The Marquette Golden Eagles are determined to go for gold, bringing back one of the most experienced rosters in college hoops.
Head coach: Shaka Smart (15th season, 3rd at Marquette)
2022-23 record: 29-7 (17-3)
2023 postseason finish: Lost to Michigan State, 69-60, in second round of NCAA Tournament
Notable departures: Olivier Maxence-Prosper (NBA)
Notable non-conference games: at Illinois (Nov. 14), vs. UCLA (Nov. 20, in Maui), Maui Invitational (Nov. 21-22), at Wisconsin (Dec. 2), vs. Texas (Dec. 6), vs. Notre Dame (Dec. 9)
PG: Tyler Kolek (6-3, 195, Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 12.9 PPG, 7.5 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 39.8 3P%
SG: Stevie Mitchell (6-3, 200, Jr.)
2022-23 stats: 7.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.7 SPG
SF: Kam Jones (6-5, 200, Jr.)
2022-23 stats: 15.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 36.0 3P%
PF: David Joplin (6-8, 225, Jr.)
2022-23 stats: 9.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 39.9 3P%
C: Oso Ighodaro (6-11, 235, Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 11.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.5 BPG, 66.0 FG%
6: Chase Ross (6-5, 205, So.)
2022-23 stats: 4.6 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.1 SPG
7: Ben Gold (6-11, 245, So.)
2022-23 stats: 2.7 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.2 APG
8: Sean Jones (5-10, 185, So.)
2022-23 stats: 3.6 PPG, 1.1 APG, 0.8 RPG
9: Tre Norman (6-4, 205, Fr.)
247Sports Composite No. 88 rated recruit
10: Al Amadou (6-9, 210, Fr.)
247Sports Composite No. 165 rated recruit
11: Zaide Lowery (6-5, 200, Fr.)
247Sports Composite No. 136 rated recruit
Marquette Golden Eagles MVP: Tyler Kolek
Kolek may not be a freak of an athlete or a super scorer, but he runs an offense better than just about anybody in college basketball. Of course, having all of that talent around him will help, but Kolek is the reason the gears turn. Kolek is an underrated ball handler and can shake defenders with head fakes. The biggest reason Kolek is able to have so much success is his confidence and being one play ahead of the defense. Kolek’s basketball IQ can’t be understated.
This year, Kolek could take a step forward to become a more impactful scorer. With no Olivier Maxence-Prosper, it means one less offensive talent for other teams to worry about. A more aggressive Kolek could help Marquette’s offense to be the best it can be.
Marquette Golden Eagles make-or-break player: Ben Gold
The Golden Eagles need help off the bench, especially with their bigs. When Joplin, and especially Ighodaro go out of the game, Ben Gold is the only reliable replacement, and he played sparingly last season. The only other big man who could see time is freshman Al Amadou, who is also only 6-9 and 210 pounds.
Gold contributed almost 3 PPG as a freshman last year and shouldn’t need to improve drastically, but he will need to prove to be a consistent backup. The Golden Eagles have good depth on the wing and at guard, but Gold is the only relief player in the paint. If he can be Golden, the Golden Eagles will be too.
Key analytic: Offensive Efficiency
Creighton and UConn both finished ahead of Marquette in offensive efficiency last season, but the Golden Eagles were also 14th in the country in their own right. They can thank a team FG% of 48.6% which was also 13th in the nation, and 17.3 APG, which was 7th in the country.
Needless to say, with how much team chemistry Marquette is expected to say, and how great they were on offense last year, we could expect a historic season for Marquette.
Marquette Golden Eagles 2023-24 projections
Projected conference finish: 2nd in the Big East
Projected postseason ceiling: NCAA Tournament Champions