Coming off an overtime victory against IUPUI, Marquette hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night. This will be an interesting test for a Marquette team that is not yet seeing the results they had hoped for this season. We take a look at three keys in tonight's matchup.
Can Marquette slow down the Hawkeyes' offense?
Marquette has struggled on the defensive side of the ball in their first two games, allowing 83 points to Belmont, and 71 to IUPUI (albeit with overtime). Iowa presents some interesting match-ups for the Golden Eagles, as they have the shoot the ball well, have an experienced point guard, and big men that can score from multiple spots on the floor. Iowa's spacing may present some problems for Marquette, but should make for an entertaining back-and-forth matchup.
Ellenson vs Uthoff
All eyes will be one the Power Forwards in this one, as Henry Ellenson and Jarrod Uthoff will be expected to provide plenty of offense for their respective teams. It's an interesting matchup of a highly touted freshman in Ellenson, against the a senior who doesn't get the national recognition he deserves in Uthoff. Both players are their team's leading scorers, and both possess the ability to stretch the floor as a shooter. This should be the first of many marquee matchups for Ellenson, as he looks to put his stamp on the college basketball map.
Who else will step up?
While Ellenson is getting most of the early attention for Marquette, the freshman will not be able to win this game on his own against a veteran Hawkeyes squad. Duane Wilson is only shooting 14.3% from three on the year and Marquette will need him to find his stroke eventually. However, the biggest area of concern for Marquette may be the Hawkeyes' size, as Iowa boasts a deep rotation of skilled big men. Marquette will need a big performance from center Luke Fischer, as the Wisconsin native will need to continue his stellar play on the boards. A big game from Fischer may be just what Marquette needs to knock off the (slightly) favored Hawkeyes.