Marquette To Face Vanderbilt In Veterans Classic Friday
Nov. 7, 2016
TV: CBS Sports Network (Channel Finder) | Radio: 540 ESPN/WestwoodOne/Sirius 81
Series With Vanderbilt Dates To 1920-21
As Marquette celebrates its 100th year of basketball, it’s fitting that the opening opponent is a program that has been long associated with MU.
While Marquette and Vanderbilt have met just a total of six times, the first matchup came all the way back in 1920-21, Marquette’s fourth season of competition. MU claimed a 31-6 win in the opening contest and the two teams didn’t face each other again until the second round of the 1974 NCAA tournament. Under legendary head coach Al McGuire, Marquette was able to post a 69-61 victory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and eventually reached the title game before falling to NC State.
Vanderbilt has claimed the last two meetings, winning 77-76 in Nashville on Dec. 29, 2010 and earning a 74-57 victory at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Dec. 29, 2011.
MU Hoping To Continue Season-Opening Success
Marquette has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success on opening night and hopes to continue that trend in 2015-16 when the team faces Vanderbilt in the first game of the year.
The Golden Eagles are 83-16 (.845) all-time in campaign lidlifters and has claimed 15 of its last 17 overall. Marquette had an impressive streak of 29 years in which it started 1-0, dating from 1960-61 to 1988-89.
MU hasn’t opened the season on the road since 2003-04 when the squad faced St. John’s in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The last neutral-site opener came in the same event in 2002-03 (Final Four season) when Marquette took on Villanova. The Golden Eagles were victorious in both contests.
Opener Provides Homecoming For Wojciechowski
The season opener against Vanderbilt in the Veterans Classic will mark the first as head coach for Steve Wojciechowski in his native state of Maryland.
Wojciechowski grew up in nearby Severna Park and played high school basketball at Cardinal Gibbons in Baltimore before continuing his playing career at Duke. A large number of his immediate family, including his parents, still live in the area.
BIG EAST Well Represented In Preseason Polls
The BIG EAST Conference has long been regarded as one of the top leagues in the country and that trend has continued in recent seasons.
Since the BIG EAST moved to a 10-member league in 2013-14, the conference has sent an average of five teams per season to the NCAA tournament, including the current champion Villanova.
The Wildcats (4/3), Xavier (7/8) and Creighton (22/23) are each in possession of spots in the preseason top-25 polls and both Seton Hall and Butler are receiving multiple votes in both rankings.
According to KenPom.com, the BIG EAST has concluded the season ranked among the top-five conferences every year dating back to 2002-03.
Marquette Dials Long Distance In Exhibition Win
Seven different players hit at least one 3-pointer in the team’s 106-53 victory over Rockhurst in exhibition action Nov. 5 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Six Marquette players finished with double figures in points, led by freshman guard Markus Howard’s 17 points. The Golden Eagles shot 59.2 percent (42-of-71) from the field overall and collected 29 assists on the 42 made field goals. Junior guard Andrew Rowsey chipped in 13 points in his Marquette debut and freshman Sam Hauser collected 12 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.
Marquette’s defense was just as impressive, holding the Hawks to 29.8 percent from the floor and creating 17 turnovers, which turned into 30 points.
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