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Marquette vs. Georgetown: Three Things We Learned

Ham Sauser

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Sam Hauser is just incredible

I mean, goodness gracious, people. The kid couldn’t be stopped on Monday night. The sophomore finished with 28 points on 10-14 from the floor, 7-8 from 3. That’s stupid. That’s so good. In the first eight minutes of the game, he had 13 points on 5-6 shots. And then, inexplicably, he barely touched the ball for the next few minutes until he was subbed out. He subbed back in a minute and a half later but didn’t shoot until a free throw with 3:16 left. He only took one shot from the field for the remainder of the half. That’s outrageous.

This team should understand better than any other that they need to feed the hot hand, and it was very obviously Hauser in the first half. In fact, it usually is Hauser. Of Marquette’s 29 games, Hauser has shot more than 60 percent from the floor on 10 or more shots in nine of them. Which doesn’t seem like a ton, sure, but he only has four games in which he’s shot less than 40 percent on 10 or more shots. Every other game, he’s at a nice middle ground that’s really a blessing to have in your third scoring option. Makes you think he should be a higher priority, hm? I agree.

For some perspective, Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey have a combined three games in which they’ve shot more than 60 percent from the floor on 10 or more shots. All three games belong to Howard. Oh, you want to know how many combined games they’ve shot less than 40 percent on 10+ shots? 16. Nine for Rowsey, seven for Howard. I’m not trying to villainize these guys for not shooting well when they’re the only two players on the floor that can routinely get their own shot on any level (Hauser’s turnaround in the lane is, like, fine). So, no, I’m not saying Hauser should be taking more shots than them on a nightly basis, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be taking nearly as many. The kid’s money.

2. Imagine the thinnest thread you can think of, and that’s Marquette’s Big Dance chances

Bracketologically speaking, of course. They’re not anywhere on Lunardi’s ESPN list, nor are they on Jerry Palm’s CBS version. And we shouldn’t expect them to be. They lost to DePaul. But a road win at Georgetown is somewhat beneficial? They dropped from 10 brackets to just six since I last checked the Bracket Matrix. The six are websites I have never heard of before. Marquette is 67th in RPI right now, and most of the teams in the Last Four In and First Four Out categories are hovering between the early 40s and mid 50s, so at this point, there’s really no argument for Marquette to be in.

Looking ahead, a win at home against Creighton will be nice, but not as nice as that win on the road against Creighton, which happened before Marquette lost to DePaul. I just can’t believe they lost to DePaul. Monday night, at least offensively, Marquette looked like they knew the season was on the line, even the season was probably already under the line (behind the line? When something is on the line, what direction does the thing go if it becomes not on the line anymore in a negative connotation? When did this phrase become vernacular? Does anyone else think about these things?). Marquette had better play that same way on Saturday (and maybe play a zone again?), and continue to play that way in the Big East Tournament. I’m not a numbers guy and can’t predict how a win vs. X Opponent in the first round of the Big East Tournament would affect Marquette’s RPI, but I do know a game against Villanova in MSG would do a lot of things to 1.) Marquette’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament and 2.) my emotions. You just gotta believe.

3. I’ll be so sad if Marquette doesn’t make the tournament

Man, just so sad.