How to watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: Friday, November 18, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN (Where available)
This will be the 17th meeting between both teams. Marquette leads the series 9-7. Golden Eagles have won the last three games against the Panthers. Most recently, they beat Pittsburgh 79-69 on Feb., 16, 2013.
What to Watch For
The Panthers sport a lethal tandem of seniors in 6-foot-9 forward Michael Young and 6-foot-7 guard Jamel Artis, who are at the forefront of this Pitt team. They’re both versatile, lengthy players who can play almost matchup anywhere on the floor. They can score, rebound, dish out assists, and play tough defense. They do most of the damage against opponents and will be the keys to bringing a victory—or a loss, if they’re shut down.
Young prefers to slash his way inside and use his athleticism to get to the basket by blowing by defenders. He can occasionally take and make threes if defenses sag off or lose sight of him. As for Artis, he has a similar playing style, although he takes just a bit more jumpers and 3-pointers. They complement each other very well. In the game against SMU, Artis and Young had at least 20 points each.
Pittsburgh’s tallest rotational player stands at 6-9 (Young). The Panthers do have the towering Roselle Nix, the 6-11, 300-pound center, but they don’t use him very much. However, their starting five and most-used lineup is pretty tall and long across the board. Its starting lineup features players standing 6-6 and higher.
According to KenPom, Stallings likes to use this lineup for at least 30 percent of the game, with good reason too. Smaller teams have a tough time against this lineup (as seen with Gardner Webb). Outside of Luke Fischer, Marquette isn’t a very big team. Yes, the Golden Eagles have 6-10 sophomore Matt Heldt, but it seems that Heldt isn’t ready to go yet, as he plays limited minutes.
Rediscovering the Golden Touch
Going into Thursday night, Marquette was shooting the ball well in its first couple of games. The Golden Eagles were shooting above 40 percent from beyond the arc. However, they ran into the Michigan Wolverines, who ran them off of the line. Marquette wasn’t able to capitalize on the 3-point line like it did previously, and when the Golden Eagles were forced to take the ball inside, they weren’t able to answer from close range.
As a result, they couldn’t work from the inside-out, they were stuck. The Golden Eagles need to get it going from long range again, if they want a shot at walking out of Madison Square Garden with at least one win. Whether it’s from needing to establish an interior presence before having an exterior one, they need the 3-point line to thrive.