Marquette Basketball (2-0): Player Report Card After 2 Games
The college basketball season has kicked off in Milwaukee, and Buzz Williams' squad has gotten off to a quick start. After a Sweet 16 run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the expectations are high for the Golden Eagles.
After wins over Mount St. Mary's and Norfolk State, we already have a taste that this team could be in for a breakout season under the leadership of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder. Let's take a look at how the team can be graded as after two games.
Juan Anderson and Jake Thomas (No Grade)
Anderson has been suspended and will have to sit out one more game. This is a part of his three-game suspension after accepting tickets to a Milwaukee Brewers playoff game from someone other than his parents.
Jake Thomas is sitting out this year after transferring.
Derrick Wilson: B+
Yes, you are reading that correctly. The type of play that we are seeing from him early on has been spectacular. There were questions as to whether he’s quick enough to move and stick to his man, and he’s done an excellent job of doing such.
He’s not shooting, but when it comes to passing and rebounding, he has been there. He will get minutes and will be solid when Junior Cadougan is not on the court and he’s at the point.
Todd Mayo: B
Mount St. Mary’s was not the right way for Mayo to kickstart his NCAA career, but when it came to Norfolk State, he showed Buzz Williams the type of scorer he can be once he hits the ground running.
Although touching the ball and shooting all the time may not be the smartest idea, Mayo has shown he’s not fazed. Twelve points with two three pointers in a matter of seconds shows what he is capable of.
Later on in the game, he had a knack for getting to the line and was perfect. Those talks of him possibly being the team’s best option to score off the bench should continue. He’s looking good.
Vander Blue: B
Giving Vander Blue an A has been tempting, but it is too early to make a definitive judgment on the type of player he can be against better teams. He looked good against Norfolk State and was hitting his shots. He traveled and missed a lay-up, so those freshman woes could still resonate from time to time in lapses.
He came to Marquette as a highly touted recruit, and now, it is time to see that after a freshman year he wants to forget. Clean slate for Blue, and let’s start him off with a B.
Side Note: Blue almost tried to hand the ball over to the referee with a little bit extra time left on the clock. Still a learning curve, but fans can forgive tiny mistakes early on in the season.
Jamail Jones: B
In the first game of the season, he racked up 10 points in 15 minutes of play off the bench. The high-top baller looked good and made his presence known on offense.
The second game did not reflect that as much. He only contributed three points and was not holding onto the ball and sticking to his defender as well as last time. He needs to be more of that player that Marquette saw in the first game. He has the look of a contributor.
Davante Gardner: B+
Behind DJO and Jae Crowder, this could be Marquette’s next best scorer. He doesn’t start, but provides instant offense and size off the bench. He draws fouls very well and gets it done at the line. He’s got the size to be good on the defensive end, but he’s not in the right spot when they need him to be.
Among the things he needs to improve is being at the right place at the right time. His offense is there.
Jamil Wilson: B-
He looks a little bit lost on the court very early on in the Norfolk game, but he settled in afterwards in the second half with his defense. He’s getting minutes in and had his eyes on locking down the opposition. Two points in the game against Mount St. Mary’s and then eight against Norfolk State. He’s on the rise slowly and will be a key off the bench.
Junior Cadougan: A-
He’s done a good job of drawing fouls and shooting at the line. He’s very much the player that was seen in the NCAA tournament. He had 10 points in the season opener and then three points made against Norfolk State at the line.
He’s showing he can have multiple ways of scoring, and at the same time, setting up his teammates well. He is also looking very good health wise.
Chris Otule: B+
Otule was the star of the season opener against Mount St. Mary’s. He posted up 14 points and five rebounds with three blocks. That’s presence on the defensive and offensive end for the Golden Eagles.
The interesting thing is the fact that he shares his slot in the rotation with Davante Gardner and isn’t on the floor as long as a players like Crowder or Johnson-Odom. His second game wasn’t much on offense, with only two points.
The signs in the first game looked good, and now, he just has to show that again at the Paradise Jam.
Darius Johnson-Odom: A
The bar has been set high for Darius Johnson-Odom, as some scouts and analysts have predicted that he will be offensive powerhouse of this Marquette team. If Johnson-Odom can post up the numbers he has against Mount St. Mary’s and Norfolk State, they should be cruising by against non-Big East opponents.
Norfolk State could not stop him, and they had multiple defenders on the man. His offense has been a plus for this team, and he finds a way to please the crowd with his emphatic dunks. Not too much wrong with his game at this point.
Jae Crowder: A
Crowder shined on Monday evening at the Bradley Center, posting a double-double and leading the team with 25 points. He was uncovered in the paint and just put up his lay-ups with ease.
On the defensive end, you could feel his presence, and when it came to fast breaks when he wasn’t on the receiving end, his passes seemed on point. The chemistry between him and Johnson-Odom seems very tight, and as predicted, they will be the core for the most part of the season.