Tyler Kolek, Marquette Golden Eagles, Big East basketball

The Marquette Golden Eagles are determined to go for gold, bringing back one of the most experienced rosters in college hoops.

As is tradition, CBB Review is again ranking the top 100 teams heading into the new college basketball season. Each day, we will reveal the next team until we reach the team slotted at number one. Follow along with #CBBRank on all our social media channels.
The reigning Big East Player of the Year is back as Tyler Kolek leads a Marquette Golden Eagles team that only loses one key player from last year’s everyday rotation. Mind you, Marquette went 29-7 last season, so that type of chemistry is special and could wind up in a historic season in Wisconsin.
Kolek is surrounded by all types of talent. Leading scorer Kam Jones, big man Oso Ighodaro, David Joplin, and Stevie Mitchell round out a very impressive starting five. Bench players Chase Ross, Ben Gold, and Sean Jones give Marquette basketball as much depth as any team in the Big East.
Shaka Smart didn’t bring in any transfers, relying on last year’s returning players and a trio of freshmen. Tre Norman is a top-100 recruit and Al Amadou could see some time as one of two post players on the bench.
With UConn, Creighton, and Villanova also with potential Final Four rosters, Marquette looks to lead the pack with its returning bunch, looking to showcase the importance of team chemistry in college basketball.
Click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams heading into the 2023-24 college basketball season.

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)

Projected Rotation

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

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