THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 2017 SECOND ROUND
#1 Golden Eagles vs #8 Majerus SLU Crew
Golden Eagles, the team of Marquette alumni, are on to the second round of 2017’s TBT after getting a 103-89 victory over Midwest Dream Squad on Saturday night. Dwight Buycks was the top scorer with 21 points for the Marquette guys, but six total players found their way into double digits in the contest. The highlight of the game was watching different MU alumni taking over during different stretches. First it was Davante Gardner just backing dudes down and drawing fouls, then it was Buycks raining threes, then it was Darius Johnson-Odom and then Maurice Acker matching Buycks’ effort from behind the arc.
Here’s the roster for Golden Eagles:
Lawrence “Trend” Blackledge
Trent Lockett is also on the roster, but as he was absent from Saturday night’s game, I’m guessing he’ll also be absent from Sunday afternoon’s game. Seeing Jamil Wilson participating on Saturday was fascinating, as rumors are circulating that he will be signing a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers after being a white hot greasefire of three-point shooting ability for them in the Las Vegas Summer League. He came off the bench for Golden Eagles on Saturday, knocking down five of his six shots, including 3-of-4 behind the arc, grabbing four rebounds, dishing two assists, and blocking a shot. Nice work if you can get it.
Here’s the roster for Majerus SLU Crew:
That’s their listed roster. Evans and Major did not play in their first round game, so I’m unsure if they just didn’t play or if they’re not available for the opening weekend.
Ostensibly, Majerus SLU Crew is a team of guys who played for former Marquette head coach and assistant coach Rick Majerus when he was coaching at Saint Louis Billikens. It’s not a perfect match, though, as Fernandez attended Valparaiso for all of his college eligibility, Hall split his college experience between Seton Hall and Memphis, and Major came out of junior college to play two seasons with Fresno State.
This is the second appearance in TBT for MSC. They were bounced in the first round back in 2015, the second iteration of The Basketball Tournament
MSC got a 91-87 victory over HBC in the first round to advance to Sunday’s game. Mike McCall was the big scorer, getting 29 points largely because of a 5-of-9 performance behind the arc. McCall, who is listed at 6-feet tall, also grabbed up eight rebounds. Jordair Jett, probably the MSC player with the most name recognition as the 2014 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year (as well as hair recognition with his long dreadlocks) scored 20 in the win and also had four rebounds and four assists. It might be worth mentioning that the Saint Louis guys were up 14 with about 2:30 left to play, but only ended up with a four point margin. I didn’t see the end of their game, and the highlight package doesn’t imply any drama, but giving up a 14-4 run in that final stretch can’t be a good sign for them either.
One thing to watch for in this game is rebounding. The Marquette guys struggled to rebound on both ends of the floor in their opening round game, but thanks to blazing hot shooting (78% effective field goal percentage), it didn’t really matter. The Saint Louis guys were much better on the offensive glass, largely powered by the 6’10” Fernandez grabbing up three of their misses on his own. However, they struggled on the defensive glass essentially as much as Golden Eagles did in their opening round game, so whichever team can get that end ironed out will probably have a significant advantage by the final horn.