Hoopcap: Marquette Finishes With A Bang
Marquette had its first real Senior Day in quite some time. Jajuan Johnson, Luke Fischer and Duane Wilson had some seen some shit through their years with Golden Eagles. But all three players held strong, and they could be dancing in March in their final season. Marquette completed the sweep of Creighton with a 91-83 victory in an impressive victory where Golden Eagles had complete control for almost all of the second half.
Jajuan Johnson is coming on strong
Someone should tell Jajuan Johnson that every game is Senior Day. He helped push Marquette out to this big lead at the end of the first and early second. Johnson finished with 20 points with a season-high four made threes. He’s averaging 19.5 points in the last two games. I’m not sure what changed, but it’s a welcomed sign. Johnson’s offense adds a different element to Golden Eagles. He needs to keep having this fire next week and the week after (PS it was bullshit Wojo benched him for 13 minutes after a missed dunk).
Markus Howard nearly messed around with a triple-double
While the seniors were the key focus, Markus Howard grabbed some of the spotlight with one of his best lines of the season. Howard scored 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Those were season-highs for both rebounds and assists for the young freshman. I started to notice a little change in Howard’s game versus Xavier where he did things more inside the three-point arc, and this continued on Saturday. He’s starting to develop as a point guard, not just a scorer, and that’s really exciting.
Justin Patton was kept quiet
For the second time this season, Justin Patton, a potential top 15 pick, was kept in check by Marquette. For the first game, Patton found himself in foul trouble. The second, Marquette did it on their own. Patton had 11 points with five rebounds. Luke Fischer and Matt Heldt did a great job to keep him off the blocks. If Golden Eagles can continue to do this against big men, they’re in good shape.
Most hated Marquette
Golden Eagles might be one of the most controversial teams in the tournament. It feels like a lock in my opinion, but some only believe they’re an 11 seed with the chance to get knocked out of the field of 68. Others see them comfortably in as high as an eight seed. People are finding holes in Marquette’s schedule due to players missing in some of their biggest wins. That’s bullshit. You play to win the game, and the opponent’s well-being is none of Golden Eagles’ concern. If the committee judges them on something like that, it will be a grave injustice.
Players of the Game: Markus Howard (Marquette) Khyri Thomas (Creighton)
Next up: Marquette will head to Madison Square Garden for their fourth game, and they’ll try to win their first at the Mecca. Golden Eagles haven’t seen much success there in the past few years. Seton Hall is their first opponent. Pirates are a troubling matchup for Marquette with their size and bully nature. Angel Delgado is a damn good player. Golden Eagles should have beaten Hall twice, and only came away with one win. They’ll try to get a second next week.