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The Quick and The Dirty: #6 Wichita State 80, Marquette 66

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The final score isn’t really indicative of how well the Golden Eagles matched up with the Shockers for most of the game.

NCAA Basketball: Maui Invitational-Marquette at Wichita State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

That’s a top 5 team Marquette just lost to in the Maui Invitational semifinals. Let’s make no mistake about what Wichita State is. Overall it was a valiant effort by the team in a game where the deficit was mostly half of the final margin. Let’s break this down a little further with some thoughts as the game rolled on.....

First Half:

  • Marquette did an excellent job of bouncing back after Sam Hauser’s three fouls. I was going to turn this into a discussion on if head coach Steve Wojciechowski should’ve kept him in for his minutes to be maximized (Hauser didn’t foul at all in the second half, btw), but Marquette kept the Shockers at arm’s length for the rest of the half
  • Wichita State can rebound and will forever and always be one of the grittiest teams in college basketball, but the team’s overall lack of brute strength showed a bit here.
  • Stop setting illegal screens pls.
  • Even though I literally just trashed the rebounding, Greg Elliott had a fantastic offensive board, jumping over Rashard Kelly and slapping it back. I’m so impressed from what I’ve seen out of him.
  • I like the way they’ve handled a press in the last two days. Cal crumbled against it, but they also threw it into the corner literally every in bounds so really anything is an improvement. Last year I think this team turns it over way more than they have so far.
  • Sacar Anim: Shot Creator is a neat thing. He’s had some good drives from the wing.
  • Sacar Anim: Free Throw Shooter is less neat.
  • Zone???
  • That was immediately a disaster.
  • It’s so comforting knowing that the game is never over because of the offense
  • Matt Heldt’s work on screens cannot be understated. He’s been absolutely excellent with his hedges.
  • Jamal Cain is going to be a star his junior and senior years. The two missed putback dunks this year have been jaw-dropping, even though no points are put on the board.

Second Half:

  • More floaters pls.
  • Andrew Rowsey does not offer much in the area of on ball defense. Austin Reaves and Landry Shamet were able to walk right by him at times.
  • They started to rush the offense a bit. The Shockers will make you work for 30 seconds, but you can’t settle for the first mid range jumper.
  • Rowsey could stand to give up a few shots in favor of Markus Howard and Hauser.
  • The Shockers had a lot more easy cuts in the second half.
  • Defensively, Wichita State expended their players basically to the Maui midcourt sign. This is something I feel teams will start to do more. There will be games where Howard, Rowsey and Hauser don’t get an inch of space from the NBA line, leaving them more open to do some floaters. Howard and Rowsey got a couple easy ones, but the Shockers did an insanely good job at recovering after them.
  • Marquette had a day of recovery after facing a havoc defense to face an even better defense. Also, the game was at 8:30 AM local time. The shooting sucked more as the game went on, but I wouldn’t expect that to continue.
  • Conner Frankamp has a teensy bit of Marshall Henderson in him, mainly in his shot selection and hairline.
  • Rebounding was definitely better in the second half. Credit to Matt Heldt and Sacar Anim.

Overall Thoughts:

  • Hauser wasn’t good, so Rowsey and Howard carried the team. Again, Rowsey could’ve done a better job distributing knowing it wasn’t necessarily his day, but there wasn’t too much out there. Also, even Rowsey’s bad days result in a 50% eFG%
  • Wichita State had a 59.6 eFG%, as well as 65.8% from two, but an opponent adjustment is in order. I thought they looked fine overall. The way they held Shaquille Morris in check particularly pleased me. He was 3/10 from the floor and only got to the foul line 6 times. They chose the correct player to focus on and executed well. The rest of the team is just too good.
  • They need to rebound more than 13.1% of their misses, even against this team with a size disadvantage.
  • This was a good enough performance to make me not think about this game again.

Abbreviated Three Things To Take Away

  1. This team can’t get away with poor shooting performances.
  2. I think Marquette showed that they should be able to play with the big dogs in the Big East this year.
  3. The freshmen are going to be a joy to watch develop in the coming years

How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?

Win tomorrow night against either #13 Notre Dame or LSU and Maui is a sterling success.