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Big Things Are Expected From Marquette Men’s Basketball In 2019-20

At least that’s what the Way Too Early rankings are telling us.

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NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Seton Hall
Check out Matt Heldt’s reaction face.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (4/18/19): This article was assembled before Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser announced that they would be transferring out of the program. Absolutely none of the rankings below are valid any more.

Shortly after the 2018-19 Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season came to a close, we published an article or two about our thoughts regarding what a good season it was before mid-February, how the season ended, and what may or may not have been the causes of the horrific ending to the whole thing. Justifiably so, Marquette fans had reasons to be concerned about what was going on with the team going forward after losing six of the final seven games of the season.


All of us have to admit that if the first 80% or so of the season was more indicative of what this team was than the final 20%, then big things should be expected in 2019-20. As such, the national brains taking the 30,000 foot view of everything are thinking in that direction, and the days since the national championship game have been full of Way Too Early projections and rankings that have been extremely favorable to Steve Wojciechowski’s squad.

Let’s take a quick run through things here, shall we?

UPDATE (4/12/19): This article was compiled before Markus Howard announced that he would be returning for his senior season. Please take the knowledge that he will definitely be on the roster in November into account whilst reading what follows. If you want to taunt Seth Davis about it, well, that’s up to you.

ESPN — #2

No, seriously. Jeff Borzello has YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles as the #2 team in the country heading into 2019-20, behind only Michigan State. Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke, all looking up at the Golden Eagles. Think about it this way: To a certain extent, Borzello has Marquette as a co-favorite to reach the national championship game next April.

Here’s the key phrase, in my eyes:

One key addition will be Utah State transfer Koby McEwen, who will bring size and versatility to the backcourt -- and enable [Markus] Howard to focus solely on scoring.

NBC Sports — #4

Saying “big things should be expected” may have been a gross understatement here. Rob Dauster doesn’t have any commentary on his top 25 here, but he does mark Markus Howard with an asterisk to note that there is a potential NBA Draft decision on the way from the junior guard. — #5

Andy Katz is the one putting this list together, and he has just one sentence for the Golden Eagles:

Markus Howard isn’t going anywhere and that means the Golden Eagles are a Big East favorite.

Let’s talk about the “a Big East favorite” part for a second. Not “the,” “a.” Seton Hall is #20 in Katz’s rankings, Villanova is #27, Georgetown (!) is #28, Xavier is #33, and Creighton is “under consideration” for the top 36 list.

Sports Illustrated — #6

Marquette will be out to prove a poor end to this season was more a mirage than anything.

Got it on the first try, Jeremy Woo.

Stadium — #6

Jeff Goodman doesn’t have anything particularly new to say relative to what we’ve seen so far in these rankings. He does say MU “should have just about everyone back,” which mostly refers to Markus Howard, of course.

Sporting News — #7

Mike DeCourcy and his editors are very smart people, as they organized their top 25 list starting with #25 at the top of the page going to #1 at the bottom of the page. Smart. Make everyone read through everything to see who you have at #1. ANYWAY, DeCourcy has “None” next to Key Decisions in his quick blurb for the Golden Eagles, so he’s going with the assumption that even if Markus Howard enters the draft process, he’ll be back in a MU uniform when November rolls around.

CBS Sports — #7

Gary Parrish doesn’t have any commentary on his rankings, but he does have a N/A next to “Other expected departures” and lists Markus Howard in the “Notable players expected to return.” For what it’s worth to you, at the top of the page, Parrish says that he’s doing his best to get the most up-to-date information on who is and is not entering the NBA Draft from people who know things about things.

USA Today — #8

It seems slightly dumb to say, but I’m much more comfortable with this ranking heading into next season than a top five or Lord above help us, a top two spot. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that Scott Gleeson’s ranking is largely dependent on Markus Howard returning for his senior season.

The Athletic ($) — #34

Wait, what?

There’s no commentary from Seth Davis in the article that specifically spells it out, but I presume that Davis has Markus Howard not returning next year. I know Marquette landed outside the final Associated Press top 25 this past season, but it’s a little crazy to think that the exact same Golden Eagles roster plus Greg Elliott and Koby McEwen would end up fluttering down around #9 seed territory. If that’s Davis’ expectation without Howard, that actually makes perfect sense.

That’s about all the rankings that matter out there. Where do you think Marquette should be ranked heading into next season?


Where should Marquette be ranked to start 2019-20?

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