Why You Should Believe in Marquette

Curt HoggCorrespondent IIJanuary 27, 2009

Just look at the record.

That's all you need to do to see Marquette's success. I hope 7-0 in conference and 18-2 overall convinces you, but if not, I hope you're sold on Marquette by the end of this article.

So why is Marquette a contender? Let's take a look at some reasons.

To begin, they have the best trio of guards in the nation. All seniors, Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews, and Dominic James lead the Golden Eagles on the court. McNeal leads the team with 19.4 points per game and has been worthy of an all-Big East team placement. Matthews averages 19 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Dominic James, despite only averaging 11.6 points per contest, may be playing the best basketball of his career, dishing out 5.4 assists per game. He is the psychological and emotional leader for the Golden Eagles, and has played lock-down defense.

Junior forward Lazar Hayward balances out the team. He has the capability of running the pick-and-pop for three-pointers and can also post up in the paint. With the other three slashing guards, he completes the team as the necessary quality big man. But Hayward isn't simply a quality big man, he's one of the best in the conference, averaging 16.3 points and 8.7 boards per game.

Marquette is the highest scoring team in the Big East, boasting four players that average double digit in points per game. Three Golden Eagles score at least 16 a game. meaning that one of their stars can have an off-night, and the others will make up for his absence offensively.

Just because they score a lot doesn't mean their defense is shabby either. They limit opponents to 67 points per game. This may not be in the top five in the Big East, but it is impressive to see any team this far into conference season, average a 15-point margin of victory. Jerel McNeal is especially a scrappy player, leading the team in steals with 1.9 per game.

Head coach Buzz Williams is the perfect coach for these Marquette guards. A group of penetrators and slashers, the Golden Eagles guards have been given the perfect offense for their style, with fewer designed plays and more improvisation. Their penetration leads to the open threes and floaters their offense thrives on.

I now hope you have a better vantage point of this Marquette men's hoops team. If you haven't seen them, make sure you watch them this Saturday vs. Georgetown at 2 p.m. EST. Watch it! You don't want to miss the show Marquette puts on!