MU Hosts St. John's Saturday At 11 a.m. CT
March 6, 2014
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (17-13, 9-8 BIG EAST) wraps up the regular season Saturday morning at 11 a.m. CT when the squad hosts St. John’s (19-11, 9-8 BIG EAST) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. FOX Sports 1 will feature the television broadcast, with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Stephen Bardo (analyst) calling the action. The Golden Eagles will recognize the four members of their senior class during a postgame ceremony and the day’s festivities will also include Al’s Day, in honor of legendary former Marquette head coach Al McGuire.
MU Celebrates Al McGuire Day Vs. Red Storm
Marquette leads the all-time series (15-7) with St. John’s and has claimed victories in 13 of the previous 15 outings.
The series began in 1959-60 and prior to last year’s clinching of the BIG EAST title on the last day of the regular season, the series’ top highlight was a 65-53 Marquette win in the championship game of the 1970 National Invitation Tournament. MU claimed the title under the direction of legendary head coach Al McGuire, who played for three seasons at St. John’s (1948-51). In his first season with the Redmen he finished third in scoring with an 8.1 points per game average. With his brother, fellow Hall of Famer Dick McGuire, who captained the 1948-49 squad, St. John’s finished the season with a 15-9 record.
The following season SJU finished with a 24-5 record as McGuire averaged 7.7 points a game. He finished his collegiate career in 1951, averaging 8.5 points per game and helping lead his team to third-place finishes in both the NIT and NCAA. The team concluded the season with a 26-5 record.
The Golden Eagles are 6-2 against the Red Storm under sixth-year head coach Buzz Williams.
League Standings Still Leave Plenty Of Questions
With just a handful of games remaining in the regular season, there is still plenty of positioning to be done in the BIG EAST standings.
The Golden Eagles have already assured themselves of a quarterfinal spot in the league tourney for the ninth-straight year, the longest current run of any program in the conference. Based on the week’s results, Marquette will claim either fifth or sixth seed in the 10-team field and open play at either 1:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 13 in Madison Square Garden.
Senior Class Contributions Take Time To Tally
The four members of this year’s senior class, Davante Gardner, Chris Otule, Jake Thomas and Jamil Wilson, have all significantly contributed to the team’s recent success on the court, highlighted by a pair of trips to the Sweet 16 (2010-11, 2011-12) and last year’s Elite Eight appearance and BIG EAST regular season title.
The group has accounted for 399 games played, 206 starts, 3,075 points, 1,591 rebounds, 344 assists and 387 blocked shots. The tenure of the members dates back to 2008-09 with the arrival of Otule and is as recent as 2011-12 when Thomas took the court for MU after transferring from South Dakota after two seasons.
Marquette will also recognize senior managers Brad Dumbacher and Kal Riebau and walk on junior guard Dylan Flood, who is graduating and won’t return in 2014-15.
Double-Double Trio Rare For Marquette
The Golden Eagles had several impressive individual performances in the double-overtime loss at Providence on Tuesday night, highlighted by junior guard Todd Mayo’s first career double-double.
The Huntington, W.Va., native finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, both of which were career highs, in 43 minutes off of the bench. He also chipped in three assists and one steal and made 8-of-9 shots from the free throw line, including three critical charity tosses in the closing seconds to force overtime.
Seniors Davante Gardner (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Jamil Wilson (14 points, 11 rebounds) also chipped in double-doubles, marking the first time three MU players reached double figures in two statistical categories since Dec. 7, 2002.
Travis Diener (10 points, 10 assists), Robert Jackson (25 points, 13 rebounds) and Scott Merritt (17 points, 12 rebounds) all posted double-doubles in a 101-78 win over Appalachian State during the team’s Final Four campaign.