The Marquette athletic department is releasing all of the men’s basketball non-conference games between now and Friday. We got an exhibition game on Monday night, and earlier in the day on Tuesday, we were able to confirm that the Golden Eagles will open the regular season against Mount St. Mary’s.
That brings us to Marquette’s second game of the season, which will be the Gavitt Tipoff Games contest against Purdue on Tuesday, November 14.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017: vs Purdue Boilermakers
2016-17 Record: 27-8 (14-4 Big Ten)
Returning Points Leader: Isaac Haas, 12.6 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Isaac Haas, 5.0 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Dakota Mathias, 3.8 apg
2016-17 Final KenPom Ranking: #19
After two outstanding seasons in West Lafayette, Caleb Swanigan has moved on to the NBA. This is probably good news for Marquette, as the Golden Eagles will be relying on a bench with virtually no collegiate experience when this game rolls around. With Swanigan, the Boilermakers would have been a national title contender in 2017-18 and the big man from Fort Wayne would have been the preseason national preseason player of the year with ease.
Instead, Purdue will only likely be a top 25 team. Isaac Hass is actually bigger than Swanigan physically, but he’s not quite the same multi-dimensional player as his now-former teammate. Head coach Matt Painter will also have the services of Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards at his disposal, both of whom averaged over 10 points per game last season, and Dakota Mathias, who led the 2016-17 team in assists, just barely missed the double digit points mark at 9.7 per contest. That’s a solid to good core to work with, and they’ll be able to give Marquette quite the stern test this early in the season.
Purdue is also bolstering their ranks with the second best recruiting class in the Big Ten and the #27 class in the country according to 247 Sports. Odds are that we’ll see Eden Ewing (6’8”, 215 lb., 247 Sports’ #9 junior college player) and Nojel Eastern (6’6”, 210 lb., #69 in 247’s high school rankings) in this game, as they’ll be expected to contribute immediately for the Boilermakers.
Marquette is 0-8 all time against Purdue. However, the two teams have not met since the 1969 NCAA tournament, where the Boilermakers prevailed over the Warriors in overtime in the Elite Eight.