Time & Place: 8:30 PM Eastern, BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Jeff Levering & Nick Bahe)
Radio: 540 ESPN (Marquette; Steve True & Jim McIlvaine)
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Odds: Marquette opens as a 23-point favorite via OddsShark. The opening over/under is 152.
Three Things to Watch
First meeting: Tonight’s tilt will be the first-ever matchup between these two programs. Marquette has played every other MEAC school at least once except Howard and South Carolina State. The Golden Eagles are 28-0 against the conference.
Conversely, Howard has only played half of the Big East schools. They’ve played fellow DC school Georgetown the most at 7 games. The Bison are 0-18 against the current Big East.
This game is also a part of the Regional Round of the 2016 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. Marquette will head to New York after this game to join Pitt, SMU, and Michigan in the “Championship Round”.
Howard will join Gardner-Webb, Eastern Michigan, and host IUPUI in Indianapolis for a sub-regional where only the Jaguars’ games will be available on ESPN3.
Can the Bison get buckets without James Daniel?: America’s leading scorer last season (at 27.1 ppg) was James Daniel, a 5’10” guard from Hampton, Virginia. Seeing him on the court would have been an interesting wrinkle to this early-season guarantee game.
Howard, unfortunately, has had to go without Daniel. He suffered an ankle injury during a practice before their season-opening game at Michigan, and is tabbed to miss 2 to 4 weeks. To add insult to this injury, his freshman backup Kai Tease is also out.
The Bison were able to muster up 58 points while allowing 76 on Friday against Michigan. A team like Marquette may not be as lenient to Howard on Monday. The Golden Eagles forced 13 steals and scored 19 fast break points on Vanderbilt this past Friday in Annapolis.
Newcomers getting acclimated: The Golden Eagles are coming off of a big neutral-site win. It was also the first game for Marquette’s four 2016 additions. The results of their debuts were mixed.
Freshman Sam Hauser led the new guys in scoring with 14 off the bench. Grad transfer Katin Reinhardt had 9 points on inefficient 4-of-14 shooting in his first start. Freshman Markus Howard also started, but went scoreless and racked up four fouls in 11 minutes. Redshirt junior Andrew Rowsey also went scoreless on 0-of-3 shooting.
Tonight’s game will be another opportunity for the newcomers to get better acclimated to Coach Steve Wojciechowski’s system at game speed. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page as they head into the tournament portion of the 2K Classic later this week. Any wins at MSG will surely bolster their resume for March.