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Marquette Thumps St. Norbert, 88-51

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That’s an exhibition game for you.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round- Marquette vs Murray State Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night, Marquette men’s basketball picked up an 88-51 victory in exhibition play against the Green Knights from St. Norbert College. Brendan Bailey led the good guys in scoring with 15, Ed Morrow topped with rebounding charts with nine, and Koby McEwen was the slickest passer on the team with seven assists.

We don’t need to get into a blow-by-blow recap of a 37 point exhibition victory against a Division 3 team, but here’s what stood out to me from my seat in Section 119.

  • We saw two wildly different halves. The halftime score was Marquette leading 35-22 with 29 possessions played. The second half had the Golden Eagles with a 53-29 advantage on 37 possessions. It felt like either A) head coach Steve Wojciechowski went into the game with some sort of specific demand of his team in the first half (“three passes before anyone shoots!” or something similar) and then threw it out the window in the second half or B) Wojciechowski made a halftime adjustment to what they were doing and things got reeeeaaaaaaallllllly good after that.
  • The big primary thing that stood out to me is that Markus Howard is not the point guard on this team. He’s not the guy with the ball in his hands after a defensive rebound outlet pass, he’s not the guy bringing it over halfcourt, he’s not the guy that the ball ends up with after the first pass. Koby McEwen, Symir Torrence, Sacar Anim, Greg Elliott, all of them seemed to be playing that part at one point or another while Howard was on the floor.
  • I don’t expect these kinds of numbers on a night in and night out basis, but as far as a general philosophy of what will be most beneficial to the team: Koby McEwen can do whatever he did to get 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting along with six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal in 27 minutes every single night as far as I’m concerned.
  • Jayce Johnson did not play, and in fact, was on crutches after spraining his knee in practice on Monday. I would figure, given that he’s a graduate transfer and technically a redshirt senior, that as long as nothing is torn or even requires surgery, we will see Johnson at some point this season. It just might not be before Thanksgiving.
  • Greg Elliott had ups and downs: No points, but two assists and two rebounds, but four turnovers, but a steal, but caused the referee to blow the game dead so he could limp/shuffle off the court and go straight back to the locker room. He was back out before I could finish writing the tweet that said the same thing, but he also did not go back into the game after that.
  • Dexter Akanno got caught with that nasty fouls bug, racking up three in 45 seconds at one point. Let’s never do that ever again.
  • Symir Torrence can be my point guard any day. A three-pointer made (his only shot attempt of the game), six assists, four rebounds, three steals, only one foul in nearly 17 minutes played, and no turnovers. More importantly, the 18 year old just looked like he belonged out on the floor.
  • Brendan Bailey looked like the assertive player that our Ben Snider thought we would see from him this season. No rebounds in 22 minutes, but 15 points on 6-of-9 scoring, and four blocks for the 6’8” sophomore. He finished with, according to the official box score, a team high +33 on the night, which is bonkers, but that’s what happens when you win by 37.
  • Theo John only played 20 minutes, but he only had three fouls. The fact of the matter is that St. Norbert has one guy on their roster taller than 6’6”, and he’s only 6’8”, one inch shorter than John. Nine points and six rebounds with three blocks is one hell of a 20 minute effort, even with three fouls.

What stood out to you if you were in attendance, or what questions were you left with after listening to Homer and Tony Smith on the radio? Fire off in the comments section!