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Marquette Basketball News And Notes: 2/25/16

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A lot of things happened since sunset last night. Let's get caught up, shall we?

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1) Marquette defeated Creighton, 66-61.

That one pretty much speaks for itself.  If you haven't read Rubie Q's recap, go do that now.

2) Even after the win, Marquette's at-large hopes for the NCAA tournament are still totally dead.

They were on life support after the loss at home to DePaul, they were removed from life support after the loss at Xavier, and they were ruled dead after the home loss to Creighton.  Marquette is 2-6 against the KenPom top 50, aka the teams that are angling for the tournament, and after the win last night, Marquette is only ranked #90 in KenPom.  It's not happening.  I bring this up because it popped up in my Twitter mentions last night and I saw other people bringing it up as well.  After beating Providence for the second time this season, NBC Sports' Rob Dauster opined that Marquette needed seven more wins to make the tournament, with just six regular season games left.  They lost since then.  There is no at-large chance, not even after theoretically beating #1 Villanova.

The good news is that the win over Creighton did improve Marquette's chances of avoiding getting bumped out of the NIT by regular season conference champions that don't win their league's tournaments.

2) #5 Xavier defeated #1 Villanova, 90-83.

This is of note because the Wildcats are coming to the Bradley Center on Saturday for National Marquette Day.  Villanova will still be #1 when that game happens, and it'll go into the record book as Marquette facing a #1 ranked team.  But, with their loss, they're almost assuredly not going to be #1 when the new AP poll comes out on Monday afternoon.  Kind of takes an edge off of Saturday, doesn't it?  Speaking of Saturday's game...

3) Markus Howard will be taking an official visit to Marquette on Saturday, along with unofficial visits from Sam and Joey Hauser.

Howard is a 4 star point guard recruit in the class of 2017.  He's ranked #33 in the country according to the 247 Composite ranking.  He's also considering reclassifying to the class of 2016.  I didn't realize this, but two people, including Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook's Mark Miller, have predicted Howard to Marquette since the start of 2016.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Matt Velazquez confirmed that Howard is taking his visit, and the aforementioned Mark Miller added that the Hauser brothers will be joining him.  Sam (4*, #81) is a senior at Stevens Point Area High School and already signed to attend Marquette starting in the fall of 2016.  Joey, Sam's younger brother, is a sophomore and ranked #33 in the country in the class of 2018 according to 247's Composite ranking.

4) Matt Heldt is injured.

This came out about an hour before game time when Marquette announced it on their official Twitter account.  Matt Velazquez elaborated on that, saying that he had been told that Heldt sprained his knee in practice on Monday.  I know for a fact that Heldt was seen on campus on crutches on Monday and was telling people not to say anything about it, so I have to ask this: How silly is it to hold onto the injury information until the absolute last second, even/especially for a guy that's averaging five minutes a game?  Put out a tweet after practice on Monday: "Matt Heldt suffered a knee injury during practice.  The extent of the injury is unknown at this time, and he is day to day."  Boom.  Just put it out there and move on.  If he can't play on Wednesday, then no one is taken by surprise 60 minutes before the game starts.

5) Sandy Cohen is suspended.

This was announced at the same time as Heldt's injury.  Officially, it was explained as just "not playing (discipline)," but let's call it what it is: a suspension.  After the game, Steve Wojciechowski had this explanation: "He's got to do what he's supposed to do."

That explanation is crap.

You just suspended one of your players, the first suspension (that we're aware of?) since you sat Jajuan Johnson down for not practicing hard enough last season.  Your total explanation for the reason is essentially "He knows what he did?"  If it's academics, say it.  LSU did that with Ben Simmons this week.  Cohen was visible in Marquette's postgame locker room, so he obviously made the trip to Omaha.  I presume that the infraction didn't happen before the trip from that, so what was it?  Late for the team bus?  Why all the mystery?  If it's anything less than something criminal, just say what it was, and if it was something criminal, then he needs to be kicked off the team.

There's nothing in Wojo's answer or Matty V's notes package that indicates that Cohen's suspension is officially over after one game, so we'll have to keep our eyes open heading towards Saturday.