MUBB takeaways: Georgetown

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MUBB takeaways: Georgetown

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Georgetown 80, Marquette 70

Team Leaders

Points: Duane Wilson (17)

Rebounds: Luke Fischer (8)

Assists: Traci Carter (5)

Ellenson looks unprepared for the BIG EAST

Henry Ellenson turned in his second consecutive lousy performance, this time in a game Marquette probably could’ve won with a more dominating effort from the freshman. He scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds – both below his season averages – in the loss. That includes 4-for-15 shooting; he’s now 7-for-29 (24 percent) through his first two BIG EAST games.

Ellenson has loudly been touted as one of the nation’s best freshmen, and one of the best in the conference. But after 14 games this season, I’m not sure I can agree with those distinctions. Is the pressure getting to him? Is his body not physically prepared for BIG EAST competition? I’ve been impressed with his composure through his poor performances, but that hasn’t translated to scoring buckets.

We’ve seen Ellenson as a streaky scorer – he scores in bunches and then almost completely disappears from the offensive attack for stretches of time. Yes, he’s involved on every play because he draws so much attention from the defense, but he’s looked completely overmatched by Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo and Georgetown’s Isaac Copeland and Jesse Govan. He was virtually nonexistent in Marquette’s scoring for the first 10 minutes of each half Saturday evening. Will this be the case every game? How will he match up against Xavier’s Jalen Reynolds or Providence’s Ben Bentil? It’s a storyline that can’t be brushed under the carpet and say “it’ll get better.” There’s a chance it won’t get better for Ellenson.

          – DR

Georgetown shuts down Marquette’s bigs

Ellenson wasn’t the only important player who struggled. It’s no secret that at its peak, the offense is supposed to run through the two big men, Ellenson and center Luke Fischer. It’s mentioned at nearly every postgame press conference. Tonight, neither could deliver.

Fischer suffered from the same shooting issues that Henry did, shooting 4-for-11 from the field and 2-for-6 on free throws. He was able to get to the paint, but Bradley Hayes was successful in forcing him into poor lob shots. Fischer would drive the lane, only to get a shot off a bit outside his range. Tonight was one of the rare games this season that he did not record a double-double. He had ten points and nine rebounds for the second straight game.

Combined, the two shot 31 percent from the field, worse than the team as a whole (39 percent). When they missed, they weren’t getting the ball back frequently either. Fischer had only one offensive rebound, and Ellenson had three.

With the inconsistent guard play the Golden Eagles have faced this season, Marquette will have trouble beating anyone in this conference if the two best players can’t produce.

          – JG

Marquette lacks a reliable scorer

Every team that Marquette’s competing with to make a run at the NCAA tournament (that’s Xavier, Providence, Georgetown, Butler, Villanova, Seton Hall, DePaul) has at least one go-to scorer that teams and fans feel confident in to take a big-time shot. Marquette doesn’t have one.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a go-to player for each of those teams:

Xavier: Trevon Blueitt

Providence: Kris Dunn

Butler: Kellen Dunham

Villanova: Ryan Arciadiacono

Georgetown: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

Seton Hall: Isaiah Whitehead

DePaul: Billy Garrett, Jr.

Marquette: ????

Sure, Henry Ellenson is a dynamic scorer who can create off the dribble. But we haven’t seen Ellenson do anything in situations like Saturday’s game – where a basket is needed and he couldn’t answer the call. He’s shooting 42 percent from the field and just 26 percent from behind the three-point line.

Duane Wilson is a captain and is labeled a “scorer,” but he’s shown inconsistency and unpredictability at times. Luke Fischer shoots at a high percentage, but that’s because the majority of his shots come from under the basket. Plus, he was just 4-of-11 against Georgetown for 10 points. Haanif Cheatham is shooting 56 percent from the floor and 59 percent from long range, but he appears afraid to take jump shots a lot of the time.

Perhaps we can blame Marquette’s youth for this problem, but inexperience really isn’t the problem. It’s more likely a lack of confidence, and now the Golden Eagles are 0-2 in conference play with huge road games looming. If the season is to be salvaged, someone on the roster needs to step up and take control of close games on the offensive end. But who?

– DR

Tough slate ahead is daunting

After two losses to teams projected to finish around the middle of the conference, Marquette is facing a very rocky start to BIG EAST play. Three of the next four games are against ranked teams: No. 12 Providence, No. 16 Villanova and No. 6 Xavier. The first two are on the road. The Golden Eagles are staring down a possible 1-5 record to start conference play if they lose to all the ranked opponents, which would make it nearly impossible to get to the tournament barring a miraculous BIG EAST Tournament run.

          – JG