Following their season-opening win against Loyola last Tuesday, the Marquette Golden Eagles return to action Wednesday night, for what is certainly an anticipated matchup. The Golden Eagles will face the Purdue Boilermakers in one of Wednesday night’s games during the fifth annual Gavitt Games, a yearly competition between the Big East and Big 10 conferences.
This matchup has been noted and deeply analyzed for various reasons. First of all, both teams made last season’s NCAA Tournament, with the Boilermakers advancing as far the Elite Eight. Secondly, we get to see two of the nation’s best scorers go at it between Jahhad Proctor and Markus Howard. Lastly, it’s an early measuring test to see where each program stands after enduring noticeable changeover during last off-season.
In the Golden Eagles’ case, everything starts and finishes with Howard. The senior guard, who set college basketball on fire last season with his incredible scoring, has expectations that are nothing short of huge. Not only is Howard the reigning Big East Player of the Year, but he’s a second-team All American selection who is going to deal with the attention that a viable NBA Draft prospect receives every night.
A constant theme, we will see for Howard and the Golden Eagles is whether or not their depth is good. That question couldn’t be answered during their 88-53 win against Loyola because only three players scored double-digit points and Howard was responsible for 38 of those points. Is it truly possible for the Big East competitor to replace the production and presence of the Hauser brothers?
As for Purdue, this season could go in any direction, if we’re being honest. Although, they were literally one minute away from making the Final Four, the Boilermakers aren’t returning the same cast of players who led the way in 2018-19. (Carsen Edwards entered the NBA and Ryan Cline/Grady Eifert graduated). But who’s to say, they can’t do it again? Proctor, along with Sasha Stefanvoic and Eric Hunter Jr, can become the Boilermakers’ new big three and they’ll receive plenty of help from big man Aaron Wheeler (currently averaging 7 PPG & 8 RPG).
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 9 PM EST
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
(Via Action Network)
Moneyline: Marquette -115 | Purdue -105.