Hoopcap: The Comeback Kids – Golden Eagles Stun No 1. Wildcats
Marquette students will wake up from quite the drunken stupor. Some will pretend they were at the game where Marquette took down Villanova Wildcats with an absurd run in the final six minutes. Others will remember being on the court, and they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives. What an amazing game. Marquette gets their fifth Big East win of the season surviving their toughest stretch of the season by going 5-3, and they’ve now put themselves in the conversation of an NCAA Tournament team with work left to do.
Coffee is for closers
Marquette trailed Wildcats by 13 points with 6:45 left. The game seemed over. Nova needed one or two more knockout punches, and everyone would go home sad that Golden Eagles couldn’t beat Nova for the first time since 2012. Instead, a comeback started to happen with some gutty 1-3-1 defense along with a few timely shots plus earning a couple from the free throw line (It should have been more). Katin Reinhardt painted a masterpiece in this one with 18 second half points including some big shots down the stretch. He’s become Mr. Clutch and all is forgiven from earlier this season. Marquette’s offense scored 50 points on Wildcats in the second half. They’re the only team to do that this season.
Duane Wilson’s Marquette moment.
To me, there’s not many who have been a true blue Marquette Warrior like Duane Wilson. He never really complained about his role shifting through out the years. He rode out a coaching change, a new philosophy and never really bitched to the media. Wilson had other opportunities to be special, but tonight was different. He engineered the comeback with Reinhardt down the stretch. Wilson finished with 11 points and had one of my favorite players of the year with the stutter-step to the basket. He deserves everything from last night.
Did Nova unlock the ‘Howard Plan’
Markus Howard had his worst game of his Marquette career. If you were to tell me, Marquette beats Villanova, but Wildcats get Howard into foul trouble plus their pressure is too much so he only plays seven minutes and doesn’t score. I would have told you’re fucking crazy. Not many teams can do to the freshman like Wildlcats did on Tuesday night. Howard will look for a bounceback on Saturday versus Providence. Here’s a spin zone for you… Howard’s poor outing might propel Marquette past a letdown spot with Friars on Saturday because he’s more well-rested than anyone else on the team minus Matt Heldt and the walk-ons.
So uh… Is Marquette good?
This is a conversation worth having right now. They’re 5-3 in a tough Big East. If Golden Eagles do not blow Seton Hall or Butler, they’re 7-1 and probably a top 20 team. KenPom rates them as the 32nd best team in the country. Their RPI ranking barring any funny business will move into the 30’s or 40’s. It’s possible given their schedule that Marquette could really have an impressive year. Folks thought 10 conference wins would get them in the Big Dance, and they’re halfway there. Interested to see if the 1-3-1 zone becomes commonplace for this team. Defense is an issue, but their offense can beat anyone.
Players of the Game: Katin Reinhardt (Marquette) Jaylen Brunson (Villanova)
Oh man. This might be a bad one. They play a Providence team who isn’t that good. But this screams letdown. The only thing you could be positive about is Howard being in full attack mode that he carries the team. Friars defense is no walk in the park either. Rodney Bullock is a problem, but he’s the only true scorer for them.
Great win again.