Marquette offense analysis
1. Bench Scoring
Whenever you get bench scoring, good things usually happen. Sandy Cohen III provided Marquette with just that. The freshman provided 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting (all in the first half) and then JuJuan Johnson joined the party with nine. Johnson only shot 3-of-13 from the field, but his aggressiveness and ability to drive the ball inside help open things up for Luke Fischer and other shooters outside. And although not many shots fell against Providence, we have seen his ability to absorb contact and make difficult shots.
It’s no secret that Marquette is a small team. Even with Luke Fischer now on the roster, MU consistently is throwing out small lineups, especially against a team like Providence. The Friars have 7-footers Carson Desrosiers and Paschal Chukwu, but that didn’t stop Marquette from grabbing 14 offensive rebounds resulting in key second chance opportunities. The Golden Eagles average about 31 rebounds per game, 321st in the nation, but got 38 against a bigger Friars team that averages about 35 per contest. Obviously, as Fischer plays more game that average should increase, but Marquette will still struggle on the glass unless the guards are active as they were today with Johnson grabbing 10 rebounds.
MU loves to get out and run and has for a long time, yet half court offense continues to be a struggle at time. Providence came out in a 2-3 zone and caused some problems. A couple times Marquette got trapped around the free throw line and got it taken away. Another, Juan Anderson got stuck in the paint and got called for an offensive three second violation. Marquette doesn’t have a pure shooter like they have in the past with guys like Jake Thomas, so it’s imperative that Matt Carlino among others shoot well from outside to keep the lane open for drivers and Fischer in the post.
Marquette defense analysis
Marquette also came out in a 2-3 zone that caused a boatload of problems for the Friars, specifically point guard Kris Dunn. Dunn had eight assists, but he also had eight of Providence’s 17 turnovers on the afternoon. Providence was pretty efficient offensively in the first half, but it was the turnovers that allowed Marquette to have the lead most of the way. The zone was pretty tight and allowed the Friars, specifically LaDontae Henton, to get some decent looks from deep, but that’s what MU was looking for.
Anytime Providence got the ball inside, there were multiple defenders there to force difficult shots and turnovers. The PC guards had trouble driving to the paint, so making difficult passes was the only way to get the ball inside. Wojo even experimented with Derrick Wilson, a 6-foot point guard, playing zone in the paint and Juan Anderson, a forward, at the top of the key. Anderson’s length helped clog passing lanes and Wilson’s tenacity and quickness made it very difficult for the Friar bigs to make clean catches. It’s a unique style of zone, but something we may see more of when MU plays teams with a significant height advantage.