2011 College Basketball: Marquette Predictions and Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 11/8/2011
Marquette has quietly put together six consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories. The Golden Eagles haven’t quite gotten the publicity that most successful teams get, but that is a product of playing in a very difficult Big East Conference.
The Golden Eagles finished 9-9 in the Big East last year, and they were one of the last teams in the NCAA Tournament. Once they got into the tournament, however, they did some damage. Marquette beat Xavier in their first game, and then they upset Syracuse to reach the Sweet 16.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina ended their run in the Sweet 16, but the unexpected run definitely energized this fan base. Buzz Williams is in his fourth year with the program, and expectations are on the rise for this team.
2011-12 Marquette Golden Eagles Basketball Outlook
Marquette finished 20th in the final USA Today Coaches Poll last year. The Golden Eagles sit at No. 21 in the preseason poll this year. This is a team that lost its leader from a year ago, but there is plenty of talent returning to make them a factor in the year ahead.
Darius Johnson-Odom has been a great shooter since he stepped onto the Marquette campus, but his game went to an all new high last year when he gained confidence taking the ball to the rim. Johnson-Odom will have the ball in his hands a lot this year, and he will be expected to improve on his 15.8 points per game average from last season.
Junior Cadougan is the likely starter at point guard. Cadougan fits well into this team’s system because of his ability to distribute the ball.
Marquette’s main weakness over the last few years has been its lack of a post game, but that is changing. Jae Crowder was spectacular in his first season with the Golden Eagles. Crowder plays the power forward spot, and he is only 6-foot-6. The lack of height becomes much less of an issue because of Crowder’s physicality and pure effort on the floor. He has the ability to stretch the defense with his outside shot, but he needs to stop getting into foul trouble early in the game.
Chris Otule and Davante Gardner are great complements to each other in the post. Otule is a tremendous defensive presence, while Gardner possesses a soft touch around the bucket.
Marquette College Basketball Additions/Losses
Jimmy Butler was the heart-and-soul of this team the last couple years, and he will be missed in a big way. He averaged 16 points and seven boards per game, but it is his leadership ability that the team will miss the most. Butler was the clutch player that carried Marquette to several close wins last year.
Dwight Buycks was a solid contributor who helped stretch the defense with his shooting touch, but he graduated at the end of last season.
There aren’t a ton of newcomers for the Golden Eagles, but there are definitely some players that Williams is counting on making a big impact right away.
Todd Mayo, brother of O.J. Mayo, will get some time in the backcourt. Jamil Wilson, a sophomore who transferred from Oregon, is expected to be star for this squad. Wilson is a long athletic wing player who can run the floor and finish at the basket.
Juan Anderson is a transfer from Seton Hall who is seen as having an extremely high upside. He will be eligible in December for the Golden Eagles.
2011-12 Marquette Basketball Schedule
The Golden Eagles get several low-level teams to start off the season, but the nonconference slate gets much tougher in the month of December. Marquette travels to take on rival Wisconsin on Dec. 3; then they must travel to Madison Square Garden to square off against Washington on Dec. 6.
The team will host Vanderbilt on Dec. 29, their final game before Big East play begins. The schedule inside the Big East will be brutal as always. The team has tough back-to-back games at Georgetown and Syracuse in early January.
2011-12 Marquette Golden Eagles Futures Odds
Bookmaker lists Marquette at +8,000 to win the NCAA Championship this season. What about the Golden Eagles chances to win the Big East regular season title? It is a loaded conference, but 5Dimes puts Marquette at +1100 to finish atop the regular season standings.
2011-2012 Marquette Predictions for College Basketball
Williams always gets a lot out of his teams, and he does have quite a bit of talent this year. The Golden Eagles don’t have a ton of depth, but they have quality players all over the court.
This team definitely needs some production out of their newcomers in the year ahead. Butler will be missed more than some people realize.
There is no dominant team in the Big East this year, but I really don’t think the Golden Eagles will be good enough to challenge for the top of the conference.
Marquette should get into the NCAA Tournament again as somewhere around an eight or nine seed, but I’m going to predict they get knocked off in the round of 32 in March.
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