Marquette To Face New Mexico In MGM Grand Showcase
Dec. 19, 2013
TV Info: ESPNU | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (7-4, 0-0 BIG EAST) wraps up the road portion of its 2013-14 non-conference schedule when the squad faces New Mexico Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the MGM Grand Showcase. ESPNU will feature Marquette’s 10th national broadcast of the campaign, with Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) calling the action. Andy Katz will serve as the sideline reporter. The second game of the evening’s doubleheader features No. 7/7 Oklahoma State versus Colorado on ESPN2.
MU Heads To Las Vegas In Search Of Quality Win
With just two games remaining on the non-conference portion of the 2013-14 slate, Marquette heads to the MGM Grand Showcase in search of a resume-boosting victory when it comes time for postseason selection.
Through the first 11 outings, MU’s best win on paper is a 76-60 decision over George Washington at The Wooden Legacy on Nov. 29 in Fullerton, Calif. The Colonials are currently 9-1 on the year and 37th in the RPI through games of Dec. 18. This year’s BIG EAST Conference schedule features a round-robin format for the first time.
Offense Impressive During Brief Homestand
Marquette posted two non-league wins at home in the team’s most recent outings, pairing consistent defensive play with an improved offensive attack.
In victories against IUPUI and Ball State, MU combined to averaged 88.5 points per game while shooting 59.3 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from behind the 3-point line. Five players averaged double figures in points to pace the balanced roster and 10 players chipped in at least 5.0 points per contest.
Anderson’s Development Easy To See
Junior forward Juan Anderson is enjoying his best personal start to a season during his three-year tenure, contributing at both ends of the court.
The win over Ball State was a perfect example of the impact the Oakland, Calif., native has had in 2013-14. In just 23 minutes, he chipped in 10 points, six steals, six rebounds and three assists. Anderson has 11 steals in the last two games after swiping seven in the previous nine outings.
Anderson appeared in 24 games off the bench as a freshman, started 31 of the team’s 35 outings in 2012-13 and has been on the court for the opening tip seven times this year.
Challenging Non-League Schedule Continues
Marquette’s four losses this season have come to teams currently in possession of a 40-3 combined overall record and three of the programs are among those ranked in the top-25 polls.
No. 3/2 Ohio State (11-0), No. 4/6 Wisconsin (12-0) and No. 24/23 San Diego State (8-1) are also in possession of top-30 RPIs. Through games of Dec. 18, the Badgers are second in the RPI, the Buckeyes are 14th and the Aztecs hold the 28th spot.
Marquette Faces Another First-Time Opponent
Marquette’s non-conference schedule has featured a number of first-time opponents and that trend continues with Saturday night’s matchup versus New Mexico.
MU’s schedule also included debut matchups with Southern, New Hampshire, Cal State Fullerton, George Washington and Ball state. The team has yet to face New Mexico and Samford.
Marquette has faced each of the new members (Butler, Creighton, Xavier) of the BIG EAST Conference on multiple previous occasions.
Burton Maximizing His Court Minutes
Freshman forward Deonte Burton posted back-to-back double-figure scoring games for the first time in his young career with 12 points in the win over Ball State and is beginning to display the consistency the coaching staff has been searching for in 2013-14.
In the contests versus IUPUI and Ball State, the Milwaukee, Wis., native contributed an average fo 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He hasn’t been afraid to shoot the ball all season long and the past two outings are a perfect example. In just 22.0 minutes per game, Burton’s 18 field goal attempts were the second most of any player on the roster.
For the season, Burton is contributing 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the field. He is second on the team with 14 steals and has appeared off the bench in all 11 games.