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Carlino still day-to-day with concussion

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Carlino still day-to-day with concussion

Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassierogala@gmail.com

Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassierogala@gmail.com

Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassierogala@gmail.com

Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassierogala@gmail.com

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Marquette had a week of preparation for its National Marquette Day showdown against the 6th-ranked Villanova Wildcats Saturday afternoon, but coach Steve Wojciechowski said leading scorer Matt Carlino was not a part of practice during the week. Carlino is likely to miss his fourth straight game after suffering a concussion against the Wildcats Feb. 4 in Philadelphia.

“He’s still day-to-day,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s doing a little more each day. Matt’s out of our hands. This is very different than if it was a sprained ankle or some sort of pulled muscle. With concussions, it’s solely in the doctor’s hands and there’s a very strict protocol. He’s made progression along the lines, but not to the point where he’s been able to do it in contact yet.”

Wojciechowski said the Golden Eagles are learning to adjust without their offensive leader, but added that his production will be hard to replicate.

“It (practicing without Carlino) gives guys more familiarity with not playing with him,” Wojciechowski said. “That being said, up until the point he was injured he accounted for about 30 percent of our Big East points. It’s not like one play is going to get you those 30 percent back. It does help and hopefully we’ll be better as a result of it.”

Other Golden Eagle notes

The Wildcats enter the rematch as the hottest team in the conference and enters the BMO Harris Bradley Center with a seven-game winning streak. Villanova plastered Marquette 70-52 in the team’s first contest, but Wojciechowski said he thought the team got off to a great start in that game.

“I thought we actually started the game very well defensively,” Wojciechowski said. “I thought we should have had a better lead than we did. When you’re playing against a team like Villanova…. You need to build up a lead and we weren’t able to do that.”

One way you could describe Marquette’s season is that the team is going through growing pains. Redshirt freshman Duane Wilson, freshman Sandy Cohen and sophomore Luke Fischer each have less than a year of college experience (Fischer transferred from Indiana early in the 2013-14 season and missed half of this year due to eligibility rules). Sophomore Jajuan Johnson played his entire freshman season, but saw limited action.

Wojciechowski said with the depleted roster a lot of players have had to grow up quickly. He believes the situation is a great opportunity for Marquette’s younger players.

“If you look at a team like Villanova or if you look at Butler, they don’t have young guys playing key roles,” Wojciechowski said. “We’re asking a lot of young guys and we’ve challenged them to step up. This is an opportunity guys want, or they say they want. It’s there for them and our guys have made some improvements and need to keep getting better with game experience.”

“If they improve and they put a little hair on their chest not only does it serve dividends now, but certainly in the future.”

Villanova junior Ryan Arcidiacono does not get a lot of publicity, but he has killed Marquette recently. The point guard is averaging 15.3 points and 4.7 assists while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 57 percent from 3-point land in his last three games against the Golden Eagles. He scored 18 points against Marquette in the last matchup.

Wojciechowski gave Arcidiacono a lot of praise and added that the offense revolves around him.

“I think he’s a real key to it (Villanova’s offense),” Wojciechowski said. “He’s kind of the guy who orchestrates everything they do offensively. Obviously it’s a tremendously efficient offense and it starts with him. He strikes a really good balance between being a distributor and somebody who’s running a team, but then picks and chooses his spots, often key moments, to step up and be a scorer.”

“That combination is rare. If you look across college basketball how many guards can do that. He’s a heck of a player and I admire him a lot.”

Marquette will try to pull of the upset on National Marquette Day at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bradley Center.

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