Marquette Basketball 2017-2018 Preview
2016-17 Record: 19-13
Key Losses: Katin Reinhardt, Jajuan Johnson, Luke Fischer
Key Additions: Jamal Cain, Theo John, Greg Elliott, Ike Eke
Marquette’s season last year was a hot shooting, running and gunning, wild ride. They beat #1 Villanova at home and Creighton both times they met. With the best offense in the conference, averaging almost 83 points per game, carrying them to the tournament, it was disappointing to see them knocked out in the first round by final four bound South Carolina.
Last year, seniors carried the team. Then-seniors Katin Reinhardt, Jajuan Johnson, and Luke Fischer were all double digit scorers for the Golden Eagles on any given night. Johnson was second in the conference in steals per game. Fischer was second and third in field goal percentage and blocks, respectively. Reinhardt was a do-it-all forward and glue guy for what turned out to be a fairly successful Marquette team. Losing those three in this upcoming season will be a test for sure.
Luckily, returning for the Golden Eagles is Big East All-Freshman point guard Markus Howard. He was the team’s leading scorer a year ago and lit up the conference from deep, shooting an incredible 55% on the long ball in the 2016-17 season. He will have to be a key factor offensively for Marquette this season.
In addition to Howard, Marquette will have Andrew Rowsey returning for his senior season next year. A sixth man at the beginning of the season, Rowsey solidified his place as a starter with the three point shot, averaging 11 points on 45% shooting from three point land.
Joining the roster this fall will be a handful of talented young recruits to help replace the leaving seniors. Leading the youngsters is Jamal Cain, who was recruited by Florida State and Michigan. A 6’7” forward, Cain uses his length to rebound and finish alley oops around the basket. He is a talented scorer and could be more of an inside threat to balance out the offense from Rowsey and Howard.
Also joining the front court will be forwards Theo John and Ike Eke. John was recruited heavily by Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue and Cal. Eke is a native Nigerian who played highschool ball in Michigan. Both are around 6’9” and 210 pounds. John seems to excel at finishing strong in the lane, while Eke’s strength still seems to be rebounding.
The final freshman recruit for Marquette is shooting guard Greg Elliott. Elliot was heavily recruited by Michigan State’s Tom Izzo before deciding on the Golden Eagles. He is a slashing guard who finishes effortlessly in traffic and is great at drawing contact in the lane. His jump shot looks pretty good too and he should thrive in Marquette’s guard heavy lineup.
After last year’s success, this season might be a bit of a rebuild for the Marquette program, but their high powered offense should still propel them to some big wins.
Prospective starting lineup:
- Markus Howard
- Andrew Rowsey
- Sam Hauser
- Theo John
- Matt Heldt
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