Our own Zach Klupchak will blog about the Marquette Golden Eagles all year! Here's his 1st installment:
Marquette opens the season tonight with one big question. Who’s going to replace 48% of their offense left from Junior, Vander, and Lockett? Stop me if you haven’t heard that before from a Marquette team. It seems every year Buzz Williams has to find a way to replace major holes left from players leaving, but with Blue’s abrupt departure this time seems different.
The good news is Buzz has his best recruiting class to date with Duane Wilson, Jajuan Johnson, and Deonte Burton, all top 100 recruits, who will look to make an impact quickly. Buzz will also return one of the best front courts in the country with Chris Otule and Davante Gardner and wings Jamil Wilson, Juan Anderson, Steve Taylor will look to improve on their success from last year.
The two guard positions will be were the most questions will come from. For the time being it looks like junior guard Derrick Wilson will run the point replacing Senior Junior Cadougan. Derrick has shown to be a great defender in his career so far, but his offense has been mostly non-existent. Buzz has already said he has begun to trust Derrick like he did Junior and with the injury to freshman Duane Wilson, Buzz will have to trust him even more.
The shooting guard position will be a battle between Jake Thomas and Todd Mayo to start out, but look for freshman Jajuan Johnson to push for minutes soon. Buzz has said Johnson has been the most impressive freshman so far. This team has the potential to be as deep as or deeper than last year. And last year’s team was able to play ten deep by the end of the season. The biggest challenge for Buzz to start off will be to find the right combination of players who fit well together and who will be able to put up the points left behind from Vander.
I honestly don’t see why this team can’t be as good as last years. They have returned everyone but three and have added a deep freshman class. As long as they can figure out the guard position and their front court stays healthy they have enough talent to make another late season run like in years past and with Buzz still the coach it will be tough to bet against that.