Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Marquette hopes to get back on track against DePaul

Sam+Hauser+scored+30+points+against+Butler%2C+tying+a+career+high.+Marquette+plays+DePaul+at+8%3A00+Monday+night+at+the+BMO+Harris+Bradley+Center.
Sam Hauser scored 30 points against Butler, tying a career high. Marquette plays DePaul at 8:00 Monday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Sam Hauser scored 30 points against Butler, tying a career high. Marquette plays DePaul at 8:00 Monday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Sam Hauser scored 30 points against Butler, tying a career high. Marquette plays DePaul at 8:00 Monday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

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Marquette men’s basketball (12-6, 3-3 BIG EAST) will host to the BIG EAST’s ninth-place team, the DePaul Blue Demons (8-8, 1-4 BIG EAST), at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Monday night. It’s a chance for the team to right the ship after a 94-83 road loss to Butler.

In the loss, Marquette gave up a season-high 60 points in the paint. DePaul hasn’t been quite as potent as Butler this season, but they still have the weapons to be dangerous.

Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. Central time and the game will air on Fox Sports 1.

 

STOPPING STRUS AND CO.

Marquette failed to stop Butler’s Kelan Martin, who went off for 37 points. DePaul’s leading scorer, transfer Max Strus, is just as dangerous. The transfer from Division II Lewis University outside of Chicago has adjusted to the Division I pace, ranking sixth in the conference with 18.2 points per game.

The guard has proven his durability; he averages the second most minutes in conference at 35.2 per game, behind only St. John’s Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds. Strus is also sixth in rebounding at 7.8 rebounds per game and right behind fellow Blue Demon Marin Maric, who averages just a tad over Strus at eight per game.

Maric is a matchup problem in his own right, at 6-foot-11. He’ll match up against Golden Eagles big men Matt Heldt and Theo John. Heldt was held scoreless in Marquette’s last game and John had eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Neither of them had an especially effective defensive outing.

 

TWO-POINT TANDEMS

DePaul is well above average in 2-point defense, allowing opponents to shoot under 46 percent of two-pointers, which is 54th in the nation. But they’re not as good at defending 3-point attempts. DePaul is one of the worst 3-point defenses in the country, allowing teams to shoot at least 36.4 percent from beyond the arc per game, which ranks a dismal 330th in the nation.

Meanwhile, Marquette thrives off of the 3-pointer. The Golden Eagles come into Monday as the top 3-point shooting team in the conference at 42.9 percent. DePaul’s paint-centric defense allows for plenty of open shots and with three of the most accurate shooters in the country on Marquette’s side – Markus Howard, Sam Hauser and Andrew Rowsey – the Blue Demons may be forced to change its game plan and extend themselves more than usual.

 

A LULL IN THE STORM

Given that Marquette’s next three games are against No. 5 Xavier, No. 1 Villanova and a Butler team that has already beaten them once, the Golden Eagles can’t afford to slip up.

“There’s no margin for error,” Wojo said. “Unless you are in the wars and the battles night after night, you can’t fully appreciate the level of competition in this league.”

Recent matchups have not always gone the Golden Eagles’ way. In 2015, DePaul beat Marquette on an and-one layup. DePaul won even more convincingly to open BIG EAST play in 2014.

It has been a different story the last three meetings, though. The Golden Eagles have won all three fairly comfortably and in impressive fashion. Last year, Marquette hit a season-high 14 3-pointers on its way to an 92-79 victory at Allstate Arena.

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