourth game of the season, that's when Wojo really got crazy. He threw out his attempts at forcing Marquette into playing only man-to-man defense, and brought out the 2-3 zone against Georgia Tech in the first game of the Orlando Classic. That, combined with a ridiculous shooting night from Matt Carlino, gave MU the win on that night, too.
That's where we're at now, headed into the third game of the season tonight against LSU: Throw it all out and start over. I don't know exactly what the changes to be made are because Wojo's already shown a bit of the zone defense, but after whatever that was against Iowa, I know changes have to be made. I would imagine that it has something to do with things like Henry Ellenson averaging four attempts from behind the arc per game, not to mention Duane Wilson averaging nearly EIGHT long range attempts per game, but that's merely a guess at this point. As a related point: Luke Fischer has missed just four shots all season.