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3-Point Preview: Marquette vs. Jackson State

Fresh off winning a trophy in Brooklyn, Marquette gets what should be the first of four tune-up games before Wisconsin against Jackson State.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

About a week ago, this preview would have looked a lot different. If Marquette had played Jackson State in its next game after its blowout loss to Iowa, than the outcome of this contest would feel more in doubt.

But since Marquette knocked off two major conference programs in LSU and Arizona State Monday and Tuesday, hope once again springs eternal. Jackson State should not put up much of a fight if Marquette plays anywhere near the level it did in Brooklyn.

Pound the paint

Unsuprisingly, Marquette's best big men, Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer boasts a significant size advantage over anyone the Tigers can throw at them. Jackson State's tallest two players are 6-foot-8, and one rarely plays.

Against Arizona State, the Golden Eagles wore the Sun Devils down by eliminating their front court depth. By the end of the game, ASU's top four forwards had either fouled out or sustained injuries.

A heavy diet of Fischer and Ellenson in the post will put Jackson State's front court to the test from the outset. Also, players like Jajuan Johnson and Duane Wilson need to attack the rim instead of settling for jump shots, and that will wear on the Jackson State forwards as well.

Limit outside shooting

This one goes both ways. Jackson State's three highest scorers are each shooting above 35 percent from beyond the arc so far this season. Junior guard Javares Brent has been especially effective, making 16 of his first 24 threes.

Marquette struggled against Belmont and IUPUI because those teams had players making threes when Marquette tried to stretch its lead or fight back into the game. Contesting shooters will help Steve Wojciechowski's team control the game and limit runs.

Marquette's guards also need to work for good shots instead of relying on jacking up threes. This is still a bad three-point shooting team until it proves otherwise, and if Jackson State plays zone, which every Marquette opponent should, the team's offense could grind to a halt.

Test some new blood

This could be alternatively written as "play Matt Heldt more." Early in the season, Wojciechowski has preferred to play small or put Sacar Anim in at the four instead of using Heldt when either Ellenson or Fischer hits the bench. These early games against smaller teams could be a perfect opportunity for Heldt to gain confidence and show off his skills.

And hey, maybe the walk-ons will get a chance if Marquette plays well.

How to watch, listen, or stream

Game Time: 12:30 p.m. CT

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: ESPN 540

Live Stream: FOX Sports Go (Where available)