Heading into media day, the Golden Eagles were certainly a focal point of discussion as Steve Wojciechowski's team had one of the best recruiting classes and offseasons of a program in the conference. It was not only the media that was excited for the team, but also Coach Woj as well, who is in his second season as the head man of MU.
And after speaking to Woj at Media Day on Wednesday, that excitement was permeating.
"Oh man, I think there is a great deal of excitement surrounding our team," he said. "I really...obviously our freshman class has gotten a lot of attention and obviously rightly so. But we've also got guys who played very meaningful minutes last season, especially Duane Wilson and Luke Fischer, who can take big minutes. Combination of our returning guys and our young guys, you know, I think we have the potential to have an outstanding year."
Potential though is an interesting word of phrase for this Marquette team, as the roster turnover and the influx of new recruits brings about a significant learning curve for this squad to adapt to the rigors of playing in the Big East. And that sentiment was shared by the former Duke assistant.
"I'm excited to see how quickly our team can grow and how quickly we can become a team that has the chance to beat anyone," Wojciechowski said.
"And you know there is a process to that. You know, we're gonna have to have a lot of young guys who are going to be in key roles and key positions, grow up quicker than the average freshman. Especially in the Big East, cause it's an older league. This is not traditionally a league where everyone's got one and done's."
The Big East play will definitely be a test for this team, but MU this season does bear the brunt of a tough nonconference slate as well, which should give the team the challenges they need before heading into conference play.
"I think our non-conference games will prepare us incredibly well for the Big East starting with our opening game against Belmont," Wojciechowski said of the nonconference schedule that awaits the Golden Eagles. "Belmont is a perennial NCAA Tournament team. They're old, and tremendously well-coached and so we are going to throw our young guys out there into the fire right away and then follow that up with Iowa, LSU, and NC State. You know, baptism by fire."
It really will be a baptism by fire for this young Marquette side, but as Coach Woj points out, he like what he sees in the potential in this team. And hopefully for their sake, they get off on the right foot this season.