Wis.-Green Bay-Marquette Preview

Marquette’s prolific offense is aided by its depth, but that

could be challenged following the loss of one of its starters.

The 11th-ranked Golden Eagles will try to remain undefeated

Saturday night when they host Wisconsin-Green Bay without starting

center Chris Otule.

Marquette is looking to improve to 9-0 for the first time since

2004-05. The Golden Eagles extended their streak with another

thrilling win Tuesday, defeating Washington 79-77 at Madison Square

Garden.

Coming off a 61-54 victory at then-No. 9 Wisconsin last

Saturday, Marquette couldn’t pull away against the Huskies. The

game featured 15 lead changes and four ties over the final 12

minutes.

Jae Crowder hit a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining and the

Golden Eagles held on despite losing Otule in the opening minutes

to an ACL injury. The 6-foot-11 Otule is averaging 5.0 points, 4.4

rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in about 18 minutes per game.

“I think I did a poor job of helping our team when Chris Otule

got hurt because that changes how you have to guard ball screens,”

coach Buzz Williams said. “But I thought once we kind of got into

the groove, we were better.”

It’s unclear how long Otule will be out. His absence – along

with that of freshman forward Juan Anderson, who was injured in

practice Thursday – leaves Marquette without much size inside, but

it still has plenty of talent that can run the ball.

The Golden Eagles average 83.5 points – 12th in the country –

and have four players with at least 9.8 per game. Darius

Johnson-Odom, who had 23 against Washington, is averaging a

team-high 19.9.

Marquette has also had some good performances off the bench.

Freshman guard Todd Mayo has scored in double figures each of the

last three games, getting 11 against the Huskies, while sophomore

Davante Gardner is averaging 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Gardner is one possibility to get his first collegiate start in

place of Otule.

Williams said the Golden Eagles were looking forward to getting

some rest after playing the last two away from Milwaukee.

Marquette, which plays its next two at the Bradley Center, is

averaging 92.7 points while holding teams to 53.7 per game during a

3-0 home start.

For Green Bay (4-5), it will be the team’s second straight game

against a ranked, in-state opponent after it fell 70-42 at No. 14

Wisconsin on Wednesday. The Phoenix shot 32.1 percent and had 16

turnovers.

“Each half, we started off with turnovers and it killed us,”

said coach Brian Wardle, who was the third-leading scorer in

Marquette history when he graduated in 2001. “Wisconsin penalized

us for that – 21 points off turnovers; we had zero off that. You’re

going to lose to a really good team in their arena by 25-30 if you

do that.”

Green Bay hasn’t helped itself with much hot shooting. It’s

hitting 39.0 percent from the field, ranking outside the top 300

nationally.

Alec Brown, a 7-foot-1 center, had a team-high 10 points

Wednesday while Brennan Cougill added six points and eight rebounds

off the bench. The 6-foot-9 Cougill, who began his collegiate

career at Iowa, is averaging 7.2 points and is second on the team

to Brown with 5.9 rebounds per game.

The Phoenix lost 89-69 at Marquette last season in the first

meeting between the schools since 1996. Marquette guard Vander Blue

had 14 points in that victory, and is averaging 10.5 this

season.