Marquette Golden Eagles (10-5, 1-2 Big East) vs Seton Hall Pirates (12-3, 2-1 Big East)
Marquette Stat Leaders
Points: Jajuan Johnson, 13.3 ppg
Rebounds: Luke Fischer, 6.1 rpg
Assists: Haanif Cheatham, 3.2 apg
Marquette Injury Update: Duane Wilson hasn’t played in the last two games after leaving the Georgetown game with a groin injury. However, Wilson returned to full participation in practice on Tuesday and, according to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he’s expected to play against Seton Hall.
Seton Hall Stat Leaders
Points: Khadeen Carrington, 18.7 ppg
Rebounds: Angel Delgado, 11.7 rpg
Assists: Madison Jones, 3.3 apg
Current KenPom Rankings
Seton Hall: #48
KenPom Projection: Marquette has a 70% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 82-77.
Since Last We Met: Seton Hall beat DePaul by 31. That’s it. Just like Marquette, the Pirates took all of last week off before sandblasting the Blue Demons on Saturday. Seton Hall opened the second half on a 26-4 run to seize control of the game.
Tempo Free Fun: To some degree, this will be a game that is a clash of strengths on one end of the court and a clash of weaknesses on the other. Marquette’s offense and Seton Hall’s defense are the strongest components of each team, while SHU’s offense is drifting around in the bottom of the top 100 in the country and MU’s defense has slipped out of the top 100.
The game will likely be decided on Marquette’s defense. Seton Hall is #239 in the country when it comes to turnover rate, while Marquette is top 70 in terms of forcing opponents to turn the ball over. Out at The Rock on New Year’s Day, MU forced the Pirates into turning it over on 24% of their possessions. Madison Jones and Ismael Sanogo start and play more than 24 minutes a night each for the Pirates.... but Jones turns it over on 25% of possessions, and Sanogo is up over 24% as well. If the steal machines that we call Jajuan Johnson (#8 in the country in steal rate), Markus Howard (#258), and, if he’s available, Duane Wilson (He’d be top 50 if he had the minutes played) can force Jones and Sanogo into mistakes repeatedly, that might be able to shift things in Marquette’s favor.
Marquette’s biggest defensive weakness has come in terms of defending the three pointer. Opponents have shot 47% from long range against MU in league play so far.... but that wasn’t the case for the Seton Hall game. SHU shot just 29% on 14 long range attempts on New Year’s Day, so they dodged a bullet in that game. While the Pirates are one of the 30 worst teams in the country in terms of incorporating the long ball into their offense, Khadeen Carrington could singlehandedly tilt this game for SHU if he gets going behind the arc. He averages nearly five long range attempts per game and he’s shooting 47%. MU was able to hold Carrington (0-4) in check last time out, so hopefully that was game plan and not just luck.
Rebounding may be a major component of this game. I’m trying to figure out what’s the deal with MU’s rebounding in league play. In non-conference action, they were a lousy offensive rebounding team and a good defensive rebounding team. That’s flipped around over the last three games, with MU ranking 9th in Defensive Rebounding Rate and 1st in Offensive Rebounding Rate. Weird, right? In any case, we know that Seton Hall is good on the glass on both ends of the floor, ranking in the top 60 in the country. Angel Delgado, the Big East’s leading rebounder, is a walking, talking bottle of Windex, ranking in the top 25 in the country in individual rebounding rate on both sides of the court, and he went for 12 last time out. Ismael Sanogo can get it done on both ends of the court as well, and Michael Nzei is a sneaky good offensive rebounder coming off the bench.
Is that exactly the same thing we said 10 days ago? Pretty much. It’s not like anything changed with just one game in between.
Marquette Last 10 Games: 7-3, with losses in the last two games.
Seton Hall Last 10 Games: 8-2, with a two game winning streak.
All Time Series: Marquette has a 15-6 advantage.
Current Streak: After New Year’s Day, Seton Hall is now on a three game winning streak against Marquette.
Sam Hauser Watch: The freshman from Stevens Points has 33 made three-pointers on the season, which is the ninth most by a freshman in MU history. He’ll need nine more to tie Dominic James for eighth place.
Markus Howard Watch: The Arizona native is right along side Hauser at 33 made triples this year. It looks like they’re going to be neck and neck all year long to see who gets to Travis Diener’s record of 57 first.
Follow Along On Twitter
@MarquetteMBB - Official Marquette account
@SetonHallMBB - Official Seton Hall account
@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that's us!
@becb_sbn - SB Nation's Big East site
@Matt_Velazquez - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat reporter