Diener honored at ceremony

Fans walked out of Saturday's game against South Dakota State with a Travis Diener bobble head that is now selling for as much as $52 on eBay. The Golden Eagles left the Bradley Center with memories of the Marquette standout's pregame speech.

It's hard to tell who got the better deal.

"He gave us a lot of inspiration in the locker room," said freshman guard Dominic James. "He let us know that he misses the college game and not to take these things for granted. Guys like us really look up to Travis because he's a competitor."

"I just told them that moving onto the next level, there is nothing like college basketball, no matter where you go play, if you play in the NBA, if you play overseas or if you never play again," said Diener, who was selected in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.

"You remember college basketball more than you are ever going to remember anything else. That's why I told them, ' … You only get this opportunity once.' Before you know it those freshmen that we have will be graduating."

Diener watched the game from Marquette's bench and had the opportunity to see the freshmen play in person.

"Dominic is off to a good start," Diener said. "He got to the hoop tonight; he didn't settle for his jump shot. … He is going to be one of the best players this university is going to see along with those other two guys (Jerel McNeal and Wes Matthews). Those guys are extremely talented."

Jackrabbit sidelined

South Dakota's ineptness on offense can in part be chalked up to the absence of Steve Holdren.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore finished second on the Jackrabbits in scoring and rebounding last season. In a 76-60 loss to Marquette last year he scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The success carried into this year — he scored 28 points in a losing effort at Illinois — but he injured his knee with four minutes to play in the first half against Cal State-Fullerton.

"In defense of them, they lost who I think is their heart and soul of their team," said Marquette head coach Tom Crean. " … It was sad to watch him get hurt because he tore his ACL."

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play

Junior Mike Kinsella and walk-on Tommy Brice saw their first action of the season against the Jackrabitts.