The post Markus Howard era started with a bang. And just as everyone predicted, Theo John carried the torch forward. He dominated the first half with nine points, seven rebounds, and four blocks. He clearly set the tone for the team, especially defensively as Marquette held Arkansas-Pine Bluff to just 18 first half points.
The 50-18 halftime lead allowed Marquette the ability to coast in the second half. The big lead, and also less Theo John, led to a less intensive defensive effort in the second half (39 points given up), but the offense kept rolling. Six Golden Eagles hit doubles figures as Marquette finished off Arkansas-Pine Bluff 99-57.
Reading too much into a game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff would be foolish, but there is one major takeaway from this game: this team is incredibly fun. They shared the ball often and attacked the basket aggressively. Marquette finished with 20 assists (averaged 13.5 APG as a team in 2019-2020) and four players had 3 or more assists. The team also shot an incredible 43 free throws (averaged 23 FTAPG as a team in 2019-2020). That absurd number of FTA is promising for the aggressive, attacking mindset this team could bring this season.
Dawson Garcia looked ready for college basketball. He led Marquette with 19 points while also adding 4 assists and 4 rebounds. His displayed great scoring ability and ability to get to the line (8-10 from the line), but his passing and patience really impressed. Dawson Garcia’s efficiency (5-8 from the field) was also refreshing. He didn’t force his scoring into the game and hopefully this composure and efficiency can carryover against tougher opponents.
Marquette’s additional double digit scorers included Jamal Cain (16), Koby McEwen (12), Greg Elliott (10), and Justin Lewis (10).
Shaun Doss Jr. led the Golden Lions with 27 points.
Marquette is quickly back in action, taking on Eastern Illinois on Friday at 7:00 PM EST.