Wednesday afternoon, the Marquette men’s basketball team hosted an open practice for students at the Al McGuire Center. While the end of practice consisted of half-court shot attempts, pizza and student section t-shirts, the beginning sure didn’t start off with fun and games, as head coach Steve Wojciechowski was not afraid to let players know how he felt throughout practice in spite of the audience.
Marquette will host Northwestern in a closed-door scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the BMO Harris Bradley Center; no media members or fans will be allowed to attend.
Golden Eagles work on pick and roll defense
Marquette mostly worked on defending against the pick and roll, something that was discussed at length on media day earlier this month. The Golden Eagles went through various drills that detailed types of pick and rolls, and defenders were constantly rotating. Northwestern’s offense has a lot of motion-based plays, and Marquette prepared for it Wednesday.
Junior Haanif Cheatham, who just returned from a shoulder injury, was not hesitant as he dove for loose balls and tipped passes. Marquette held variations of the same drill whether it was with three or all five players at a time. Wojciechowski particularly honed in on the freshmen, yelling, “This isn’t high school anymore.” A particularly poor moment came when Theo John was called for three consecutive defensive fouls for grabbing Ed Morrow in the post. As a result, John was taken out for Harry Froling, who then continued the drill.
Mistakes lead to wind sprints
When Wojciechowski blew the whistle and was displeased, he’d let the team know. The classic length-of-the-court “suicide,” or sprinting down and back was a common sight to see. No matter which player messed up, when the head coach stopped practice, it could only mean one thing: “On the line.”
Scrimmage leads to pair of buzzer beaters
The Golden Eagles ended practice on a high note when the team scrimmaged against one another. Referees were calling fouls, offensive sets were run and a fair amount of three-pointers were attempted. At the end of the first half with one second remaining, Sam Hauser threw a baseball pass the length of the court, and Theo John caught it, turned and swished it through the hoop. The second buzzer beater came when Andrew Rowsey had a wide open look and drained it while the defense was slow to react.