Opening Game Success
Marquette has won its last 14 regular season openers. It will have a chance to make it 15 straight on Friday when they take on UT Martin. The Skyhawks have a streak running of their own. They have now lost three straight regular season openers and will look to avoid a fourth. They won eight games a year ago and to make matters worse, lost their leading scorer from a year ago. After graduating, Terrence Smith opted to transfer to Ole Miss for his final year of eligibility. Both Marquette and UT Martin's streaks look to continue.
Marquette's New Look
After just one exhibition game last week, Marquette already looks like it has adopted a new offensive style. Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski spent 15 years under Coach K as an assistant coach at Duke, a team known for its three point shooting. In the Marquette's 115 to 47 throttling of Wisconsin Lutheran, the Golden Eagles put up 20 threes, shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc.
In 32 games last year, Marquette shot 20 or more threes just five times. They won just one of those games. The Buzz Williams-led Golden Eagles averaged 15 three-pointers attempted per game, 306th in in the nation. Conversely, Duke averaged 22.9 threes per game, 26th in the nation. With Wojciechowski's background along with the addition of capable three-point shooters Matt Carlino and Sandy Cohen, Marquette may make the three-point line an integral part of its offense this season.
Indiana transfer Luke Fischer is Marquette's lone seven-footer. Unfortunately for them, he is not eligible to play until December. In the mean time, The Golden Eagles will have to deal with an undersized frontcourt. Sandy Cohen, Juan Anderson and Steve Taylor Jr. range from 6'6 to 6'7 and will anchor down the frontcourt to start the season.
In terms of size alone, UT Martin's frontcourt has the edge. The Skyhawks three starters range from 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-9, and have a 7-foot-2 freshman on their bench. The most notable piece of their frontcourt is Myles Taylor, a 6-foot-7 senior who was the team's leading rebounder and second leading scorer a year ago. At 250 pounds, he is likely the biggest test to Marquette.