The 2017-18 college basketball season is quickly approaching, and thus, we turn our attention to previewing the upcoming Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season.
As you may have noticed, we’ve got a few new voices here on the site since the school year started. We’re going to take advantage of that and do something new for the season preview. We’ve got a stacked up list of questions about the 2017-18 campaign, and each of the new contributors to AE are going to take a crack at answering them. There will be a new question every weekday afternoon between now and the start of the season, so be sure to stop back every day to find the new one.
Onwards, then, to the question of the day:
What place in the Big East does Marquette finish with and what will their record be?
CLagore: Marquette will finish no higher than fifth and no lower than eighth. I can't give you an exact number because that will depend somewhat on the other teams jockeying for position in the same tier as MU. There's a pretty clear top-4 to me (VU, XU, SHU, PC). It gets hazier after that and Marquette might be the haziest of all. Let's start look at the other guys. Butler still has Kelan Martin, Kamar Baldwin and that good ole Butler culture aka The Butler Way, which is all they should need to be successful. But they also have a brand new head coach, which is always an adjustment. Creighton returns a lot of guys, but we saw that team after Maurice Watson Jr. went down for the year with the knee injury. They were fine, but fine can only win you so many games in this conference. Any chance they have at jumping to the front of the pack requires a monster year from Marcus Foster. St. John's could be an exciting team that wins some games they shouldn't on the backs of Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett Jr. But they're also a pretty young team, so they'll likely lose some games they shouldn't too. This brings us to Marquette, who is kind of a known quantity (to us, at least), but what we don't know is how successful that kind of a team can be. Putting them at an even 9-9 feels about right. I can't confidently say they'll steal a game from Villanova or anything like that, but by the time conference play rolls around, Harry Froling will be a factor and the newcomers will have hopefully gelled nicely, and this team should be able to hold their own. Let's go with 6th place.
Ben Snider: I say 4th in the Big East, but I think the standings will be reminiscent of last year in that the middle 5-ish teams will be within a couple games of each other and the standings only mattering in terms of who they play in the Big East Tournament. The conference is ridiculously deep, again. Almost like they’re a top-tier conference. Huh.
Record-wise, I count 2, potentially 3 automatic losses in 2 Villanova games with the possibility of playing Wichita State in Maui, though they might not have their two best players in Landry Shamet and Markis McDuffie. Actually let’s just say 2 automatic losses. Actually scratch that. I just checked Twitter and Shamet should be back by Maui. As the self-proclaimed Wichita State liaison, I can confidently say that Landry Shamet is really good. So 3 losses. I then count 10 automatic wins across the season. That leaves 18 games that range from “should win” to “probably won’t win”. Winning 10 of those games and making it to the second round of the Big East Tournament gives them a 21-11 finish with a good SOS and hopefully some wins that came from the “probably won’t win” column. I think we will take that.
NHammertime: I am on record for predicting a 4th place finish for Marquette in the Big East predictions. Is that a homer prediction, maybe? I am not as high on Creighton and Butler as some people are. I think Marquette will be battling Providence for the 4 spot. I just think things are starting to fall in place the way head coach Steve Wojciechowski envisions them. The freshman will need to contribute, Sam Hauser and Markus Howard will need to take the next step, and everyone knows the defense needs to improve. Wojo's emphasis on defense has been apparent in early practices, as it should be. If the defense can show even a slight improvement and the offense stays as consistent as last year, that gets you to 4th place... I think. @ me if I'm wrong. Record? 21-9, and 11-7 in the Big East.
Pistol Brad: Marquette will finish tied for fourth in the BIG EAST with a conference record of 10-8 and a regular season record of 20-12 (including BIG EAST tournament). I can see this team winning a few games that they shouldn’t due to the ability to shoot the lights out but also losing a few that they shouldn’t because of inexperience along with spotty defense and ending up riding the bubble similarly to how they did last year. The season will be decided by how Marquette does against the other middle of the pack BIG EAST teams. It’s going to be a gauntlet again and it should be a blast to watch.
Broadway Brown: I say the team's record will be 19-10 overall and 10-8 in the Big East, which i think will have them finished for 7th in the conference. The team is very young still and it does not help with the Big East arguably being the best conference in college basketball this season.
Besay: There’s definitely a lot of reasons to be excited about the Golden Eagles this season. They got their most talented recruiting class than they’ve had since Wojo’s been here. They also have their three 3-point specialists from last year—Markus Howard, Andrew Rowsey, and Sam Hauser—who look to have sharpened their shot in the first couple of scrimmages they’ve played in against UWM and Northwestern. This is great and all but is it good enough to contend for a top seed in the Big East tournament come March? I think they can sneak in as the #4 seed. The Big East always plays as one of the toughest conferences and there are teams this year (like Seton Hall and St. John’s) that are predicted to be much improved this year. This is why MU’s non-conference play is critical for them to have a chance to make it back to the NCAA tournament. If they can go at least 3-1 against Purdue, Georgia, Vermont, and Wisconsin combined with a finals appearance at the Maui Invitational (I know a big IF), I think they will have a lot confidence going into Big East play and will have a better season than last year. Although, even if they got to the semis of the Maui and had a strong showing against potentially Wichita State that would still be a huge success. The Big East is still going to be very competitive but if MU can exceed expectations in their non-conference play I see them improving upon their record from last year just a bit going 21-9 and 11-7 in the Big East and finishing in fourth behind Nova, Providence, and Xavier. I’m leaning on the optimistic side but I think the Golden Eagles will take big leaps forward this year, especially on the defensive end.
Where will Marquette finish in the Big East standings in 2017-18?
This poll is closed
First or Second
Third or Fourth
Fifth or Sixth
Seventh or Eighth
LOL These are DePaul and Georgetown’s spots