A key Big East matchup at mid-week during the stretch run for the March Madness starting-line takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey tonight. Tip is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET when the Pirates host the Golden Eagles. College Basketball Free Pick: Marquette at Seton Hall.
Most of the attention on the campus scene in relation to young talent this season has come out of Norman, Oklahoma where Trae Young has captured the story-lines for first-year players. The Sooners point-guard is averaging 32.4 points and 9.3 assists per game, both categories lead all of college hoops. There is another young talent that has gone relatively unnoticed in Marcus Howard of the Golden Eagles. The Chandler, Arizona native is averaging 21.6 point per game and is younger than Young. The fact that Howard is issuing only 3 dimes per game and plays in the Big East has kept him somewhat of a secret.
When you are a young and inexperienced backcourt-oriented team in the Big East finding league wins can be overwhelming. The Golden Eagles have lost four straight games overall. They have failed to hold serve at home in their last three and begin a stretch of five of their final seven conference contests on the road. Tonight’s event at the Prudential Center is a rematch of a contest earlier this season in which Marquette defeated “The Hall” by 20 points.
Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s squad is largely dependent on getting clean looks from beyond the arc. The Eagles shoot 40 percent from the three-point line and don’t have a frontcourt edge in the rebounding department. Experience, or lack thereof, in the backcourt is also an Achilles for Marquette. The team’s floor general is a freshman. In addition their player personnel are inconsistent from game to game. Forward Theo John who averages less than four points per game registered his best performance of the season in a 77-75 loss against Providence. The freshman registered zero points in 28 minutes across the previous three games but responded with 14 points, six rebounds and five blocks in 24 minutes against the Friars.
The Seton Hall Pirates (-6, 158) senior center Angel Delgado is in line for a big game tonight against the soft frontcourt of the Eagles. Delgado has six double-doubles and seven double-digit rebound games in his eight career meets versus Marquette.
Marquette has lost six of their last eight despite a big season from Howard. The freshman has knocked down 78 3-point field goals this 2017-18 campaign and shoots 94 percent from the foul line.
The Eagles put an 84-64 beat down on the Pirates in early January at BMO Harris Bradley. Marquette outrebounded the Pirates overall as well as on the offensive glass and their young backcourt committed just six turnovers in the win. The victory and the performance were an aberration. The performance by Hall was out of character considering the matchup edge they hold over Marquette.
The Pirates rebound 36 percent of their misses. Hall owns the top offensive rebounding percentage in the Big East. Delgado is one of only eight Division I player personnel to own a double-double per game average and the lone to do so in the Big East.
College Basketball Free Pick: Marquette at Seton Hall
The Pirates turn the table tonight in Jersey and register a 20-plus point victory over the Golden Eagles.
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