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December 3, 2016

Marquette is a must win for Georgia hoops

If UGA is to get to the NCAA tournament, we need to have a win tomorrow. Even if Marquette turns out to be a bottom tier Big East team, beating a Big East team will get Georgia noticed. Steve Wojciechowski, former Duke standout and Associate Head Coach, is their head coach. By the way, they are projected to be a bubble NCAA team. In that regard, this game is a must win for the Golden Eagles, too.

To date, they've gone 5-2, with a close loss to Pitt and a blowout loss to Michigan in the 2K classic at Madison Square Garden. They beat Howard by 32 at home. Coming into the game they are currently at 38th in KenPom. Georgia is 60th, being held down by adjusted offensive numbers and tempo (which is an adjusted measure of successful offensive possessions).

Marquette loves to get up and down the court. They have strong guard play, with Jujuan Johnson and Haanif Cheatam averaging double digit ppg. Center Luke Fischer is also averaging double digit ppg. Fox loves defensive basketball and this game will test our ability to handle an offense that can score inside and outside. In both of Marquette's loses, they were held to fewer possessions and got fewer good looks, forcing the ball into the hands of players other than Johnson, Cheatam, and Fischer.

Speaking of, when you look over Marquette's stats, there is one guy to keep an eye on: Kaitin Reinhardt. He's a graduate transfer from Southern Cal. While he's fourth on the team in points per game at 8.8 coming off the bench, there is something else that stands out: he's third on the team in shots taken, and second in 3pt attempts. Combine that with his being 8th on the team at 3pt% at 25% (and only 27.6% total), and you can see place that Mark Fox would want to force Marquette into. If Reinhardt is jacking long range jumpers with abandon, that is good sign that Fox's game plan is working.

Tip is 2pm tomorrow on ESPNU.


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