BIG EAST GAME PREVIEW: WEST VIRGINIA AT MARQUETTE
January 10, 2009
Marquette looks to extend their best-even Big East start to 4-0 when they welcome former Conference USA rival Bob Huggins, who will bring his current team, West Virginia, to the Bradley center for a Big East showdown at noon on Saturday.
The Bradley Center is home to one of the best home court crowds in the league, hopefully the early start time (11 AM locally) does not negatively impact that home court edge the Golden Eagles usually enjoy. Marquette escaped Rutgers with an 81-76 win earlier this week. Buzz Williams’ crew say a 21-point lead sliced to two in the final minute, but hung on for the victory, improving their conference record to 3-0.
West Virginia dropped to 1-1 with a Tuesday night home loss to Connecticut. The Mountaineers shot the ball poorly (30%) and were dominated on the boards by the bigger Huskies. They will not have to worry about the size of the Golden Eagles, but an aggressive perimeter defense might cause the shooting woes to linger.
Here are some game previews and stories from the web this morning:
Golden Eagles Preview: Marquette vs. West Virginia (Appleton Post Crescent)
Freshman Trio Powering Mountaineers (Times West Virginian)
Marquette Takes on west Virginia (Cracked Sidewalks)
Game 17: West Virginia (Journal Sentinel)
Mountaineers Look to Snap Marquette’s Win Streak (Register-Herald)
MU’s Middle Men Getting it Done on Defense (Journal Sentinel)
Marquette Coach Says WVU Will Compete (Daily Mail)
The three amigos, Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Mathews, with a lot of help from junior Lazar Hayward, are off to a 3-0 start in the Big East and will look to continue that run this afternoon. As usual, the Golden Eagles will hope that their guard play dictates the flow of the game to mask their interior and rebounding deficiencies that bigger Big East teams will look to exploit.
West Virginia has not been shooting the ball very well, and that was key in their recent loss to UConn. Look for Marquette to be all over Alex Ruoff on the perimeter and for James to harass freshman Darryl Bryant when on the ball.
The Mountaineers are likely to respond with a variety of zone defenses to keep the Marquette guards out of the lane and shooting from the perimeter. In their last home game, the MU perimeter shooters were on fire, going 15-25 from beyond the arc. Marquette has great confidence right now and the NCAA basketball odds have MU as a 3 ½ point home favorite as guards rule in college basketball.
NBE Blogger Prediction:
West Virginia 63
Labels: 2008-2009 Game Previews