As of writing, today is July 27th, 2013, meaning we are still 104 days away from the start of our favorite season of the year: Marquette basketball season. While we still have a ways to go, it’s not hard to find something to talk about with a year as interesting as this one. First, let’s talk about the non-conference schedule.
- November 11 vs. Southern University (23-10, 15-3 SWAC in 2012)
Buzz and the AD picked a good team to start off with, as this is a more credible game than many realize. This team was a 16 seed in last year’s tournament and was tied with Gonzaga with a minute to go. However, they lost their leading scorer, top assist man and two frontcourt pieces who were 6’9″ and 6’10”. Expect a W.
- November 12 vs. Grambling State (0-28, 0-18 SWAC in 2012)
Yes, you read that correctly. Per KenPom.com, Grambling State ranked 347 out of 347 NCAA Division 1 teams. No further comment needed.
- November 16 vs. Ohio State (!!!!) (29-8, 13-5 Big Ten in 2012)
A considered ‘re-schedule’ of last year’s cancelled Carrier Classic between these two, this is arguably the biggest game of the year. With Georgetown losing Otto Porter Jr. to the NBA draft and Greg Whittington to ACL tear, and Creighton having little help outside Doug McDermott, this is the best team Marquette will face this year. As for Ohio State, they lost top scorer/rebounder Deshaun Thomas to the NBA draft, but returned every other key piece in a team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. Mark your calendars, kids. You’re gonna wanna watch this one.
- November 21 vs. New Hampshire (9-20, 5-11 Am. East)
- November 25 @ Arizona State (22-13, 9-9 Pac-12)
Talented team. Jahii Carson (18.5 PPG) is an electric scorer who considered the NBA before returning for his sophomore season. Graduated leading rebounder Carrick Felix, but a few transfers rounds out this team to surely put up a good game against Marquette.
- Wooden Legacy Tournament – November 28 vs. Cal State Fullerton, November 29 vs. George Washington/Miami, December 1 vs. TBA (if still in tournament, which is likely) (to see tournament bracket, click here)
Marquette’s tournament of the year is the Wooden Legacy Tournament in Fullerton, California. Other teams worth noting for potential match-ups are Miami, Arizona State, Creighton, and San Diego State. Expect Marquette to finish well.
- December 7 vs. Wisconsin (23-12, 12-6 Big Ten)
The annual Marquette-Wisconsin game is always a toss-up, with the last 10 games being tied 5-5 apiece. However, the average margin of victory of those games is by 8.4 points, showing that one team usually has a solid upper hand over the other rather than it being even. With Wisconsin losing three starters, including second-leading scorer and both leading rebounders, I’d give the advantage to Marquette this year.
- December 14 vs. IUPUI (6-26, 1-15 Summit) (who?)
- December 17 vs. Ball State (15-15, 8-8 MAC)
- December 21 vs. New Mexico (29-6, 13-3 MWC)
A good three-point shooting team who returns their leading scorer in Kendall Williams (13.3 PPG), who has the ability to explode at any given moment – as shown when he dropped 46 points against Colorado State late into last season. Though losing Tony Snell (12.6 PPG) to the NBA draft hurts, a solid recruiting class headlined by 4 star PG Cullen Neal should fill the gap. Another good matchup very well worth tuning into.
- December 28 vs. Samford (11-21, 9-9 Southern)
With the induction of the new Big East, Marquette lost a lot of tough, credible opponents like Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse, and replaced them with the likes of Xavier, Butler and Creighton while only keeping Georgetown and the bottom-feeders of the old conference. This makes non-conference scheduling a huge factor if Marquette wants to have a chance at a top seed in the tournament. However, with a 7/3 home/road ratio and 5+ likely top-25 opponents, it looks as if the AD and Buzz have put together a very respectable non-conference schedule. Look for MU to try to extend their NCAA 2nd-best 25 game home winning streak at the Bradley Center this year. #mubb
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