The high-flying Marquette Golden Eagles take their barnstorming tour to the nation’s capital on Tuesday night. The 14-3 Golden Eagles, led by Big East Player of the Year frontrunner Markus Howard, will play the 12-5 Georgetown Hoyas at the old MCI Center in a fascinating encounter.
The Hoyas have a potent scorer themselves in Jessie Govan, who sits fourth in the conference in points per game with an even 20. He will have his hands full against an MU defense that has been perhaps surprisingly stout this season. Defenses under Coach Wojo haven’t been great in his tenure in Milwaukee but that trend so far has been bucked (no pun intended).
MU’s interior defense has been particularly good this season. The Golden Eagles have only allowed 44.6 percent of 2-point tries to be converted. They’ve allowed 53.8 percent of tries at the rim to be converted per Hoop-Math, but jumpers are a relatively unsuccessful jaunt.
On the topic of Govan, you might think that a 7-footer would be taking most of his shots at the rim. But that’s not the case. He’s taken over 50 percent of his 2-points... as jumpers. Just 21 percent of them have been at the cup. Does this play into MU’s hands? It very well might.
Marquette’s defense has been stout on the perimeter also, ranking in the Top 100. The Creighton Bluejays crushed them on the perimeter two games ago, but the Jays are the Jays. They held St. John’s, the Xavier Musketeers and the Seton Hall Pirates to under 50 percent from 3-point land. St. John’s got them for 45.8 percent, but that’s just the second-highest mark they’ve allowed all season. Georgetown’s 3-point percentage is merely above average, so even MU’s weakest point might still prohibit them from finding opportunities from outside.
That all being said, Marquette is not without its flaws. This team does not take care of the ball well and does not do a good job of forcing turnovers either. The Hoyas have been ‘fine’ at keeping the ball in their possession, with a TO% of 18.8 percent. That should help them, especially considering they play very fast and will have more possessions and opportunities to score as a result.
The Hoyas have also obviously been getting lots of production out of their freshmen. Namely guards James Akinjo and Mac McClung, the latter of which has erupted on Saturday after coming back into the fold. McClung scored 16 points in 27 minutes of action and went 7-for-13 from the field. This included the game-tying 3-pointer that sent the game into the first of two OT periods. Akinjo backed him up with 20 points in 47 minutes, and has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
This should be a scintillating matchup to end the night after Seton Hall-Providence sets us up. We’ll see how things play out, but this should be a fun one to watch and follow.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go