MU Hosts DePaul In BIG EAST Home Opener Saturday
Jan. 2, 2014
TV Info: CBS Sports Network | Radio Info: 540 ESPN/ESPN Deportes
The Marquette University men's basketball team (8-6, 0-1 BIG EAST) opens the home portion of its BIG EAST Conference schedule Saturday at 1 p.m. CT when the squad hosts DePaul (8-6, 0-1 BIG EAST) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. CBS Sports Network will feature Marquette's 12th national television broadcast of the campaign, with Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Pete Gillen (analyst) calling the action. Following Saturday's matchup with the Blue Demons, the Golden Eagles will travel to Xavier for the first time in BIG EAST play on Jan. 9 for an 8 p.m. matchup on FOX Sports 1.
Plenty Of History In Marquette-DePaul Series
Marquette's all-time series with DePaul dates back to the 1917-18 campaign (second year of MU's varsity competition) and includes 112 previous meetings.
The Golden Eagles own a 68-44 advantage in the series, most recently defeating DePaul 89-78 on Feb. 9, 2013 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Five players finished with double figures in points for Marquette in that outing, led by guard Vander Blue's 18 points. MU shot 56.4 percent from the field and was 24-of-27 (88.9 percent) from the charity stripe on Al McGuire Day.
In program history, Marquette has faced only Wisconsin (120) and Notre Dame (118) on more occasions. For the first time since MU joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06, the league's schedule features a home-and-home format with each of the programs. The Golden Eagles will travel to DePaul on Saturday, Feb. 22 to complete the 2013-14 series.
Marquette's Defensive Unit Among Nation's Best
One constant during the 2013-14 campaign has been the team's effort at the defensive end of the court.
Through games of Jan. 1, the Golden Eagles rank first in the BIG EAST and 22nd in the nation in scoring defense (61.9 ppg.). The squad's field goal percentage defense (.386) is 26th in the country and second in the league. MU's opposition is also only converting on 62.0 percent of its chances from the three throw line, which is the seventh-lowest mark in NCAA Division I.
Even in the 67-49 loss at Creighton on Tuesday night, MU's defensive numbers put the team in a position to be successful. Marquette held the league's top ranked offensive attack 16 points below its season average (82.9 ppg.) and to just 40.3 percent shooting from the field. Entering the game, Creighton was knocking down a conference-best 49.2 percent of its chances from the floor.
MU Hitting The Boards Early In 2013-14
Through games of Jan. 1, the Golden Eagles rank among the league leaders in several rebounding categories.
MU is currently third in the league in rebounding offense (39.4 rpg.), first in rebound margin (+6.6), fourth in offensive caroms (12.7 orpg.) and fourth in defensive boards (26.7 drpg.). Led by senior forward Davante Gardner's 5.9 boards per outing, the Golden Eagle roster features six players contributing at least 3.5 rebounds per contest.
Derrick Wilson Among League's Top Distributors
In his first season as the team's full-time point guard, junior Derrick Wilson has continued to protect and distribute the ball at a high rate.
Through games of Jan. 1, Wilson is ranked first in the BIG EAST Conference and 42nd in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) and is ninth in the league in assists-per-game (3.8).
For his career, Wilson owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.9 (134-to-47), which translates into one turnover for every 24.7 minutes on the court