Friday, January 16, 2009


January 17, 2009

Marquette will put their undefeated 4-0 conference record on the line when they travel to Providence for a 9 PM game with the Friars at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars are off to a 3-1 start in the Big East and look to capture their most impressive win of the season.

Marquette Guard Troika a Force for Friars to Reckon With (Providence Journal)
PC Hosts Marquette Tonight (Pawtucket Times)
Marquette Travels to Providence on Saturday (Cracked Sidewalks)
Williams Off-Beat Approach Working for Marquette (Chicago Tribune)
James Thrives in Shutdown Mode (Journal-Sentinel)

Two of the more experienced teams in the Big East will be featured in this contest. Marquette has the three senior guard line-up and PC has five seniors, a redshirt junior and another junior at the top of their rotation.

The Golden Eagles will look to use their guard trio of Dominic James, Wesley Mathews and Jerel McNeal to get up into Sharaud Curry and the PC perimeter snipers of Jeff Xavier and Brian McKenzie to throw the Friars out of their offensive rhythm. The Friars have some size, but they do not always effectively use it and the Marquette perimeter pressure is aimed at making it difficult for opponents to exploit a weakness of MU.

Every year, PC surprises at least one team on their home floor. It is usually done so with accurate three-point shooting, but in this match-up, look for the Golden Eagle guards to defend the perimeter in shutdown mode and see if the guards of PC can create for the big men inside.

Without a strong post defender, I expect the Marquette guards to be able to get into the lane and score often. A sagging zone is the best defense against MU, but they have been shooting very well of late, too. Look for the Golden Eagles to continue their strong start in conference play with a solid road win in Rhode Island.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Marquette 74
Providence 69



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