MILWAUKEE — As soon as the buzzer sounded Saturday afternoon, Marquette had to move on.
There was no time to enjoy the 81-71 victory over Providence, no time to laugh about the crazy bat that took over the arena, only time to start thinking about South Florida.
Fifty-three hours after Saturday’s game ended, Marquette will take the floor at the BMO Harris Bradley Center again for another Big East Conference game. That means the Golden Eagles went into preparation mode quickly.
Playing three games in three days at the Maui Invitational gave Marquette experience on how to get ready for an opponent in a short period of time. The Golden Eagles will start scouting report and film work Saturday before squeezing study hall, a 39-minute practice and their usual day before film session Sunday.
“I thought our preparation in Maui was really good,” coach Buzz Williams said. “Like anything else, you get greedy, players call it thirsty. When you have a little bit of success, you are thirsty to do it again, thirsty to do it again.
“Hopefully we can respond the right way and continue to stay healthy.”
If Marquette can beat the Bulls – who dropped to 10-9 overall and 1-6 in the Big East following a 73-65 home loss to Notre Dame on Saturday – the Golden Eagles will tie Syracuse for first place in the Big East with a 6-1 conference record.
No Mayo: Marquette sophomore guard Todd Mayo did not play in Saturday’s win, but Williams says it wasn’t anything Mayo did.
Williams didn’t want to disrupt the rhythm Vander Blue and Trent Lockett were in.
“I just thought we were in a really good groove,” Williams said. “I thought it was Vander’s best defensive effort, discipline, playing to the scouting report, not getting himself removed from plays. I just thought we were in a really good groove. I felt the same way about Trent.”
Blue played 39 of the game’s 40 minutes, and Lockett played 37. It’s strange that Mayo would go from playing 26 minutes in Marquette’s last game to not even taking his warm-ups off given that even walk-on guard Jake Thomas played two minutes.
Since returning from academic ineligibility Dec. 22, Mayo has averaged 7.7 points in 18.1 minutes per game off Marquette’s bench.