Marquette Golden Eagles (16-12, 7-9) at Georgetown Hoyas (15-12, 5-11)
Date: Monday, February 26, 2018
Time: 6pm Central
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Marquette Stats Leaders
Points: Markus Howard, 21.3 ppg
Rebounds: Sam Hauser, 5.9 rpg
Assists: Andrew Rowsey, 4.5 apg
Georgetown Stats Leaders
Points: Jessie Govan, 16.7 ppg
Rebounds: Jessie Govan, 10.1 rpg
Assists: Jonathan Mulmore, 3.6 apg
KenPom Projection: Marquette has a 54% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 81-80.
Tempo Free Fun: Ohhhhhhh, this is all just so depressing.
On Friday, the T-Rank Ranketology had Marquette in the NCAA tournament as the second to last team in and headed to Dayton. On Sunday, following the horrible second half against DePaul, Marquette has dropped down to the fifth team out of the field of 68. If we use Ranketology to project wins for the Golden Eagles on Monday night against Georgetown and Saturday against Creighton, MU is the first team out of the field.
In other words, it certainly appears that Marquette’s NCAA tournament at-large hopes are now, if they weren’t already, completely dependent on what happens in the Big East tournament.
And it all seems like it could have been avoided. The clankjob against Georgia in the Bradley Center. The hotly contested home games against Xavier and Villanova. The sudden collapse against Butler in Indianapolis. The near miss at home against Providence. The awful second half showing against St. John’s in New York. And now, this second half collapse against DePaul.
Okay, enough being depressing. Let’s assess the Hoyas, who we have not seen since the second to last day of 2017.
Their conference slate has not gone well. They’re a shade worse off than Marquette at 5-11. Through their first 12 games, they had only managed a season sweep of St. John’s and a split with DePaul in terms of wins. It looked like they may have made a breakthrough at that point, beating Seton Hall at home and then going on the road to beat Butler in back to back contests. That moved them to 5-9 in league play, but they’ve dropped their last two contests against Xavier and Providence, both at home. Both games were competitive, though, with Georgetown letting things slip away in the last 10 minutes or so.
In the first meeting between Marquette and Georgetown, the Golden Eagles were able to build a 10 point lead in the first 15 minutes and then hold on from there. Two things were primarily responsible for that. First, Marquette was positively electric from behind the three-point line, sinking 13 of their 26 long range attempts. It was a team effort, but Andrew Rowsey’s 6-of-9 was particularly helpful. The other thing was Georgetown’s inability to maintain possession of the basketball. The Hoyas committed 25 turnovers in the game, tossing it away on 34% of their possessions. Four different Hoyas committed at least four turnovers, with Jonathan Mulmore tipping things heavily in MU’s direction with five giveaways. Marquette had 11 steals in that game, so the Golden Eagle defense was definitely responsible for a lot of the Hoyas’ problems.
The game ended in a nine point Marquette victory in the Bradley Center, which leads to a note of concern for how the return bout in D.C. will go. It’s unreasonable to expect Marquette to shoot 50% behind the arc again, and it’s unrealistic to expect the Hoyas to hand MU the ball on over a third of their possessions this time around. Marquette is going to have to find another way to beat the Hoyas if they have an interest in playing any kind of postseason basketball this season. Of particular note: The Golden Eagles are going to have to do a better job scoring inside. Marquette shot just 29% on twos in that game, largely because of a combined 2-of-12 from Markus Howard and Sam Hauser. That aspect is going to have to improve to balance out the expected reduction in threes and takeaways.
Then again, Georgetown is one of the 50 worst teams in the country when it comes to taking care of the ball, so maybe, just maybe, Marquette’s defense can carry the day.
Marquette Last 10 Games: 4-6, with the loss to DePaul snapping a two game winning streak.
Georgetown Last 10 Games: 3-7, with losses in their last two games.
All Time Series: It’s all tied up at 12 wins each after Marquette defeated Georgetown earlier this season.
Current Streak: Marquette has won three of the last four meetings.
Greg Elliott Watch: The freshman from Detroit has the sixth most blocks by a freshman with 21. Up next is current MU women’s basketball assistant coach Scott Merritt, who had 25 in 2000-01.
Theo John Watch: With two blocks against DePaul, John has moved up into a tie for the sixth most blocks by a Marquette freshman with teammate Greg Elliott. Both guys have 21 and are chasing Scott Merritt at 25.
Sam Hauser Watch: I feel so bad for the sophomore from Stevens Point. After assembling one of the greatest freshman shooting campaigns in Marquette history, he’s doing the same thing as a sophomore and is being completely overshadowed by Markus Howard yet again. Hauser has 80 made threes, 12 behind Steve Novak for most all-time by a sophomore and eight behind Howard. Hauser’s 159 attempts from long range have surpassed Duane Wilson for the seventh most by a MU sophomore. Next up on the list is Dominic James at 184.
Andrew Rowsey Watch: Rowsey now has a team high 91 made three-pointers on the season, which is the second most by a Marquette senior and the 2nd most in any MU season. Steve Novak’s senior year record of 121 is the only total left in front of him on both charts. Rowsey is up to 232 three-point tries this season, which is the 2nd most for any Marquette player, with only Novak’s senior year total of 259 in front of him. Rowsey’s campaign is just the seventh time a Marquette player has attempted 200 or more three-point shots in a season. After going 3-for-3 against DePaul from the free throw stripe, Rowsey now has the 8th most made free throws by a senior with 137, passing Mike Morgan at 136, but then it’s a while before we get to Rube Schulz at 150. Rowsey’s accuracy is absurd, as he still needs 30 more attempts from the stripe to get into the senior top 10 in that department.
Markus Howard Watch: It’s official: This is one of the best sophomore scoring seasons in Marquette history. With 12 points against Creighton, Howard is up to 565, and that is the second most by a second year player. The only one in front of Howard now is the one and only Dwyane Wade at 571. Howard’s 88 made three-pointers are the second most by a Marquette sophomore, trailing only Steve Novak’s 89, and trails Steve Novak’s sophomore and junior campaigns by just one for the fourth most in any season. Howard’s 230 three-point attempts is now the most by a Marquette sophomore, surpassing Novak’s record of 207. 230 long range attempts in a season is also the sixth 200+ attempt season in Marquette history and the 3rd most in any single season by any Marquette player, trailing Novak’s senior season (259) and Rowsey’s current total of 232. His 195 made field goals are the fourth most by a Marquette sophomore, trailing George Thompson in third place by just five. Howard’s 424 total shots on the season is just the seventh time a Marquette sophomore has broken past 400 in a season, and he currently sits in 4th place on that list. Dominic James is up next in third place with 445.