Saturday, December 2, 2017 - vs Georgia Bulldogs
2016-17 Record: 19-15 (9-9 SEC)
Returning Points Leader: Yante Maten, 18.2 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Derek Ogbeide, 7.6 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Juwan Parker, 1.8 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #61
The Georgia team that comes to Milwaukee in early December will be fundamentally different than the one that Marquette saw in December of 2016. Guard J.J. Frazier, who went for 22 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and three steals against the Golden Eagles, was a senior last season, so he will no longer be on the roster. Frazier was Georgia’s leading scorer and assist man a year ago while playing nearly 35 minutes a game, so whatever the Bulldogs do in the coming season, they’re going to have to do it without his impressive production.
The focus will likely turn to big man Yante Maten, who wasn’t that far off of Frazier’s scoring pace. Maten is a gifted offensive player, showing great touch around the rim as well as a nearly 50% shooting percentage behind the arc last season. He was good for a little bit more than one long range attempt per game in 2016-17, and if he can keep knocking them down like that, I see no reason why head coach Mark Fox wouldn’t want to take advantage of that.
Even with Maten drifting out around the arc, Georgia will still be solid inside with Derek Ogbeide. Marquette was able to neutralize the Atlanta native last season, holding him to just seven points and one rebound in 11 minutes. That was somewhat of a coaching choice by Fox, though, as Ogbeide had just one personal foul in the game. If he can replicate his rebounding from every other game in the season, Ogbeide will be a force for the Bulldogs.
After last year’s win, Marquette is now 2-0 all-time against Georgia. The other meeting was back in 1974, when MU came away with a 100-70 victory in Milwaukee.