Marquette’s Unthinkable Late-Night Comeback vs. Creighton
It’s midday on Monday, and it’s still incredible Marquette beat Creighton on Saturday night. Markus Howard goes down with an injury and the team itself trailed by 14 points at halftime giving up 53 points. Then in Howard’s absence, Marquette started to comeback. They went into a zone that frustrated the Blue Jays and paved a path for them to find a way to take a lead midway through then battled to the finish line. It’s an impressive win as Marquette will try to run the table to get a potential opportunity at an NCAA Tournament berth.
Sacar Anim breaks out in a major way
Loved what we saw from Sacar Anim on Saturday (Thanks to Dan who pointed out that I’ve been spelling his last name wrong all year. I rant on a podcast about how people keep screwing up Giannis’ last name and I do the same. I’m embarrassed). He dropped 26 points on 11/16 shooting including two made threes. Sacar attacked the bucket and got to the lane multiple times in the second half. Anim looked like he came out of the Jerel McNeal school of slashing. I loved the aggressive nature he showed on Saturday night. He never stopped coming at Creighton’s defenders. Hopefully, this is a springboard for Anim this season and the next one. The guy is really good and showed it off on Saturday night.
Zone defense becomes Marquette’s friend
With Markus Howard going down, they went into more of a zone defense, and it seemed to work pretty well. Marquette stayed in it while the Blue Jays continued to force bad shots left and right. People wondered why the zone didn’t happen earlier this season, and I think it has to due with Howard and Andrew Rowsey on the court at the same time. The zone would give too many open looks, so, they have to stick in man. With a guy like Greg Elliott on the floor, there’s a little more perimeter defense.
Duke and Marquette may be one in the same
It’s still very early assessment of Marquette without Markus Howard, but Duke suddenly started playing better when Marvin Bagley went out with an injury. The thought is Bagley and Wendell Carter play the same position which affects how Duke can play offense. Marquette had a similar problem with Rowsey and Howard from a defensive side of the ball. If Marquette continues to flourish, some will put this on Howard, but it’s more about the coach structuring minutes to keep from having these guys on the court together.
Marquette returns home for one game as they play St. John’s on Wednesday night. They owe the Johnnies one after getting embarrassed on the road. My guess is they will not have the services of Howard but could be wrong. We’ll see if they dare St. John’s with a zone given the range of Shamorie Ponds.