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Marquette Basketball Big East Preview Primer: at Seton Hall Pirates

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We’re going to do something a little bit different for this game preview.

Xavier v Seton Hall Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

As you saw up top, we’re doing something different for this preview.

The usual facts and figures that we throw in these things will be down below, so if you’re here for that, you can scroll down and get that. I’m dropping the Tempo Free Fun section, which is where the actual game previewing stuff actually happens. At this point, given how things have gone against Seton Hall for the last three meetings and how the season has gone for Marquette in general so far, I’m not going to try and put a happy face on what MU might be able to do to win. We’re just skipping past that.

Instead, we’re going to investigate the possibility, with five games left in the regular season, of Dawson Garcia winning Big East Freshman Of The Year.

Here’s the MU big man’s stat line so far this season:

13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks
48.7% shooting from the field
52.2% shooting on two-point attempts
39.6% shooting on three-point attempts
76.9% shooting from the free throw line

Here’s some freshmen-only rankings in the Big East:

#1 in scoring
#1 in rebounding
#2 in field goal percentage (min. 3.0 makes/game)
#1 in free throw percentage (min 2.0 makes/game)
#2 in three-point percentage (min. 1.0 makes/game)
#1 in offensive rebounds per game
#1 in defensive rebounds per game
#2 in minutes per game

So, it definitely looks like Garcia should be Freshman of the Year.

However.

There is one other actual measurement involved in this, I think, as well as a more esoteric measurement.

So far this season, there have been 11 Big East Freshman Of The Week awards handed out. Three of them have gone to Dawson Garcia.

Four of them, including each of the last three, have gone to Posh Alexander from St. John’s.

That’s kind of notable. The coaches aren’t required to vote for the guy who has more FOTW awards, as they have no input on those anyway. They can vote for whoever they want at the end of the season. Buuuuuuuut when I put together my predictions for the end of season awards, I use those FOTW awards to help determine who the coaches will probably vote for, and they’re usually pretty instructive in that regard. There’s three more FOTW awards coming before the season ends, which is probably when the coaches’ ballots will be coming in. Could Garcia end up winning each of the last three and run away with this down the stretch? Sure, definitely possible.

Here’s the more esoteric thing: St. John’s is probably going to finish in front of Marquette in the Big East. The Red Storm are 7-7 in the league right now, and 13-8 overall. Marquette is 5-9 in the league and 9-11 overall. As of February 12th, Bracket Matrix shows the Johnnies in nine of the 102 bracket projections that they’re tracking. Marquette is, uh, not involved in that type of thing at all.

If Alexander is viewed as helping drive St. John’s to an NCAA tournament bid when the Johnnies were picked to finish ninth in the league...... and Garcia’s Golden Eagles finish well below the 6th place predicted finish from the preseason poll......

Well. You see how this could easily go against Marquette’s current leading scorer.

Marquette Golden Eagles (9-11, 5-9 Big East) at Seton Hall Pirates (11-8, 8-5 Big East)

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2021
Time: 2pm Central
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

Marquette Stats Leaders

Points: Dawson Garcia, 13.3/game
Rebounds: Dawson Garcia, 6.7/game
Assists: D.J. Carton, 3.5/game

Seton Hall Stats Leaders

Points: Sandro Mamukelashvili, 17.9/game
Rebounds: Sandro Mamukelashvili, 7.1/game
Assists: Shavar Reynolds, 4.4/game

KenPom.com Rankings

Marquette: #88
Seton Hall: #32
Game Projection: Seton Hall has a 76% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 76-68.

Last Time Out: Marquette fell behind by 10 in the first eight minutes, took alllllll the way until less than two minutes left in the game to finally tie it back up, and then lost by seven anyway. It kind of sucked a lot, especially since that was the follow up to Marquette beating Creighton for what was at the time MU’s second win over a top 10 ranked opponent of the season. Looking back at it now, it was just a harbinger of things to come.

Since Last We Met: That first meeting moved Seton Hall to 2-0 in the Big East, so they’ve gone 6-5 since then, which isn’t super great. They lost their next game, falling to Providence in overtime, before running off three straight wins. From there, two encounters each with Creighton and Villanova were surrounding a road date with DePaul to send them to four losses in five games. They’ve bounced back in the last two games with a road win over PC and a road win against UConn to get back to three games above .500 in the league. The Pirates are kind of fighting for their NCAA tournament lives here, as Bracket Matrix has them as a #11 seed and six spots clear of the cut line.

Marquette Last 10 Games: 4-6, with losses in each of the last two games and five of the last six.

Seton Hall Last 10 Games: 6-4, with wins in each of the last two games.

All-Time Series: Marquette leads, 19-12

Current Streak: Seton Hall has now won five straight games in the series. Marquette’s last win on the road in the series came on February 7, 2018.

Follow Along On Twitter

@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that’s us!
@MarquetteMBB - Official MU account
@SetonHallMBB - Official Seton Hall account
@becb_sbn - our SB Nation friends that follow the whole Big East
@BenSteeleMJS - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat writer