#6 Villanova Wildcats (24-2) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (11-14)
When: Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 2:30 p.m.
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Previous Meeting Result: Villanova won 70-52 at home (Wells Fargo) on February 4
Key Players for Marquette: #13 Matt Carlino (6-2, 175) Sr., G; #40 Luke Fischer (6-11, 245) So., C; #1 Duane Wilson (6-2, 185) Fr., G
Scouting Report: Marquette has had their fair share of bumps and bruises. They were finally able to snap a six-game losing streak with a win at Seton Hall on February 7. Since then, they haven’t been able to capture another victory. Star player Matt Carlino will probably return to playing for the Golden Eagles. He has not seen action since the Villanova game at the Wells Fargo Center on February 4. Carlino took a nasty fall off of what he calls a “dirty play” by Ryan Arcidiacono. He has been out ever since, recovering from a concussion. Carlino was not happy and I would be surprised if he hasn’t recovered after two and a half weeks of rest. He will want his revenge. Carlino has a three point shot that opposing defenses need to respect. While he was contained to only nine points the last time these two teams met, he showed flashes of that smooth shooting stroke. Carlino has a team-high 14.5 points per game and he has made 42.6% of three point attempts. He provides a long range threat, something that has been lacking from past Marquette squads in recent years. Another scoring threat in the backcourt is freshman Duane Wilson. Wilson is already having an impact in his first year at Marquette. He averages 12.3 points per game and is coming off of a fine performance. In the loss to Creighton, Wilson scored 26 points and drained five shots from beyond the arc. He is a quick, athletic guard who found success attacking the rim when Villanova and Marquette last played each other. As evidenced by the Creighton game, he can get hot from long range, but can also be quite inconsistent at times. Wilson is much more lethal as a slasher than a spot up shooter. The other Wilson (no relation), Derrick Wilson, isn’t going to light up the scoreboard. However, he excels at the other aspects of the game, primarily facilitating the offense and playing defense. Anchoring the paint is sophomore Luke Fischer. He’s a pretty good inside scorer and can quietly chip in 10+ points for his team. He has good length and size to help him out on offense and defense. Fischer averages 10.1 points per game and just over two blocks a game. Helping Fischer out inside is forward Juan Anderson. Anderson can add a few points here and there. He can also stretch out the floor and occasionally take and make the three. Anderson is Marquette’s top rebounder with an average of 6.5 boards per game. As for their bench, JaJuan Johnson and Steve Taylor Jr. are reliable contributors for the Golden Eagles. Johnson is a steady scoring option who uses his quickness to attack the basket. Opposing defenses can sag off of him when he’s around the perimeter, his three point shot isn’t much to be afraid of. Taylor Jr. is a big man that does a little of everything. He is coming off of a solid 12 point game against Creighton.
Outlook: Two things: Carlino wants blood and Villanova needs to pay closer attention to the paint. Matt Carlino was not a happy camper and I would be shocked if he hasn’t recovered by now. He definitely wants another shot against Villanova and he will get it tomorrow afternoon. Outside of a few three points, the Wildcats did a good job of keeping him quiet. One thing that Marquette had going for them was whenever they took the ball inside. For some strange reason, they did not do it as much as they should have. Whenever they drove to the basket or got it to Fischer in the paint, the Golden Eagles were able to put points on the board. When these two teams last met, Marquette held a 26-16 edge for points in the paint. If the Wildcats contain Carlino once again while shutting down Marquette’s inside game, they should not have a hard time coming out with a win.