Syracuse will put its 16-0 record on the line when it hosts Marquette in a rematch of the third round of the NCAA tournament.
INSIDE HELP: Marquette raced out of the gates, winning its first 10 games before dropping two of three heading into Big East play. The last loss, a crushing 74-57 home loss against Vanderbilt, exposed what may be Marquette’s biggest problem this year—lack of size. Center Chris Otule has been out with a knee injury since early December, and the Golden Eagles next tallest player is 6-foot-8 Davante Gardner. The question for Buzz Williams’ club becomes how they will deal with 7-footer Fab Melo and other big men in the rugged Big East.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES: Junior Cadougan has emerged as one of the top playmakers for the Golden Eagles, averaging more than five assists per game against just 2.2 turnovers. But the key to Marquette’s success lies with seniors Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, who average nearly 35 points between them.
IN MARQUETTE’S LAST GAME: Georgetown’s Hollis Thompson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to cap a 17-point rally as the Hoyas topped Marquette 73-70. Johnson-Odom had 18 points to lead the Golden Eagles in the loss.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse is 7-4 all-time against the Eagles. The last time these two teams met was in the third round of the 2011 NCAA tournament. Johnson-Odom’s 17 points led the way as the Golden Eagles knocked the Orange out of the tournament, 66-62.
GAME INFORMATION: Sat, Jan 7. 4:00 p.m. BIG EAST Network/SNY. Syracuse, NY.Wesley Cheng