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:
Who will be in the MU starting five on Opening Night against UMBC?
Why yes, we are being sneaky and asking this question before Tuesday night’s exhibition.
Joseph Chartouny/Markus Howard/Sam Hauser/Ed Morrow/Matt Heldt. Marquette will control the opening tip and immediately draw up an alley oop to Heldt.
Joseph Chartouny, Markus Howard, Sam Hauser, Sacar Anim, and Matt Heldt. Wojo will start the season with his best lineup from last year + the dynamic two-way grad transfer from Fordham.
Huh. This should be easy, but I am thinking of some other possibilities that are intriguing. Does Chartouny get the start right away? I wouldn’t be shocked if Wojo sticks with his guys from last year, just slot in Cain at the 3-spot. Would Morrow start over Anim? Or does Morrow play a small-ball 5 in the second unit over Theo John? Is Elliott the second unit PG, albeit when he gets healthy? How is Howard going to feel being supplanted by Cam Marrotta? So many questions. I’ll keep it simple for the starting lineup, but I think we’re going to see some WILD lineups this year. UMBC will get a Chartouny-Howard-Hauser-Anim-Heldt look to start the year.
If I had to take a stab at it [Editor’s Note: You do.], it’ll be Joseph Chartouny, Markus Howard, Sacar Anim, Sam Hauser, and Matt Heldt.
You can’t start a five man group here without Markus Howard and Sam Hauser. What you do from there is up to you and dependent on the matchup. I’m going to give Matt Heldt the nod here, both as a senior, and as the resident tall guy to take the opening tip-off. That’s two spots left to go. I feel like Joseph Chartouny was brought in to pick up the ball handling slack from Andrew Rowsey, so we’ll go with him.... and CURVEBALL! Brendan Bailey. Wojo isn’t above rewarding a guy for hard work in practice (and vice versa, of course), so I’m going to put Bailey into the lineup as a wild guess.
PG: Chartouny, SG: Howard, SF: Anim, PF S Hauser, C: Heldt. I predict that Wojo will go with a pretty mundane starting lineup yet this lineup will not get the lion’s share of the minutes. I think Heldt will be a ceremonial starter and have a much reduced role from last season with the addition of Ed Morrow and what hopes to be the improvement of Theo John. Honestly, the starting lineup doesn’t really matter too much and I think Wojo knows that so I see him touting out his more senior players and letting the younger guys come off the bench. Even though I do not think Ed Morrow will start I would not be surprised to see him lead the team in minutes at PF as Sam Hauser will probably play more at SF now that we have a glut of PF on the roster.
There are way way more moving parts to this than there should be. Markus Howard and Sam Hauser are the only two locks. Just given that he’s a senior and seasoned starter, I’d assume Matt Heldt starts. Joseph Chartouny is the roster’s truest point guard, and also a seasoned college player, so I have to imagine he starts. That fifth spot is someone up-for-grabs, since it could be a more post-oriented forward or more of a wing type, with Sam bumping up to the power forward spot. Since he started almost all of last season, I’ll give the last spot to Sacar Anim, but it could definitely go to Ed Morrow or any of the team’s versatile wings. Opening night sees Chartouny-Howard-Anim-Sam-Heldt start.