Welcome back to the Anonymous Eagle Mailbag! We’ve got a neat mix of questions this week, so let’s dive in.......
Via @abigail_clare: How far do you think we'll go in #TBT this summer and will they give us the pleasure of having Wes miked up again?
For those of you that are just joining us, TBT is The Basketball Tournament, the 64 team single elimination tournament with $2 million going to the eventual winner. Golden Eagles, the team of Marquette alumni were just confirmed as entrants this past week, along with eight other teams in the Midwest Region. There’s still seven more teams — six at-large bids and one by winning The Jamboree — to be added to get to 16 in the region, so take that into account as I answer Abigail’s question.
I feel pretty good about the chances that Golden Eagles makes it to the Final Four. Two things: They made it to the Elite Eight last year and I’m guessing that the bracketing gurus are going to keep Golden Eagles away from the couple of powerhouse teams in the region for the first few rounds.
Here’s the deal: The Ohio State alumni team is stacked with names you should recognize, including Greg Oden and Aaron Craft. They’re going to be good. The Iowa State alumni team doesn’t have the same level of name recognition, but they should be solid. Fort Wayne Champs is loaded up with guys that have played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBDL, so they have to be taken seriously. There’s also Always A Brave, the host for the first two rounds and the team that knocked the Marquette team out in the Elite Eight last year. Obviously, they’re a threat.
That’s four squads along with Marquette that probably make up the top five seeds in the region. With the standard 16 seed bracket, Golden Eagles would have to be either the #4 or #5 to see any of those teams in Peoria. I feel like that won’t happen, so with a focused squad who knows they have a real chance to win this thing this year (go listen to general manager Dan Fitzgerald’s interview on The Real Chilly Podcast to get what I mean), and I figure they just need to take care of business in Peoria, and then just win two in New York in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds. From there, on to Baltimore for the semifinals and finals and who knows what could happen then?
From Mark in the email inbox: I'm a Marquette student who's about to turn 21 and I have 2 questions:
1. What's some advice for your 21st birthday?
2. Murph's or Caff's?
Don’t drink garbage. There’s some sort of weird tradition of having newly 21 year olds drink insane crap that no one would ever order unless it was their 21st birthday. Don’t do that. Drink stuff you want to drink. Go to a nice bar, maybe somewhere you’d never think about going otherwise. Pay a friend $20 to be your sober designated watchdog to make sure you make it home and into your bed safely.
Oh, and Caffrey’s, by a wide margin. That front picture window makes a world of difference in the ambiance. Although if you meant which place to go for your 21st, then neither.
Via @TTrentC: over the last 10 years, who's your favorite player to transfer in?
Robert Jackson. Next question.
Wait. (does math) CRAP, that was longer than 10 years ago. DARN YOU AND YOUR TRICKSY WAYS, TRENT.
Ok, two can play at this game. Jae Crowder! HA HA! JUCO players are technically transfers! I win!
If that doesn’t count, then Trent Lockett. His tearful Senior Night speech followed by the team swarming him to hug him, even though he had only been on campus for less than a year was a wonderful memory, and winning Marquette’s second straight Big East title a week later wasn’t too bad, either.
Via @AndyGold24: What's something you enjoy even though it's terrible? (Could be a food, movie, TV show, anything else)
I love going to the Wisconsin State Fair and jamming my stupid face full of absurd fair food even though it’s objectively terrible for my health. And not just the standard issue fair food. I go straight for the “new for this year” list, literally make a checklist of the most interesting stuff including the locations, and bring it and a pen with me. I have probably taken at least a year off of my life at this point, but hey, those are the crummy wheelchair/adult diaper years anyway, so who needs ‘em?
I should point out that the wife and I have had introductory discussions of skipping the Wisconsin State Fair this year and going to the Minnesota State Fair just for giggles instead.
Via @MUFanaticDotCom: will Fox broadcasting BigTen bball games positively impact viewership of Big East and PAC12 bball games in your opinion
Yes, but probably not as much as Fox or the Big East would like.
Check out this set of charts from Sports TV Ratings. It’s from early March, and you’ll notice that there’s only about a 3 million household difference between ESPN and FS1. What it means is that Big Ten games going to FS1 isn’t going to drive up carriage all that much, so the only improvement is really going to come from Big Ten fans aware that there’s important Big East games to be watched.
The real benefit may come in additional houses adding FS2. Because of Fox airing B1G games, there’s going to be more Big East games headed to FS2 this year. There’s also going to be a decent amount of Big Ten games over there as well, so I would expect to see growth in their household numbers and thus increase viewership of Big East games.
Via @clagore34: Let's pretend the surprise best player on this year's team is going to be a freshman. Who's it most likely to be?
The best part about this question is that this isn’t that big of a leap here. The 2016-17 Marquette scoring leader was a freshman, and the 2016-17 total minutes played leader was a totally different freshman.
Ok, so the candidates are (in alphabetical order) Jamal Cain, Ike Eke, Greg Elliott, and Theo John. Head coach Steve Wojciechowski said repeatedly over the winter that Cain, Eke, and John would all be the most athletic player on last year’s team, so you’d have to figure that there’s a non-zero chance that one of them could end up as the best player on the 2017-18 team. Wojo also loves saying that John has a “college ready body,” but the reports from Minnesota that I’ve seen about him generally has me thinking that John is a perfect complimentary player, not a dominant star in the making. Eke might have the most raw athleticism of all of the freshmen, but the key word there is “raw.”
As a guard, Elliott is going to have to pry minutes away from Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey, so I feel like it’s not him. That leaves us with Cain, and to that end, I leave you with these two videos.
DISCLAIMERS: Yes, these are just drills and no one is playing defense.
But you have to admit that Cain looks silky smooth on both videos, and there’s still five months of hanging out with Todd Smith in the weight room before the season starts.......
Via @mooof23: As a grown, married man who has an 18 month old...how much video game playing should be expected by me and/or allowed by the wife character?
There’s varying levels of answers here, and this is coming from a grown, married man with an almost 13 year old and a 9 year old.
First, unless you have a regularly scheduled group of friends that get together to play, online multiplayer is basically impossible. It’s completely reasonable for your partner to occupy your child while you have your regularly scheduled Halo Night with your friends. It’s equivalent to having a bowling night or a poker night with your friends. Outside of that, unless she’s out of the house with the kid, you can’t do it.
Past that, you just have to pick your spots. Should you be playing two hours a night of the new Legend of Zelda game? Probably not a good plan. A game of Madden or FIFA here and there? Might work out well, especially if the child likes watching football and will believe that Madden is an actual game. In fact, if you have an all ages game you want to play, you can actually make an argument for even more video game time for yourself. You play the game, the kid bops around in the room with you, the wife character is off doing whatever she wants to do around the house.
The big move is figuring out when the kid is old enough to be taught how to play Mario Kart, because then you’re not playing video games, you’re being a good dad.
Via @ericgebby: Cavs in 7?
Full disclosure: I’m typing this on Sunday evening, about two hours before Game 2 tips off.
But not because of basketball reasons.
See, what’s going to happen is as the series goes on, Kevin Durant is going to get increasingly sloppy. Bad passes, maybe accidentally kicks Steph Curry in the ankles, starts missing shots a little more than he should. Game 7 is the culmination of all of this, when he flat out knocks Klay Thompson out of the air as he goes for a game winning lay-up late, stands over him menacingly as the horn sounds, and then rips off his Warriors jersey to reveal a Cavs jersey, nWo style. HE WAS A SLEEPER AGENT FOR LEBRON JAMES AND THE CAVS ALL ALONG. MAH GAWD, KEVIN DURANT HAS SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL!
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