When: November 18, 2014
Where: Value City Arena; Columbus, OH
It was just two years ago when a talented, Buzz Williams coached Marquette Golden Eagles squad looked to play a title contender in the Ohio State Buckeyes aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. That game was cancelled due to excess condensation on the court, but that we knew we would see these teams face off again.
That was last year, as once again a good Marquette team faced its biggest challenge thus far in the season against then No. 10 Ohio State. MU was ranked No. 17, coming off of back-to-back Elite 8 appearances and looking for that premier non-conference victory on its home floor.
Well, that did not happen to say the least.
The Golden Eagles shot 18.9 percent from the field and 1-18 from three-point range, scoring a whopping 35 points in a 17-point embarrassment.
Now Marquette will have to travel to Columbus on November 18 to provide the first big challenge for Ohio State in the new, Aaron Craft-less era. But by no means is Ohio State less of a team.
The Buckeyes did lose their top 3 scorers from last season, but they return Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson and Amir Williams who all have the capability to carry this team. Couple that with Thad Matta’s impressive recruiting class with 3 top 100 players, and Ohio State looks to be a threat in the Big 10.
For Marquette, things are a bit different.
It loses its top 4 scorers with really no formidable scorer to step right in. New coach Steve Wojciechowski will have his hands full with a young team that is talented, but might be few years away from a tournament team.
For both teams this will be the first early season test, and always in those cases, the advantage goes to the home team.
Add that to the fact that the Golden Eagles struggle to score and will continue to do so with the departure of Todd Mayo, and it seems like the Buckeyes will be able to win this game by double-figures.
The offensive firepower with Scott, Thompson, Williams and freshman studs D`Angelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate will be too much for the Golden Eagles to handle.
That being said, early runs can prove to be too much for teams early on in the campaign. If Marquette can jump out to a lead and punch the Buckeyes in the gut early, they might be able to steal one on their way to putting together an NCAA tournament worthy résumé.