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Men’s basketball opts to end season after NIT exclusion

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Eyes turn to Ellenson's decision to stay or leave

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Men’s basketball opts to end season after NIT exclusion

Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

The Marquette men’s basketball team will not play in a postseason tournament for the third consecutive season.

After being selected to finished 6th in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Golden Eagles ended the season with a record of 20-13 and 8-10 in conference, finishing 7th. The season was a drastic improvement from last year’s marks of 13-19 and 4-14 in the BIG EAST.

While Marquette was clearly not in play for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, a selection to the National Invitational Tournament was not out of the question. The NIT’s Selection Show Sunday night went without Marquette’s name being called. The team’s Twitter account announced it would not enter a postseason tournament, such as the College Basketball Invitational or Vegas 16 Tournament.

With the end of the season, freshman Henry Ellenson’s historic campaign is officially over. He averaged 17 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 33 games for the Golden Eagles. The 2016 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and all-first team member is a candidate for the All-America team and is a Wayman Tisdale Award finalist for the nation’s top freshman.

It is unclear whether or not Ellenson will declare for this year’s NBA draft, though speculation favors him leaving Marquette for a professional career. The deadline for student-athletes to declare for the draft is April 29.

Marquette is due to return all scholarship players besides former walk-on Michael Mache. If Ellenson decides to forego the remainder of his career, the Golden Eagles will have two available scholarships for 2016-’17.

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