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2021-22 Marquette Men’s Basketball Preview Roundtable: What’s Your Excitement Level?

Let’s take the temperature of the room heading into Shaka Smart’s first season, shall we?

Big East Media Day
Look at these handsome dudes.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The 2021-22 college basketball season is quickly approaching, and thus, we turn our attention to previewing the upcoming Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season.

To that end, we’ve got a stacked up list of questions about the forthcoming campaign, and we’ve gotten the #mubbPAC of Paint Touches, Anonymous Eagle, and Cracked Sidewalks back together to take a crack at answering them. There will be a new question every weekday afternoon between now and the start of the season, so be sure to stop back every day to find the new one.

Onwards, then, to the question of the day:

How excited are you for the upcoming Marquette men’s basketball season on a scale of 1 (not excited) to 5 (very excited)?

Joe McCann, Cracked Sidewalks: 5! The expectation level doesn’t have to match the excitement. Do I expect a lot of wins? Not exactly. Am I excited to learn what Shaka is bringing to the table? Absolutely. In contrast to recent seasons, when my expectations were low and I was pretty sure I was right, my expectations for this year are tempered; but I believe we have a coach who can overachieve. There are so many unknowns, but in a good way. I want to learn about all these new players. I want to see what a Shaka Smart-coached Marquette team actually looks like. More than anything, I’m really hoping this squad proves to be better than their preseason expectations.

Andrei Greska, Paint Touches: 4. I’m so so happy to have MU basketball back in my life, but I can’t lie and say it will all be seashells and balloons. So as excited as I am to watch this team grow, the bumps on the road we are likely to see keep me from being at a 5.

Brewtown Andy, Anonymous Eagle: For the actual season? I’ll say I’m at a 4, and it’s only not a five because I’m going into it with realistic expectations about what kind of college basketball team you have when there’s only three returning players and a new head coach. Usually that doesn’t go as nicely as your best hopes and prayers, so knowing that is looming out there is tempering my expectations. My excitement level for running the AE Twitter while remembering the level of crazy that was popping off the last time Marquette had a coach in his first season? Yeah, I’m at like a negative 7 on that. Keep your unconstructive opinions to yourself.

Tim Blair, Cracked Sidewalks: 5, absolutely a 5. And look, this team is going to be inconsistent and have a few brutal stretches during the season that will challenge any fan to remain passionate. But really this season is where the program is going, so I’m excited to see how this team is coached, the system Smart deploys, how he adjusts, and how a group of young, high-ceiling talent comes together over time. In the end I think we’ll see a squad that improved progressively throughout the season, and one that found a way to return to a level of toughness and defense that is required to compete at the highest levels. It’s great to feel the juice once again.

Ben Snider, Anonymous Eagle: 3. I’m very excited to be able to pick apart what Shaka intends on creating for this team’s identity, especially in some of those early buy games. It’s also going to be a rough season in terms of results and I know that there will be a Wednesday in late January where I wonder why I’m subjecting myself to 2 hours of a middling college basketball team.

Alan Bykowski, Cracked Sidewalks: 4. I’m really excited for this team, but I’m trying to temper my early expectations because this is a team built to win 2-3 years down the road. I think I’ve also been beaten up so badly by the years of Steve Wojciechowski that I’m afraid to get to that “5” level of excitement.

Carter Chapley, Anonymous Eagle: 4. Young teams that don’t have a ton of expectations mean you measure success in different ways. You have lots of young exciting pieces and a new coach to keep tabs on so every game will be an adventure rather than a stress filled “must win” white knuckler. There are going to be growing pains, sure, which is probably why this isn’t a 5 for me, but hope springs eternal this time of year!

Rob Lowe, Cracked Sidewalks: 4. I could not be more excited about how Shaka is approaching the program. My excitement rank for the next few years is a solid 5. However, this year is going to be rough. Expectations are that MU will be a .500 team and nothing is more frustrating to me than a .500 team. However, I firmly believe that the foundation for long term Marquette success is being built (and I will remind myself of that in late December).

Patrick Leary, Anonymous Eagle: 5. It’s not complicated. New era, new roster. I’m excited to watch anything instead of the dreck Wojciechowski put out there for the better part of seven years. Shaka was a perfect “win the press conference” and “win the preseason” -type hire, so, yeah, I’m stoked to watch what he’s going to put out there, and there’s a ton of new blood on this roster that’s promising. I’m all in, even if they’re bad for a few months.

Todd Welter. Cracked Sidewalks: 5. How can you not be excited? Are there going to be some growing pains? Yes, you got a young roster and no one has played significant minutes together. Despite the projections, this team is talented and I cannot wait to see who emerges as the guy and who else develops to provide significant minutes. One thing for sure is this team will D up. Shaka will make sure of it. Will it be a return to Havoc for Shaka? His Texas defensive version? A hybrid? If it is a hybrid, please let the nickname be Violence. I guess I am just finally excited to know this program has someone running it who can coach, develop and recruit. The foundation of a new era is being laid and it will be fun to watch the building process start towards hopefully a Final Four some day, or dare to dream of a National Championship, during the Shaka era. Finally, I am excited to see them prove the projections wrong and finish better than 9th in the Big East.

John Gunville, Anonymous Eagle: Easy 5 here. Last season was just absolutely dreadful to watch knowing that our team was so much better than the results. This season is pretty widely acknowledged as a rebuilding year, so there are literally zero expectations for this team except that we’re probably going to lose. The combination of being away from Wojciechowski and getting to see this team evolve with Shaka is incredibly exciting.

Vote in the poll and/or sound off in the comments!

Poll

What’s your excitement level for the 2021-22 Marquette men’s basketball season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1 (not excited)
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    3
    (10 votes)
  • 35%
    4
    (55 votes)
  • 56%
    5 (very excited)
    (87 votes)
155 votes total Vote Now