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The Anonymous Eagle Mailbag: Life & Death Three-Point Shooting, The Infinity Gauntlet, In-Game Entertainment, and more!

We’re hitting a nice spectrum of weird stuff here this week.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Michigan vs Villanova
Did Villanova’s “culture” help them win a second natty in three years?
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the AE Mailbag! We’re going to try to do these once a week between now and (at least) August, so feel free to keep firing your questions in to the email inbox — anon.eagle@gmail.com — or hit us up on Twitter — @AnonymousEagle — if you’ve got something that’s nagging at you. Marquette sports, college sports, movies, TV, favorite foods, whatever you’ve got, we’ll be happy to try to answer it.

Here we go!


From @CrookedNumbers: Marquette recently visited three Class of 2019 point guards: D.J. Carton, Rocket Watts, and Mario McKinney. Who do you think they land?

I think that the answer to this ends up depending on what happens with the irons that Marquette has in the transfer fire. If, say, MU snags only a graduate transfer point guard, then it’s very important to reel in one of these three guys. On the other hand, if Marquette only picks up one of the traditional transfers that they’re after, notably Koby McEwen, then making sure that one of these three future freshmen is less important, and in fact, it probably ends up impacting their decision making process.

ANYWAY.

Here’s how I’m handicapping things at the moment, mostly just on gut instinct, sorting the 2019 guys in order of most to least likely that they end up in Milwaukee: Rocket Watts, D.J. Carton, Mario McKinney. Watts has the advantage of coming from the same AAU club as the current Michigan Golden Eagles, and the MU staff was in on Carton early in the process, which you’d like to think gives them an advantage. Obviously McKinney is a priority for head coach Steve Wojciechowski, but lacking any connective tissue between him and Marquette right now, I have to put him in the three-hole.

From Mark in the email inbox: Throughout March Madness Villanova having a great culture was continuously brought up and was key factor to them winning the tourney. Can you comment on the culture of each Big East basketball program? How does Marquette’s compare?

Generally speaking, I think “culture” is just a cover-all word that people throw around to talk about a program that’s having an extended period of success. If a team is winning year after year after year, they have to have a good culture. It’s a little bit silly, especially when you consider the number of 4 and 5 star recruits on that Villanova roster.

There is an aspect about what Villanova did/is doing that I think can apply to other programs. Part of the Wildcats’ “culture” is that they continually have experienced players carrying the load for them. The way you get there, of course, is by consistently bringing in freshmen that can give you at least a little bit of something right out of the gate. That’s something that Xavier had done extremely well under Chris Mack. The idea is that the freshmen are college-ready to do one, maybe two specific parts of your offense or defense. As they continue on in your program, you slowly give them more and more responsibility, and then before you know it, they’re junior and senior leaders for the next group of freshmen who come in and contribute a little bit here and there. See how it works?

Steve Wojciechowski has excelled at getting freshmen who can contribute at least a little right away. Unfortunately for Wojo, his problem has come in keeping those guys on the roster to become the junior and senior leaders. Think about it this way: The 2017-18 team should have had seniors Sandy Cohen and Duane Wilson along with juniors Haanif Cheatham and Traci Carter. Do you think that the defense might have been a skitch better if those were the core components on the wings instead of the barely experienced Sacar Anim and two freshmen? Part of the reason why there probably should be raised expectations for Marquette in 2018-19 is because it will be the junior campaign for Sam Hauser and Markus Howard, and senior year for Matt Heldt. The team will finally start becoming a squad that has actually been playing together for a decent stretch, and hopefully, that familiarity and the rise of veteran leadership sends the Golden Eagles towards the top of the league.

From @ericgebby: Where is the Soul Stone?

Eric is referring to the sixth and final Infinity Stone, which is yet to make its debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Yes, this is a Marvel movie question. Feel free to skip to the next one if you’re a no-fun party pooper who doesn’t like comic book movies.) The location of the Soul Stone is of particular importance to Marvel movie fans right now, as Avengers: Infinity War will be released on April 27th.

See, the plot of the movie — and really, the running plot of all 18 movies to this point — is Thanos is attempting to destroy half the universe for some reason, and with multiple henchmen/lackeys failing to execute his desires, he’s coming to Earth with the Infinity Gauntlet in tow to take care of business himself. However, Thanos isn’t actually currently in possession of any of the stones that actually power the Gauntlet, at least not last we checked. Loki has the Space Stone in the Tesseract, Vision has the Mind Stone stuck to his head, The Collector has possession of the Reality Stone/The Aether, The Nova Corps is protecting the Power Stone on Xandar, and Doctor Strange has the Time Stone in the Eye of Agamotto.

I have two guesses on the current location of the Soul Stone. ONE: Thanos has it. It seems wildly irresponsible for him to have launched a massive offensive related to controling the Gauntlet without possession of at least one of the stones to start with. Doubly so, it would have been wildly irresponsible of Thanos to give Loki the only Stone he had at the time when he gave the Prince of Mischief the Mind Stone in that scepter in the first Avengers flick. TWO: Captain Marvel has it. Yes, there’s no confirmation that Brie Larson appears in Infinity War as Carol Danvers, BUUUUUUUUUUUT the Captain Marvel stand-alone flick arrives in theaters in March of 2019, two months before the Untitled Avengers Sequel that used to be titled Infinity War 2. It stands to reason that she pops up in Infinity War to set up her own flick 10 months later, and what better way to do that than in possession of the Soul Stone?

From @GoodsOnSports: A player needs to make a 3-pointer or you die. Who do you pick, Andrew Rowsey or Markus Howard?

I dove into Andrew Rowsey’s splits between UNC-Asheville and Marquette to help me figure this out. Two years at Asheville: 39.3%. Rowsey at Marquette: 42.6% Rowsey for his entire career: 40.8%. Markus Howard’s career after catching fire towards the end of this season: 45.4%.

Thus, I have a two prong answer. If it’s just “it’s depending on what happens on his next shot,” I’m going with Howard, because stats are on my side here. If it’s “I get to tell him that my life depends on his next shot,” I’m going with Rowsey. Essentially it comes down to this: Howard is a good shot maker and deserves the trust here. Rowsey, however, exudes the charm and attitude of someone who flourishes when you dare him to do something bananas, and that kind of mentality would be crucial if he’s aware of the stakes.

From Jessica on Facebook: What was the deal with Myriama Smith-Traore for the 2nd half of the season? Injury? Did they decide to redshirt her? I’m hoping her size will help us out next season!

WELL THEN.

This question had a different answer before timing and scheduling pushed it over here to Thursday instead of Wednesday. That answer is in the deleted bin forever now, as Smith-Traore announced last night that she’s transferring at the end of the spring semester. Short version: It certainly seems like it was an injury, considering that she was back in uniform for the NCAA tournament after not dressing for most of the Big East schedule. Marquette’s not particularly forthcoming on injuries that don’t involve the men’s basketball team, so we’re stuck just guessing on that one.

For what it’s worth, she played in 11 of Marquette’s 34 games, which is just short of the 33% cutoff that I believe is needed to apply for a medical redshirt. However, if I understand the process correctly, that application also needs proof from doctors that it was an injury that officially ended the season, and as I mentioned, she was in uniform for MU in Louisville.

As far as size goes next year, I’m guessing that’s pretty much out the window, as you don’t really hear about a lot of grad transfers happening on the women’s basketball side of things for some reason. The spring signing period is underway right now, so it seems that Carolyn Kieger and her staff don’t have anyone else other than Chloe Marotta lined up for the fall in terms of high school recruits. That means anyone filling the open two scholarship spots would likely be a traditional transfer and thus not eligible to play until 2019-20.

From @CharlieWeber45: Round 1 Pick 1 in the Breakfast Cereal Draft is......?

I thought waaaaaay too much about this.

I decided on Life. A big component for me was consistency after about 5 minutes in milk. Life squares get soggy, but they don’t fall apart, which is a big deal. It also makes for a pretty good dry snack, as you don’t get the stickiness with sugary cereals like Froot Loops and the like.

From @Kolbywi: What parts of the #mubb game day experience at the BC would you like to see carried over to the new arena? What should be left behind in the BC to be demolished?

Name That Tune makes the transition or GTFOH.

There’s not really anything that I’m completely against, other than as a season ticket holder, I would appreciate a wider variety of video segments. Not a lot of different ones, I’m fine with seeing the same ones every game, I mean a lot of options within each segment. Take the Kid Picasso deal we saw this past season. I liked that one a lot, but I think we saw guys taking a guess on maybe four different pictures throughout the season. I know that it’s kind of dependent on the players providing enough fodder, and it’s a unique position to be in to see all 16 or whatever home games and even get a chance to see the bits repeated.

I look forward to seeing what the marketing & fan engagement staff do to expand their current abilities with the thoroughly modern and 21st century ready technology in the new building. I think it’s hella impressive that they were able to put together the on-court graphics over the past two seasons, and it should be pretty cool to see what they can do with an arena that is (in theory) maxed out on all the newest technology instead of of what could merely be retrofitted into the building.

From @bensnider94: Rank the AE writers.

Critical failure here by Ben, one of aforementioned writers. He only asked me to rank the guys who contribute to the site, he did not specify the category to use.

THUS: A RANKING OF AE CONTRIBUTORS BY NUMBER OF LETTERS IN THEIR LEGAL NAMES

  1. Besay
  2. NHammertime
  3. Connor Lagore
  4. Sam Newberry
  5. Pistol Brad
  6. Broadway Brown
  7. Ben Snider

Did I specifically come up with a system that would allow me to put Ben last just for giggles because he asked the question? YUUUUUUUUUP.

From Clay in the email inbox: Do you think it’s possible that all ten Big East men’s basketball teams will be worse than last year? Lots of big pieces lost, I don’t see who will be improved.

I see where Clay is going here, and I think this is on the right track in general.

Villanova has already lost Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges to the NBA Draft with a year of eligibility remaining, Seton Hall loses their four seniors, Xavier loses Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura, St. John’s and DePaul appear to be in massive amounts of tumult even for them, Butler improving will be dependent on LaVall Jordan coaching them as opposed to seniors Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman paving the way, Creighton loses Marcus Foster and could lose Khyri Thomas, and Providence will likely dip without Rodney Bullock and Kyron Cartwright.

There is A LOT of talent leaving the Big East right now. Even if teams don’t take noticeable steps backwards, feel free to brace yourself for a lot of “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE BIG EAST?” thinkpieces that aren’t quite thought out all the way.

However, the answer to the question is an emphatic no, merely because it should be theoretically impossible for Marquette to be worse. The loss of Andrew Rowsey might be the most weatherable departure in the league, and that’s not intended as a knock on Rowsey. Thus, if MU looks to be gaining ground, that’s not all 10 taking a step back.