The 2018-19 college basketball season is quickly approaching, and thus, we turn our attention to previewing the upcoming Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season.
As was the case last year, we’ve got a stacked up list of questions about the 2017-18 campaign, and each of the contributors to AE are going to take a crack at answering them. There will be a new question every weekday afternoon between now and the start of the season, so be sure to stop back every day to find the new one.
Onwards, then, to the question of the day:
Where will Marquette finish in the Big East standings?
For context purposes, Marquette was the #7 seed in the Big East tournament last year, but finished in a tie for sixth. The Big East coaches voted MU to finish second in the league as announced at Media Day earlier on Thursday.
If you ask me to give the specific order I’ll put Marquette second just because I don’t see any particular team being a game better than them other than Villanova. Since I’m being asked to just throw a number out there I’ll say they finish third. Some team out there will find a hidden gem or go on an unexpected hot streak and find their way into second place just because someone has to. Positions 2 through like 7 in the conference are going to be just this big glob of mediocrity and head-scratching losses. We’re not going to be able to tell half of these teams apart and the minute you think things will be figured out, Georgetown will beat Butler by 30 on the road after finding a hidden year of eligibility for Austin Freeman.
Well, time to put on my old Big East Coast Bias glasses and see what it tells me about the rest of the conference.
OH GOD IT’S ALL JUST WRESTLING GOOD GOD WHY?
All jokes aside, anything outside the top 4 is a BAD season with this Marquette roster. I’m not writing off Villanova, Providence will be very good, St. John’s has all the potential to be very good, Butler is always consistent, and you can’t count out any team (besides probably DePaul) making a run at high finish this year. I’ll hedge my bets on a third place finish.
On paper, second makes the most sense. Villanova will win the conference in perpetuity until...I dunno, the apocalypse? An NBA team offers to make Jay Wright governor as well as coach? But beyond the Cardiac ‘Cats, Marquette has the best roster in the conference on paper.
Unfortunately, basketball isn’t played on paper, and there’s so little between teams two through nine in the Big East that just assuming a team that hasn’t cracked the top 150 in KenPom defense in a while will slot comfortably into second place seems risky. I’ll say MU finishes third behind St. John’s for now, but in reality behind whatever traditional good not great program (Xavier, Providence, Butler, etc.) stabilizes it’s roster turnover enough to succeed.
I called it last year, so I’m calling it this year.
Villanova’s not winning the regular season title in 2018-19.
They didn’t win it last year, going 14-4 to Xavier’s 15-3. They’re taking a step back this year, which, yes, for Villanova means “not an obvious national title contender,” but it also means taking a step back within the context of the Big East as well.
So the door’s open for someone else to win the league.
That team is Marquette. Yep. I went there.
It hurts to say this, but I feel like Nova will always be good. Saying that, they should be first in the Big East and Marquette should be in second. On paper, Marquette is easily the second best team in the conference as they’re returning everybody except Andrew Rowsey. If Marquette is out of the top four, this season will be a major disappointment.
I think I’m just gonna go all in on Marquette this year. The defense will still be suspect, I’d imagine, but hopefully there are some improvements from the sophomore wings, and the transfers shore things up. But they’ll be fully capable of beating teams 88-82. Of course, I’m making some assumptions about improving defense (because it hasn’t really in years) and transfer help. So 2 through 5 feels realistic. That said, to continue to fuel my uncharacteristic optimism, I’ll say second. Why not 1? Well,
Cotdamn Villanovar.— Daggum Roy (@DaggumRoy) April 3, 2018
Optimistically second. Realistically third. Pessimistically fourth. Marquette has too much talent this year that it’s hard to find a reason to place them outside the top four. This is Wojo’s statement year and if the team doesn’t finish in the top four it will be a massive disappointment. It all comes down to whether or not they’ll be able to close out tight games (especially on the road).
Marquette will finish first in the BIG EAST this season. Yup, I said it, I know Brewtown Andy will be rolling his eyes reading this but he doesn’t pay me enough for me to care. [Editor’s note: Y’all have realized by now that I am not rolling my eyes.] With the returning offensive talent infused with a bit of newcomer defense, Marquette has received the most hype since Wojo was brought on. I understand the reservations for my fellow prognosticators here at Anonymous Eagle as Marquette hasn’t been able to play a lick of notable defense these last two years, but I have managed to convince myself that this was a personnel issue rather than bad scheming. With two players picked for preseason all-BIG EAST teams (Markus Howard and Sam Hauser), Marquette has no lack of star power. Combine this with veteran role players like Ed Morrow, Joseph Chartouny, Matt Heldt, and Sacar Anim, a recipe for winning seems to be taking shape. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but in a year where the Big East will be relatively down, I think Marquette rides a wave of fan support in the Fiserv Forum and manages to finish the conference season in a tie for first with Villanova which we will win as we beat them TWICE this season.
(Note: they could also finish like third and that would probably me a bit more realistic but way less fun)
Where will Marquette finish 2018-19 in the Big East standings?
This poll is closed