Wisconsin Hoops Preview: Marquette

Wisconsin Hoops Preview: Marquette

Basketball

Wisconsin Hoops Preview: Marquette

MADISON, Wis. – In the first nine games of the season, Wisconsin has successfully redeemed itself with wins over Xavier, Iowa and Rutgers, all programs who got the better of the Badgers from a season ago. Tomorrow game is another opportunity for redemption.

Marquette dominated Wisconsin a season ago and has a great chance to add another quality win to its growing impressive resume when it hosts the annual I-94 rivalry at the Fiserv Forum. Here is what you need to know about Marquette.

The Golden Eagles’ top three leading scorers are junior guard Markus Howard (22.4 ppg), and Stevens Point brothers Sam Hauser (14.2 ppg) and Joey Hauser (10.2 ppg). Howard and Sam Hauser are the only players to make double-digit threes on the year. Howard has been lethal from deep throughout his career at Marquette, even though he is currently shooting a career-low 36 percent from three. That should tell you alone that a big key for Wisconsin will be to run Howard off the 3-point line, make him drive or make him distribute.

Another solid piece the Golden Eagles have is forward Sacar Anim, who has been a guy they have relied on for the past couple of years. Through the first seven games of the 2018-19 campaign, Anim had chipped in a total of just 33 points (4.7 ppg.). In the last two outings, he has averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest while combining to shoot 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the floor.

Through Wednesday, Marquette ranks first in the Big East in field goal percentage defense (.386 – 47th in nation), first in defensive rebounds per game (29.6) and is second in blocked shots (4.3 bpg.). MU has held its opponent under 40.0 percent shooting from the field (only four times total in 2017-18) in five of the team’s seven victories.

Last season, MU allowed 78.5 points per game and through the first nine games in 2018-19, opponents are collecting just 66.4 points per contest.

Playing a much tougher nonconference schedule than past seasons, Marquette has already registered quality wins over Kansas State and Louisville. Now they have a chance to add another one against their hated rivals.

“There are Badger fans who come to our website who say Marquette-Wisconsin is Marquette’s Super Bowl,” said John Dodds, a Marquette alum who has covered the team since 1978 and runs the site MarquetteHoops.com. “I disagree and say it’s five times more important than a Super Bowl.”

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