After a season-altering performance in Brooklyn, Marquette is in the midst of the fluffy portion of its schedule. The Golden Eagles cruised to an 80-61 win over Jackson State Sunday, behind a career-high 24 from Haanif Cheatham.
Next up is Grambling State, another team from the SWAC with the nickname Tigers. GSU is a truly awful basketball team, but more specifics on that in a minute. What this boils down to is another small bump in the road for Marquette on its way to the Kohl Center on Dec. 12.
How to watch or listen
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Radio: ESPN 540 (Marquette)
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go (where available)
Odds: Marquette opened as 26-point favorite and that has jumped to 28 from most outlets.
Records ATS: Marquette (3-3), Grambling State (1-0)
Over/Under: None listed on OddsShark
This is the fifth meeting between Marquette and Grambling State. Marquette has won the previous four. The Golden Eagles set a Bradley Center record for points scored in the last meeting between the two programs, a 114-71 blowout on Nov. 12, 2013.
3 things to watch
1. Literally the worst: Now back to how awful Grambling State is. Its record may be 2-5, but both of those wins are against non-D1 programs. On KenPom, the Tigers are ranked dead last. No. 351 out of 351 teams. And they're bad at a lot of different things. They are also dead last in offensive efficiency, and only slide up five spots in defensive efficiency. They're second-to-last in the country in turnover percentage, and make just 37.3 percent of their two point shots, which ranks them 343rd. The Tigers are terrible, and the real question is how big of a blow out this will be.
2. Red hot Haanif: Haanif Cheatham scored more points than a true freshman has since 2006 for Marquette in his last time out, hanging 24 on Jackson State. More remarkable is how he accomplished it, making all four of his threes and all six of his free throws. Cheatham's sweet stroke has been there all season, as he ranks 24th in the country in effective field goal percentage and 13th in true shooting percentage. If those numbers continue, Marquette could be a truly dangerous offensive team.
3. Johnson moves forward: JaJuan Johnson's grandfather passed away over the Thanksgiving holiday break, and he arrived back in Milwaukee just in time for the Jackson State game Sunday morning after visiting family in Alabama. As a result, Johnson played only seven minutes and didn't score. Prayers go out to Johnson and his family. On a basketball level, it will be interesting to see how much Johnson plays over the next few games. His role is constantly in flux for the Golden Eagles, but they are undoubtedly better when Johnson is playing well.