DEC. 9 | KOHL CENTER
Steve Wojciechowski is 52-45 in three seasons at Marquette. He’s coming off a breakthrough season in which the Golden Eagles ended a three-year NCAA tournament drought, finishing 19-13 overall following a 93-73 loss to South Carolina in the first round. Marquette, which finished in a four-way tie for third place in the Big East last season, is picked to finish seventh in 2017-18.
BIG MAN ON CAMPUS
Markus Howard (above) led the team in scoring last season at 13.2 points per game. He led the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (54.7), setting a Marquette single-season record in the process. Howard scored a career-high 34 points in a home win over Xavier.
Three of the five players who averaged double figures in scoring last season are gone, but the Golden Eagles still have plenty of firepower. Marquette shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range, leading the nation in that category, and its top three snipers return. Howard, Andrew Rowsey and Sam Hauser were a combined 216 of 448 (48.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Rowsey, a senior guard, averaged 11.6 points per game. Hauser, a sophomore forward, averaged 8.8 points and 5.0 rebounds. Junior guard Haanif Cheatham (8.7 ppg) slumped down the stretch run last season, scoring nine points in 52 minutes over the final six games. As potent as Marquette was on offense, it was awful (165th in adjusted defensive efficiency) on the other end. And the post remains a question mark for the Golden Eagles. Junior center Matt Heldt will take on an expanded role this season, but he’ll need help from 6-9 freshmen Theo John and Ike Eke. Marquette’s frontcourt depth will get a boost in December when 6-11 sophomore Harry Froling, a transfer from SMU, becomes eligible after sitting out a season.