#11 Marquette Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Marquette Golden Eagles

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #1 Big East

Marquette Team Page#11 Marquette Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Marquette Basketball Tickets

In the new-look Big East there are a handful of teams that can put the conference back on the national radar. Perhaps it is Marquette that has the best chance to climb up the polls and make a serious NCAA Tournament run. Coach Buzz Williams has taken the Golden Eagles to at least the Sweet Sixteen for three seasons in a row, reaching the Elite Eight with wins over Davidson, Butler and Miami a year ago, and this year could be more of the same.

2012-13 Record: 26-9, 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Buzz Williams
Coach Record: 122-54 at Marquette, 136-71 overall

Who’s Out:
However, there is a ton of rebuilding to be done on the perimeter. Vander Blue left early to join the professional ranks, taking his team high 14.8 points per game with him. Point guard Junior Cadougan graduated after adding 8.5 points and 3.8 assists. Wing Trent Lockett started 34 contests during his last season with the Golden Eagles. That is a lot of talent and experience lost on the perimeter. No returning guard started a single game last season. The outside shooting was quite horrid last season anyway, but those three were at least threats to shoot the ball and now Marquette must find replacements and hope the youngsters are ready to step up.

Who’s In:
There are four talented freshmen who will be asked to help the new backcourt remain productive. This group will not have to be superstars from day one, but they will need to be consistent and effective. The most pressure lies on point guard Duane Wilson. Unlike other point guards on the roster, including fellow incoming freshman John Dawson, Wilson is a scoring point guard. He is a superb drive and dish player who is not afraid to attack the basket. JaJuan Johnson and Deonte Burton will battle for minutes on the wing. Johnson, at 6-5, can score in a variety of ways. He is the best option Marquette has among the newcomers for a consistent shooting threat. Burton is another explosive athlete who can get to the bucket and finish.

Who to Watch:
The reason the Golden Eagles do not need much out of the backcourt is because the frontcourt is one of the most talented and experienced in the nation. Devante Gardner, a 6-8 senior, averaged just 21.5 points per game a year ago, but he still ranked second on the team in scoring, third in rebounding and third in blocked shots. At 6-8 and 290 pounds, conditioning is an issue for the big man and he needs to stay on the floor. Whether he starts or comes off of the bench again, Marquette will have Gardner on the floor as much as possible. Chris Otule did earn the starting job last season and the sixth year senior is a massive force on both ends of the floor. At 6-11 and 275 pounds, he provides Coach Williams with another option in the middle of the paint. Otule is not as productive when it comes to scoring compared to Gardner, but he is a better defender. Jamil Wilson, yet another senior forward, averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 2012-2013 and is ready to take the next step. Wilson is a versatile scorer and who actually led the team in three-point shooting percentage. Assuming this team will play bigger than they did last year, Wilson should join returning starters Otule and Juan Anderson in the starting lineup. Anderson is not going to put up huge numbers, but the 6-6 junior did start 31 games last season due to his toughness and rebounding. Steve Taylor showed flashes as a freshman and will add even more quality depth to the frontcourt.

Final Projection:
Despite the absence of much of the backcourt, Marquette may not have to rely too heavily on their talented group of freshmen. Derrick Wilson proved to be a quality point guard during limited minutes, but he must start shooting better. Todd Mayo has talent, although we have yet to see it consistently. Jake Thomas can even do some damage when his shot is falling. There is the potential for Derrick Wilson and Todd Mayo to grab ahold of the starting jobs and keep them. The freshmen will, sooner or later, have something to say about that. Coach Williams will get it all sorted out. The interesting thing is that there are nine players who could very easily be starting. Some of that is due massive gaps on the perimeter, but it is also partly because there is that much talent and potential on this team. If it turns out to be more of the latter, Marquette will win the new Big East.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Derrick Wilson, Junior, Guard, 1.1 points per game
Todd Mayo, Junior, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Juan Anderson, Junior, Forward, 2.7 points per game
Jamil Wilson, Senior, Forward, 9.7 points per game
Chris Otule, Senior, Center, 5.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.1 (153rd in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.6 (67, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (56, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.4 (59, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (328, 14)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.6 (NR, NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (56, 2)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (42, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (107, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (191, 11)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#51 Jamil Wilson

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#33 JaJuan Johnson
#54 Deonte Burton
#62 Duane Wilson


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