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The Return Of The Anonymous Eagle Mailbag!

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Marquette playing time, onion rings, Jedi, and college basketball posers all get their fair time here.

Notre Dame v Connecticut
I mentioned Connecticut once in the mailbag, and so here’s the UConn mascot.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

IT’S BACK! The mailbag is back!

God bless all of you weirdos wonderful people who read this site regularly and have questions for us. It’s the summer, and there’s only so many things we can do to kill time until soccer and volleyball start in August.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

From @go_marquette: In your opinion, after losing Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser, do you think @ericgebby ever recovers and comes back on the bandwagon? Or will he just continue w/ the salty Tweets about Jayce Johnson?

I fear young Eric is lost to us forever.

It doesn’t help that he’s no longer a student at Marquette and thus won’t be sitting courtside any more. To have the “hey, you gotta pay full price now” whammy hit at the same time as the Hausers leaving? Whooooo, that’s an emotional price from which I don’t think he’ll ever recover.

As far as the salty tweets go, I enjoy them. There’s a certain segment (and maybe it’s just a incredibly vocal minority) of Marquette Twitter that seems to have thrown themselves into celebrating the addition of Jayce Johnson as some kind of revelation for the Golden Eagles. 15 months ago, I questioned why everyone was so set on Steve Wojciechowski being able to magically answer the point guard question for 2019-20 with “well, we’ll just add a grad transfer, and it will all be fine.”

I’ll admit that Joseph Chartouny appeared on paper to be the perfect addition to the roster..... but that didn’t exactly work out that way in actual games, did it? My hesitancy about a grad transfer proved to be right. In fact, I don’t know why anyone would look at Marquette’s history of grad transfers and say “yep, this is going to be the best thing to ever happen to the team.” None of MU’s grad transfers came in and lit the world on fire. I don’t know why anyone would expect Jayce Johnson to be any different. He’ll be fine, I’m sure.

So I find Eric’s tweets funny because I read them as acerbic doses of reality about what grad transfers mean to the team.

From @Bi11BQ: How did good Jedi learn how to force-choke? Who did they practice on?

First, there’s no such thing as “good” Jedi, there’s just Jedi. The differential is between Jedi and Sith.

ANYWAY, learning to Force Choke isn’t particularly hard. Instead of picking up a droid or an X-Wing or moving rocks or whatever, you just push two sides of a trachea together. All things are connected through the Force, so it’s just a matter of control and decision making.

From @JoeMcCann3: Rank the following in order of how much you think they can contribute on the court to MU in 2019-2020: Dexter Akanno, Symir Torrence, Ike Eke.

There’s a difference between “can” and “will” in this question, by the way. I think you’d have to be a crazy person to think that Symir Torrence can’t contribute immediately. 247 Sports has shifted him to the Class of 2019 now, and they have him ranked #70 in the country. In terms of Steve Wojciechowski recruits, that puts him in the same neighborhood as Markus Howard (#68) and Haanif Cheatham (#75). Both of those guys had outstanding freshman years, and it would be silly to think that Torrence can’t give Marquette something.

However, we can’t ignore the prophetic whiteboard. The coaching staff had a big ol’ RS in red ink next to Torrence’s name on the board. Until I am told differently by an official announcement, I’m going to presume that means they plan on redshirting him.

But that’s “will contribute,” not “can contribute.”

This is my list, in order from biggest contribution downwards: Symir Torrence, Dexter Akanno, Ike Eke.

I think the departure of Sam Hauser shifts Sacar Anim to the 3, and thus opens up backcourt/wing playing time. You’ve got Howard, Anim, Koby McEwen, and Greg Elliott sharing 120 minutes of time at the 1, 2, and 3, and requiring three of the four to be on the floor at any given time is probably going to end poorly. That creates availability for both Torrence and Akanno to carve out a niche for themselves. It doesn’t have to be a big one, as they’re freshmen and have a lot of veteran experience in front of them.

Eke is probably the biggest question mark on the roster this season. He’s undergone back surgery in each of the past two seasons, both early on in the campaign, essentially wiping out his ability to contribute anything during the year. There was a video last summer of Eke setting a program best in the vertical leap, so it appeared that he was 100% healthy at that point before he needed a second procedure.

Back injuries are weird things, back injuries in 18/19/20 year olds are weirder things, and back injuries in 6’9” 18/19/20 year olds are even weirder than that. Maybe he’s 100% good to go again and can show some of the flash and flair that he showed in high school. Maybe he’s permanently limited by his injuries and is relegated to the relatively same role that Matt Heldt had this past season. Either end of the spectrum is possible, as is anything in between. In any case, Eke will be fighting for playing time at the 4 and the 5 this season, so anything he can give MU will be a big benefit.

From @p_o_b_: Any thoughts on a uni redesign? Will they go with an update on a past look or try something completely new?

I think, technically, the answer to this question is yes and yes.

The 2019-20 season is the 50th anniversary of Marquette beating St. John’s in the NIT championship game. I would presume that the reason why the athletic department has already teased a uniform change for this coming season is to celebrate that title in some fashion. I would presume from there that the change would be specifically to wear 1969-70 throwback uniforms all season long.

Here’s the video that the athletic department put together for the 100 year anniversary on that championship team to give you an idea of what they wore that year:

By the way, the yearly home game against St. John’s is always Al’s Night in Milwaukee, so I would guess that the 2020 edition of that game will be a massive celebration of that team. It’s also possible that the uniform change teased for this coming season is actually just a throwback for specifically the home game against the Red Storm, so brace for a mild disappointment when things are eventually announced.

In any case, MU has teased a change in 2019-20 AND 2020-21. No matter what the change for this coming winter is, I presume the change for the following year will be a major one. I would wager that it’s actually tied to some kind of update/shift in the jersey material and components from the Jordan Brand/Nike side of the aisle, but that’s a wild guess more than it is anything else. In any case, I would expect that those of you who are not fans of the uni set we saw in 2018-19 should be pleased to see them completely gone for sure by the fall of 2020.

From @therealmikelach: What are your top 4 schools you’d like to see in a Big East expansion?

UConn, nobody, nobody, and nobody.

From Charlie in the email inbox: Would NCAA D1 basketball benefit by continuing its revenue sharing model with all current conferences (for the next 20 years or so to make them happy) but removing the worst conferences and teams from D1?

My choices are the MEAC (12), SWAC (10), MAAC (11), Southland (13), Northeast (11)

D1 should remain under 300 teams (probably 250 but in time) and we can eliminate some of the horrible early season basketball.

Before we go any further, I will fight to the death to keep the MAAC in Division 1. I love the MAAC.

I definitely don’t disagree that there needs to be kind of limitation set on Division 1. We’re adding Merrimack this year and Bellarmine next year. I’m not quite sure what the benefit is to these programs other than cashing checks from buy games, a bit of television money, and getting to advertise that you’re a Division 1 school/program. They’ll be lucky to be considered a top 200 program any time soon, if we’re being honest about things.

However, I don’t think your plan here really eliminates horrible early season basketball. Take Marquette last year for example. MU beat a Big South team ranked #160 in KenPom (Charleston Southern) by 21 points, and a Big South team ranked #179 (Presbyterian) by 19 after playing objectively poorly for 32 minutes. The Golden Eagles looked a little rough around the edges against an America East team ranked #230 (UMBC) and still won by 25. They picked up a 26 point win over a Summit League team ranked #271 (North Dakota).

These are all games that would still get played if we trimmed out about 50 teams from Division 1, and that’s with Marquette largely speaking making smart scheduling choices. If we’re being honest, none of those games are particularly drawing a lot of extra fans to the seats. MU drew somewhere between 12,892 and 14,103 in paid attendance in a nearly 18,000 seat building for those games I listed. I wouldn’t even complain all that loudly about “gosh darn it why are we playing sub-250 teams” like I do when MU plays sub-300 teams. That would just be the cost of doing business.

What you would most likely end up with is a lot of the back end of the newly shrunk Division 1 playing a lot of non-Division 1 games as regular season non-conference games. What you would also get is more middling high major conference teams in the NCAA tournament, as knocking out four conferences from Division 1 means that you have to fill four more at-large bids in the field of 68. Yeah, they’re not going to shrink that thing back down just because they boot teams out. Is haggling over whether 17-15 Indiana (2019 NIT #1 seed) or 16-16 Texas (#2 seed) should be in or out of the NCAA field worth anyone’s time? That’s where the cutline would have been, give or take, and that’s probably not good for the sport.

From @lessthannick11: Tater tots, fries, or onion rings?

  1. Tater tots
  2. Onion rings
  3. Fries

HOWEVER

Ordering onion rings at a restaurant can be a mixed bag due to the variance in size from ring to ring. If you’re just getting it for yourself, then you’re fine. If you’re getting a basket to share for a table, then you’re running the risk of getting anywhere between seven and twenty rings.

Fries also get a subset ranking for each individual place you go, given that you can cut them in a variety of ways. Culver’s crinkle cut goes to the top of the list for me, but it’s hard to beat any place that sells you fresh cut fries.

From @bexmoy: Are Virginia and Michigan State fans posers for not knowing that they each got a Hauser brother when I talk to them?

One of the things that I’ve learned running this here website is that I can’t take anyone’s college basketball/Marquette basketball knowledge for granted. I have to treat every article like it’s someone’s first visit to the site, and as such, I can’t presume that they know something that we’ve talked about on a number of occasions in the past. The best example of this is the scholarship table that goes into every recruiting article. Just because I can redraw the thing from memory because I kind of have to be able to in order to run this site, that doesn’t mean that every single reader is that dialed in even to the team.

So, I think you have to handle this on a case-by-case basis. If you usually approach them to talk college hoops, then there’s a distinct possibility that you’re a much more serious college basketball fan than they are. If they didn’t catch the Hauser news yet, you can’t fault them for that, as everyone has a limited amount of attention to spread around in their free time. If the fans in question are the type to approach you to talk about college basketball — meaning they know things that they want your opinion on — and they don’t know about it, then yes, then they’re posers.

You should probably tell them to start reading The Only Colors or Streaking The Lawn more often. #CompanyMan


Got a question for the mailbag? Email us — anon.eagle@gmail.com — or send in your tweets to @AnonymousEagle with the hashtag #AEmailbag.