Time and Date: Tuesday, February 2 @ 5:30 pm ET
Records: Butler (5-9, 4-7 BIG EAST) | Marquette (8-9, 4-7 BIG EAST)
Rankings: Butler (#95 KenPom) | Marquette (#73 KenPom)
TV Channel: FS1
Watch Online: FOX Sports GO
Something’s gotta give as two BIG EAST teams riding losing streaks face off in Milwaukee Tuesday night. The Butler Bulldogs come in having lost two straight to face the home Golden Eagles of Marquette, who have lost three in a row. The two have identical conference records at 4-7, ahead of only DePaul and Georgetown in the standings.
Marquette’s recent stretch has made Steve Wojciechowski’s squad one of the most disappointing in the BIG EAST this year. Replacing Markus Howard wasn’t going to be easy, but even so, the Golden Eagles were picked in the preseason coaches poll to finish sixth and have not lived up to even that modest billing, representing the only conference win for DePaul and most recently falling to St. John’s.
They look to turn things around the Butler Bulldogs, who have disappointed in their own right. Expectations coming into the season were low, but after a stunning win against Creighton, the Dawgs looked to be trending upwards. However, since the win over the Jays, Butler has been pummeled by UConn and Xavier in succession.
Butler received reinforcements in its last game. Christian David returned from injury after more than a year on the sidelines and ETSU transfer Bo Hodges finally got to play after being cleared by the NCAA. David’s impact against Xavier was minimal, but Hodges provided an immediate boost, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds. Both players will likely have more significant roles against Marquette.
The Golden Eagles were without standout freshman Justin Lewis against St. John’s who was scratched with a leg injury. There is still no word on his availability for the Butler game, but regardless, Wojciechowski will have another terrific freshman to turn to. Dawson Garcia matched his season high 20 points against St. John’s and will look to replicate that performance against the Bulldogs.
Both teams will likely see this game as an opportunity to right the ship. Whichever team proves superior will climb back towards the middle of the pack and will gain some momentum heading into the late stages of BIG EAST play.