Luke Fischer, a big addition:
The highly anticipated debut of Luke Fischer, the 7-footer from Indiana, more than lived up to its expectations. After sitting out the team's first eight games as part of the NCAA transfer rules, Fischer jumpstarted a 4-4 Marquette on both the offensive and defensive ends. Since Fischer's return on Dec. 16 versus Arizona State, the Golden Eagles are shooting a stellar 59 percent from the field, while holding opponents to 37 percent. In that time, Fischer has 41 points on a jaw-dropping 89 percent shooting. He has also contributed a total of 15 rebounds and six blocks in his first two games. Once again, look for Fischer to have his way, as Marquette takes on a North Dakota team ranking 263rd in rebounds this season.
After Deonte Burton and John Dawson decided to transfer earlier this month, Marquette has used its entire eight-man roster in their last two games. But even with fewer bodies, the Golden Eagles' bench has increased its production. In their last two games, the bench has scored nearly as many points as the starters, scoring 77 points to the starters' 84 points. Most of that bench production has come from the transfer Fischer and former starter JaJuan Johnson. Those two will likely have their hands full as they face a North Dakota team that likes to go five deep off the bench.
North Dakota trying to stay competitive:
North Dakota has not had very many competitive contests this season, with only two single digit victories. Against Alcorn State, it lead by as many as 25 points in the second half before nearly squandering it in the final minute. North Dakota also has just one single digit loss. In their loss versus South Dakota State, it led by as many as 15 points in the second half before blowing it in the final five minutes. Its five other losses are by an average of 26.4 points. Marquette should roll over North Dakota, but even if Marquette trails early, North Dakota has proven no lead is safe for them.