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Exhibitionist Tendencies: Marquette 98, Bowie State 40

This was over early, which was nice.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 Atlantic 10 Tournament - George Mason vs Davidson
Tyler Kolek, doing what he does: Letting it fly
Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With 18:30 left in the first half, Bowie State’s Keith Duffin got a layup to go to pull the Bulldogs within one of Marquette Golden Eagles, 3-2, in Thursday night’s exhibition game. 26 seconds later, Darryl Morsell kicked off a 14-0 run by the Golden Eagles and Bowie State never got anywhere close to back into this game.

The lead hit 20 points on a dunk by Justin Lewis at the 9:06 mark and 30 on a three by Kam Jones at the 3:53 mark. Olivier-Maxence Prosper broke the 40 point barrier with 13:32 to play in the game, and a triple in transition by Jones made it 50 (technically 51) for the first time with 10:06 left. MU kept the pedal down all the way to the end, with David Joplin getting the margin to 61 with 1:08 left and Jones again gave MU their biggest lead of the night at 63 points with just 56 seconds left.

Your final, from Fiserv Forum on the Milwaukee Bucks alternate court thanks to some damage to MU’s normal surface: Marquette 98, Bowie State 40, and they got that 40 right at the buzzer.

Let’s get to the actual news from the game: Two Marquette scholarship players did not appear in this game. First, Keeyan Itejere, one of three freshmen to move from Texas to Marquette along with Shaka Smart, dressed to play but did not get into the game. Smart announced in the postgame media availability that Itejere will be redshirting this season.

Second is Greg Elliott, who was being held out of some drills to keep him fresh on Sunday at Haunted Hoops. Tonight? He was in a suit because he has been suspended for this contest and MU’s first four regular season games due to what Smart called a “lapse in judgment.”

Okay, now some stats stuff.

Four Factors!

Effective Field Goal Percentage: Marquette - 52.0%; Bowie State - 26.9%

Turnover Rate: Marquette - 15.9%; Bowie State - 30.5%

Offensive Rebounding Rate: Marquette - 41.5%; Bowie State - 25%

Free Throw Rate: Marquette - 35.1%; Bowie State - 15.4%

Points per possession: Marquette - 1.20; Bowie State - 0.49

Okay, look. A lot of this is not going to translate to the regular season. What I’m focused on is Marquette cut their turnovers waaaaaaaay down in the second half after a 22.5% turnover rate in the opening 20 minutes. Marquette shot the ball well enough (35% from three before missing their final four attempts of the game) and went hard after creating second chances for themselves anyway.

Oh, and those three-pointers? Marquette shot 41 of them in 40 minutes. 41 out of 74 total field goal attempts. That’s 55.4%, but don’t expect that to hold up. There’s only been eight teams in the past five seasons to take more than 53% of their shots from behind the three-point line and only three to break 55%. Still, the mindset of “THREES OR DUNKS OR GTFO” is very much on display for the Golden Eagles here.

With the giant stupid asterisk of “Marquette was up 20 after 11 minutes,” no one played more than the 25 minutes logged by Justin Lewis, and no one played less than the 14 from Oso Ighodaro. I don’t know how much that changes in a close game, nor do I know how much it changes once Greg Elliott gets into the lineup.

Tyler Kolek led Marquette on this night with 15 points, and he gained all 15 from behind the arc. 5-for-8 specifically behind the arc, and then in his free time, Kolek dished out a game high seven assists and pulled in four rebounds. Kur Kuath had a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds, and he had four blocks and a steal, too.

Those are the guys who had good nights, although I’m not discounting Justin Lewis’ 13/7/2 performance here. We have to talk about the guys who struggled, and Emarion Ellis and David Joplin go straight to the front of the line here. They combined for five of Marquette’s 13 turnovers in the game and together they shot just 4-for-12. Both guys just looked... off, and that’s actually a very strong criticism when no one else looked like that against a Division 2 squad.

Speaking of how everyone else looked..... this was fun to watch. I don’t mean because my most favorite sports team on the planet was whomping on an unsuspecting and overmatched foe. I mean they were doing stuff that was cool the entire time. One of Kolek’s seven assists came when he charged at a loose bouncing rebound, and instead of securing it, he just shoved it out of mid-air at Kur Kuath for a dunk.

I mean, Stevie Mitchell took a laser of an outlet pass from Kam Jones out of a turnover at midcourt and threw the ball off the backboard in a goddamned live game to Kur Kuath for the dunk.


This game was full of Marquette constantly making not even just the extra pass, but going out of their way to make the cool pass, to do something fun to watch.

What about foundational concepts from Shaka Smart? Pressure defense? Yep, saw it all game long. How about the deflections? Ben Steele kept track of them/used his binoculars to sneak peeks at the official whiteboard in the Marquette huddle: 52 late in the game, well above the 32 minimum.

How serious about the deflections are they? At one point in the second half, Bowie State threw a lob from the top of the key up over Kur Kuath. No one home on the other end, but the refs said it was off Marquette. Kuath looked straight at Shaka Smart on the bench and made the universal “off my fingertips” swiping motion to make sure his coach say that the call was because he tipped it, which is a deflection. Smart received the message and immediately turned back to the bench to make sure that whoever was in charge of tracking them gave Kuath the credit for it.

In other words, they are deadly serious about it.

Up Next: The season starts officially on Tuesday night when SIU-Edwardsville comes to town. The Cougars lost 62-61 on Thursday night to Division 2 Quincy after blowing a nine point lead right after halftime and trailing by as many as seven in the second half.