Monday, February 11, 2013
How dangerous is Marquette?
By Luke Lapinski
Despite losing its top two weapons from a year ago, Marquette is quietly a top 25 team again. The Golden Eagles are currently ranked No. 18 in the nation, with a very respectable record of 17-5 (8-2 in the Big East) at the moment. And in a season where there is seemingly no clear-cut dominant team, it's worth taking a look at a slightly under-the-radar squad like the one Buzz Williams has assembled.
Marquette already has a few notable wins this season, including victories over Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Georgetown. And we could very well get an even better feel for the Eagles when they travel east to take on the Hoyas again tonight. Vander Blue and Davante Gardner have raised their games from a year ago, averaging 15.0 and 12.0 points per game respectively to lead a more balanced attack this season. That was vital to the club having any shot at sustainable success after losing a combined 35.8 points per game from Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder in the offseason.
Now the question is whether or not they can keep this going. As ESPN's Dana O'Neil discusses with Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, any team coached by Williams is always dangerous in a single elimination format. With the Big East Tournament just around the corner -- and the NCAA Tournament right behind that -- this is the time to find out what Marquette is capable of.