As the title implies we will be taking a look at our Big East opponents and what they will be looking like heading into the coming season.
Marquette was something of a mixed bag last season and bounced from hot streaks to cold ones without skipping a beat. They finished the non-con with a 10-2 record with a couple decent wins over over Purdue and USC but got run off the court by Maryland and Wisconsin. The first week in conference play kind of set the tone for Marquette. They got blown out at Creighton before winning over Villanova at home. A couple losses were then forgotten as Marquette won 6 of its next 7 which put them at 7-4 in conference. It was at this point that the wheels completely came off. A 3 game skid against the hottest teams in the conference didn’t seem like cause for alarm, but Marquette only managed one win in the last 4 games and sat at 8-10.
The rest of the Big East will rejoice as Markus Howard (27.8/3.5/3.3) is finally leaving Marquette. Howard led the nation in scoring and usage and will obviously be a huge hole to fill. Also shipping out is Sacar Anim (13.1/4.1/1.4) who also had the ability to take games over, Brendan Bailey who grabbed rebounds and shot the 3 and Jayce Johnson who led the team in rebounding.
The key returner is Koby McEwen (9.5/5.0/3.2) who also showed flashes of the ability to take a game over but did struggle with consistency, especially from 3. Also returning is a cast of players who didn’t make much meaningful contribution last season. Jamal Cain rebounded well defensively and rarely chased his shot but was pretty effective when he got it. Symir Torrence returns and will probably spell the guards. Theo John will also return and I sincerely hope he has gotten a better haircut. Marquette also brings in OSU transfer DJ Carton to partner McEwen in the backcourt. Carton uses the ball a lot but also distributes it very well and shot 40% from 3 last season. Freshman Dawson Garcia also joins as a highly touted big man from Minnesota. He is a good shot blocker and rebounder with a pretty decent offensive game around the rim but he also has the ability to step out and hit the 3.
Marquette lost an all-time great and some of the biggest parts of his supporting cast coming into this season. Carton and McEwen will be a good enough backcourt duo to give any team issues and Dawson Garcia will provide another layer to the offense and defense with his skillset. Beyond that core Marquette is not nearly as strong and their lack of quality depth may cause them issues.