By the way, Tim was all modest about it, but the MUTV Sports folks did an interview with him when he attended the St. John's game. To reiterate, if you don't check out their Marquette Basketball Weekly segments, you are really missing out. Also, the MUTV team has a unique angle of the Jimmy Butler game winning shot, so check out that segment and you can see it from a unique perspective.
As for Seton Hall, when we started looking at this game, the first thing that popped into mind was all the drama about Dominic James and Jamar Nutter. Honestly though, that was way back in 2008. A little bit has changed since then. Last year's game at the BC was a tight affair at halftime, but then MU rolled in the second half.
What do we know about Seton Hall? For starters, they are sort of making a deal about playing Marquette, with their www.selloutmarquette.com website. Only 300-some tickets remaining! Of course, this kind of tarnishes the whole selloutuconn.com effort (come on... right down to the same template). While part of us appreciates that Marquette is the opponent being hyped... seriously, what's next? selloutpresbyterian.com? selloutnewjerseyinstituteoftechnology.com? selloutlawsonomy.com?
Here's what else we know... Seton Hall isn't half-bad. They currently stand at 16-10, but are 7-8 in conference. With their remaining three games against Marquette, at Rutgers, and at an imploding Providence team, they have a legit chance of finishing with three straight wins and contending for a tourney berth. Despite having ten losses, there isn't a bad loss out there for Seton Hall, and the Pirates have only really been routed once (@Pitt, in a game that involved a massive snowstorm and travel delays. Plus, Seton Hall had already beaten Pitt at home, just after defeating Louisville. Just like the team Marquette just played, Seton Hall is on a bit of a surge, having won four of their last five games, with the only loss being at West Virginia.
Where are the Pirates good? Much like Marquette, Seton Hall is great offensively and somewhat weak defensively. In particular, both teams are top 10 teams at protecting the ball. Seton Hall also does a fairly decent job of hitting the offensive glass (#66) and of blocking shots (#44). Plus, don't forget that the Pirates have 6'5 junior Jeremy Hazell, who is remarkably efficient in a large number of possessions, and who hardly ever turns the ball over. While Hazell has laid some stinkers, he's also had seven games scoring over 30 points, including 41 points in a loss to West Virginia. Hazell is more efficient than most players in the Big EAST.
Where is Seton Hall weak? In particular, they are weak on the defensive glass, at #302 in the nation. They also do a terrible job of getting to the free throw line (#288) and of forcing turnovers (#210). In particular, we see Marquette's ability to crash the offensive boards and protect the ball as being very important. Can't give up the easy turnovers (like vs Pitt) against a team that doesn't force a lot of turnovers. Of course, it almost always boils down to making shots for Marquette, so let's hope the recent struggles are a thing of the past.
Game time is 11 AM Milwaukee Standard Time tomorrow. It should be a good game. Pomeroy has this as his Sunday FanMatch game, and we agree. Why? Because our prediction is that this game will be one that's fairly offensive-minded, with relatively few turnovers, and two teams that are about a 50/50 chance to win the game. If there's no cheap shots, it should be a fun game to watch.
Yet another game for Marquette that goes down to the wire, and maybe even OT? Why not?!
Media Updates (check back later for more)
- Official GoMarquette.com release, with just a ton of great content (as always)