Marquette Wraps Up Maui Invite Against USC Wednesday
Nov. 20, 2012
Marquette Game Notes | TV: ESPN2 | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (3-1) wraps up play at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. CT when the squad faces USC (3-1). ESPN2 will feature MU’s fifth national television broadcast of the campaign, with Dave O’Brien (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) calling the action. Wednesday’s contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The teams will be playing for fifth place in the eight-team field and hoping to finish with two wins in the three-game format. Marquette returns home on Nov. 26 to face UMBC at 7 p.m. CT on Sports32 in its next action.
Blue Making Bid For All-Tournament Team
After a slow start offensively in the opening two games, junior Vander Blue has picked up his production at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.
Blue has been one of the tourney’s top performers through the first two days and is averaging 19.5 points per outing in the Lahaina Civic Center. The Madison, Wis., native is shooting 53.6 percent from the floor (15-of-28) and 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from behind the 3-point line since arriving in Hawaii. He netted 21 points in the opener against Butler and followed that up 18 points in the victory over Mississippi State.
For the season, Blue is contributing 12.8 points per game in 27.5 minutes per outing.
Trojan Bench Features Familiar Faces For MU Fans
Marquette fans will recognize a pair of faces on the USC bench when the Golden Eagles face the Trojans Wednesday afternoon.
USC head coach Kevin O’Neill led Marquette for five seasons (1989-94) and posted an overall record of 86-62 during his tenure. The team’s best year under O’Neill came in 1993-94 when the squad posted an overall record of 24-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16. Marquette claimed the regular season title in the Great Midwest Conference that campaign as well.
MU was led that season by guard Tony Miller, who is in his third season as an assistant coach with USC and fourth year overall. Miller was recently inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame and remains the school’s all-time leader in assists (956). He was a second team all-league selection his final three seasons.
Jim McIlvaine, who also played for O’Neill and with Miller, is currently the analyst on Marquette’s radio broadcasts.
Gardner’s Efficiency Hard To Miss
Despite playing just 18.8 minutes per night off the bench through four games for Marquette, junior forward Davante Gardner continues to lead the team in scoring.
He is currently contributing 14.8 points per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and is also tops on the roster with 7.8 rebounds per contest. Despite his limited minutes, Gardner leads the team with 46 shot attempts.
Gardner finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes against Mississippi State, his third double-doubles of his career. Both of his previous double-doubles came during the 2011-12 campaign.
Buzz Williams Nearing 100 Victories At Marquette
Fifth-year head coach Buzz Williams, who surpassed the 100 career victory mark during the 2011-12 campaign, is one win away from reaching the same mark with the Golden Eagles.
Williams currently owns an overall record of 99-46 (.683) at MU, which includes four NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of trips to the Sweet 16. The program is an impressive 60-11 (.845) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and 46-26 (.639) in BIG EAST Conference competitions.
When Williams does reach 100 victories with the Blue & Gold, he will become the sixth coach in school history to accomplish the feat. Legendary Al McGuire tops the list with 295 wins, followed by Bill Chandler (193), Tom Crean (190), Hank Raymonds (126) and Mike Deane (100).