Marquette Faces Arizona St. For Legends Classic Title
Nov. 24, 2015
TV Info: ESPN2 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
Marquette To Face Arizona State For Title
The Golden Eagles own a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series (Tuesday’s meeting is third in as many seasons) with Arizona State, most recently downing the Sun Devils last season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center to complete a home-and-home series.
Marquette posted a 78-71 decision on Dec. 16 thanks in large part to the debut of center Luke Fischer. The Indiana transfer sat out the first semester in 2014-15 as a redshirt and finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in 33 minutes off the bench. Guard Duane Wilson also chipped in 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in the victory.
The Sun Devils earned a narrow 79-77 win on Nov. 25, 2013 at home as Marquette’s shot at the buzzer didn’t fall. Previous to that matchup, the two programs hadn’t met since the 1982-83 campaign.
Marquette Playing For Another Tourney Title
Marquette is hoping to continue a trend of recent success in regular-season tournaments when the team attempts to claim the title at the 2015 Legends Classic.
MU has claimed four titles since 2004-05 and advanced to the final game in four other events. Two of the wins have come in overtime and at one point the Golden Eagles had claimed 12-straight victories in the annual tournaments.
The Golden Eagles are 30-9 overall since 2004-05 in multi-team events, including four championships at the BCA Classic (2005), Great Alaska Shootout (2006), CBE Classic (2007) and U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam (2011).
MU appeared in the championship contest of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational (2007), Chicago Invitational (2009), Old Spice Classic (2010) and DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (2013).
Marquette Coaching Staff Familiar With Sun Devils
Marquette will be facing Arizona State for the third-straight season when the two programs meet Tuesday night, and the MU coaching staff is very familiar with the opposing bench.
The relationships go beyond the scouting report, however, as first-year Marquette assistant coach Stan Johnson spent each of the last two seasons with the Sun Devils under Herb Sendek and recruited a number of the players on the current roster. Johnson was the lone coach retained by new program mentor Bobby Hurley, but decided to join MU in the spring after Mark Phelps left for Arizona.
Hurley, who won a pair of national titles with Duke as a player, was the team’s point guard just before the arrival of Golden Eagle head coach Steve Wojciechowski. The Blue Devils also claimed two championships while Wojciechowski was a member of the coaching staff.
Johnson Accepts Charity To Secure Victory
Junior forward Jajuan Johnson, the team’s most experienced player on the roster, calmly knocked down a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to defeat LSU 81-80 Monday night.
Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Johnson finished with 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes. He shot 6-of-10 from the floor and knocked down his first 3-pointers of the campaign. Before going to the line against the Tigers, Johnson had only attempted four free throws through the first three games of the year.
Wilson Finds Shooting Touch From Distance
Redshirt sophomore guard Duane Wilson entered the matchup against LSU shooting just 37.5 percent from the floor overall and 4-of-23 from distance.
He posted his best offensive performance of the young season Tuesday night, finishing with 16 points in 33 minutes off the bench. He knocked down a trio of long-distance shots, nearly matching his season total over the course of the first three outings.
Golden Eagles Net Win Against Nationally Ranked Foe
With Marquette’s victory over No. 22/17 LSU, the Golden Eagles claimed the program’s 114th win all-time against a top-25 squad.
The win was the first against a nationally ranked team under second-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski and the program’s first since downing No. 5 Miami 71-61 on March 28, 2013 in the NCAA tournament. The win at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., allowed Marquette to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second-straight year.
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