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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Golden Eagles of Marquette

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown take on the Marquette Golden Eagles in an NCAA Tournament bubble battle to the death and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  With us as always to dish on all things Marquette is the gang at Anonymous Eagle, your trusted source for all things Golden Eagles on the internet.  Away we go!

The Hoyas and Golden Buttmunches are on the outside of the Dance looking in. How do you feel about Marquette's chances given what lies ahead for you on the schedule?

I assume you are talking about the NIT, right? Right? MU isn't even listed on most sites' bubble features and doesn't deserve to be. Marquette lacks a single quality non-con win and the only remaining marquee conference opportunity is at Villanova. We may be able to sneak into the discussion if we can close out with wins over the Hoyas, at Nova, at PC and home against the Johnnies. But, as Ralph Wiggum once said: "That's unpossible." Nebraska (the basketball team, not the movie) has a better chance of making the tournament for the love of Christ.

(Casual Note: I assume this also means that Nebraska (the album) also has a better chance of making the Dance.  One of the more underrated of Bruce's album's and arguably the greatest, 'Nebraska' contains 'Atlantic City', 'Johnny 99', 'Highway Patrolman', the haunting title track 'Nebraska', and the rollicking 'Open All Night' among others.)

Would you say Buzz Williams has done a good job with this roster?

I am of two minds on this issue. Like we told you last time we Q'd and A'd: with JUCO stud Jameel McKay skipping town like 3 days after practice opened and freshman PG Duane Wilson lost to injury and silky forward Steve Taylor slow to recover from offseason surgery, this probably isn't the roster that Buzz planned on when the fall semester started. Buzz has had to plug square pegs into round holes all year, so, in that sense, he gets something of a pass.

On the other hand: these are all players Buzz recruited, and they don't seem to fit together very well. And on top of that: we're starting three seniors and two juniors with a senior and a junior getting most of the minutes off the bench, and that's added up (thus far) to 16-11 and a probable road game in the NIT. We've been sounding the "PLAY THE GODDAMN FRESHMEN" horn for about a month now, not in the hopes that they can save the season -- they can't -- but because it's long-since time to start looking to next year. For shit's sake, Buzz is giving like 38 minutes a game to former walk-on Jake Thomas, who we're contractually obligated to mention seems like a very nice young man who would no doubt help your grandma balance her checkbook and set up her VCR to record General Hospital, but should not be ahead of a top-40 recruit like Jajuan Johnson, who hasn't gotten off the bench in about 10 days.

What's up with Davante Gardner this season? Does he have any future at the next level?

What's up with him? Not his vertical HEYOOOOO FAT JOKE! Anyway, Ox is stuck with a point guard that can't and won't shoot from anywhere, a shooting guard that can't get to the rim (and, truth be told, really probably shouldn't be shooting), and a shoot-first third guard who has only one gear: "get mine." Other than that, everything is awesome.

No, totes for real: his minutes are up, his scoring is up, his rebounding is up, and his turnovers are down. It just seems like he's doing poorly because everyone was kind of figuring he'd explode into a 20 point a game guy, and he's averaging less than 15.

If by "next level," you mean "will someone somewhere pay him money to play basketball," sure. If by "next level," you mean "the NBA," not so much. He's only 6'8", and playing Creighton twice has shown that he's not going to be able to chase stretch fours -- or, really, anyone who's not just dropping anchor in the paint --around the court.

I have determined that the proper cheese plate must consist of 1) Smoked Gouda, 2) Manchego, 3) Camembert, and 4) Gorgonzola. Being that you are from somewhere that apparently knows something about cheese, please comment.

(This is from our resident cheese expert Warrior Brad.) All right, not that there's anything necessarily wrong with your selections, but considering you are a Georgetown alum, you probably have some extra scratch and the requisite worldliness to expand your cheese plate palate a bit. For me, there are four things a cheese plate must have:

1. Odd number of cheeses - three isn't enough and four is an even number, so you must choose five cheeses. Jesuit logic at work.
2. Mixture of textures - crumbly, creamy and crunchy are all musts. If you scoff at crunchy you haven't had good cheese, so stick with me, kid.
3. Global representation - it's heresy here in Wisconsin, but one needs to get out and explore the world. The only rule is skip Asia. Asia is to cheese as Syracuse is to man defense.
4. Get a crowd pleasing anchor - there's bound to be that ninny that wants a cube of Swiss. Lure that Terps fan in with a good, accessible Cheddar and work up from there.

Now, go to your nearest cheesemonger, preferably a guy like Larry. If you don't have a cheesemonger, go to Whole Foods.

Here are some suggestions:
Accessible - get a good cheddar, maybe something like an 8 or 10 year from Carr's (Wisconsin). This will also get you some tasty crunchies.
Blue - during the fall and winter months take out a second mortgage for Rouge River Blue (Oregon) or, depending on the audience, get blue on training wheels: Dunbarton Blue (Wisconsin)
Soft/Spreadable - Kill two birds with one stone with texture and geography. Any triple-cream will do and most come from Europe. St Andre (France, duh) always works and is widely available. If your party theme is "White Trash" you can pick up some pimento spread
Move Beyond the Cow - sheep and goat's milk cheeses intimidate some folks, so don't tell them. Instead plunk down a normal looking Iberico (Spain) and then let them know it's a mixture of cow/goat/sheep milk after they've had a hunk.
Stinky/Weird - most of this involves a dare, but a funky cheese is a great conversation starter and can really open some eyes. I can't recommend Rush Creek Reserve (Wisconsin) enough. It also doubles as a spreadable cheese. You can also go with Limburger, but that's too expected.
Serve with a good baguette, good crackers (put down the effing Ritz), pate, fatty Italian sausage, cornichons, honey and various fruits. Then stand by your cheese all night. This will allow you to eat the most cheese and look down your nose at people who have different tastes than you.

(Casual Note: This is an excellent answer.  We will have cheese plates at Casual Extravaganza VI next season and 'WarriorBrad' is invited.)

How does Marquette look for next season and beyond?

SHORT ANSWER: giant clip-art question mark. LONGER ANSWER: the three seniors that we should have returning in 2014-'15 -- Derrick Wilson, Todd Mayo, and Juan Anderson -- don't really inspire a ton of confidence. Anderson's a role player, Derrick (we call all of our Wilsons by first name, since we have so many of them) is serviceable-at-best point guard, and Mayo has come on a bit lately, but he has enough knuckleheadery on his rap sheet to cause you to wonder if he'll even be available by the start of next season.

Plus, with the departure of Otule and Gardner and McKay's transfer, Marquette really won't have any inside presence to start next season. The tallest available returning player will be Taylor, and he's not exactly the "dominate the paint" type. 6'11" Luke Fischer -- who escaped Tom Crean's dungeon (which is really just an unfinished basement with a tanning bed) and returned to the welcoming bosom of The Good Land -- becomes eligible in December. Luke was a top 100 recruit in 2013 and part of a high school basketball dynasty in the Milwaukee area, but he did little in his brief time in Indiana. So we really have no idea what to expect from him once he does hit the floor. The 2014 class has a 7-footer in it, but he was being recruited mainly by MAC and Horizon League schools before MU jumped in, so he's got "project" written all over him. (That said: the only other school that was after Gardner four years ago was South Florida, so who knows.) Lots of concern there.

Next year's incoming class seems to have some potential, but we all know that Buzz has some trust issues when it comes to playing freshmen. So, I think the next few years are really going to be determined by the guys in this season's much-heralded freshmen class: John Dawson, Deonte Burton, Duane Wilson and Jajuan Johnson. If no one transfers (highly unlikely, but again, who knows), and if Duane returns good as new from the injury that cost him all of this season, I believe they could be the guys to reverse the slide that we've seen this year.

How many teams from the Big East are getting into the Dance?

I get a nasty feeling that it's a lower number than we think it's going to be. Jeff Borzello said something the other day about the SEC being widely considered to be only a two-bid league this year, and he followed that up with wondering if the Big East was the same way. It's not that crazy of a thought.

For example: what if Marquette comes away with wins against your Hoyas, Providence, and St. John's down the stretch? Losing to Marquette essentially pushes all three off the bubble for good (although St. John's might already be there after Tuesday night), but those three wins aren't enough to shine Marquette's horrifying profile up enough to get them in. Tack on Xavier having to face Creighton and Villanova in the last six days of the season, and they might end up tumbling away as well.

This could get really ugly. I'll say four teams get in as an official prediction, but I don't have to like it.

Give me your prediction for the Final Four.

Aw, come on. This question is hard enough when I actually get to see the bracket and figure out who has a tough path vs. who drew Syracuse in the Sweet 16 and blah blah blah.

Ok: we'll consult the computer machine and pick the four teams with a top 20 offense and a top 20 defense, since efficiency on both sides of the ball = winning in tough circumstances.

How 'bout Louisville, Florida, Wichita State, and Villanova?

(Casual Note: From the same film that brought you that 'The Good Land' reference: Villanova blows goats.)

Jim Boeheim at Duke. Assclown or complete assclown? What would your reaction be if Buzz Williams similarly sabotaged your chances of winning a game?

Boeheim continues to put the ass in assclown, of course, but let me confess: I kinda loved his sideline meltdown, for two reasons. One, because I've always wanted to see an 80-year-old Magoo lookalike reenact Michael Jackson's Black or White video in public, and, two, because I love coaches showing up officials. College basketball officials are among the worst human beings on the planet (I group them with people who tell you to "have a good one" and people who put any kind of fruit in their beer), and I am enthusiastically in favor of them being embarrassed, belittled, and shown up at every turn. Fuck those guys.

What's your prediction for attendance at the Big East Tournament given MSG's capacity of 19,763 souls. I'll set the over/under at an average of 75% capacity (just under 15K) for the whole thing and take the under.

Are you basing this on actual attendance or tickets sold? If it's actual attendance, I would wager my kids' college funds (current value: $8) on the under at 15K. Tickets sold would be a tougher metric but I'd still put a grand on the under. Pressed for a prediction on actual tickets sold, I would say 14K. We'll soon be playing this thing in Brooklyn (ew) or Indy (snore) or Atlantic City (shudder).

Why can't we have nice things?

Because we do things like get taken to overtime by teams like FUCKING DEPAUL, which lost its best player a month ago and has, like, literally two guys who would even make the roster of any other Big East school and has a "coach" (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word, because I'm not quite sure what you'd call what Ollie's doing) who's updating his profile on the sidelines. That's why.

Final score prediction?

To paraphrase a line in the film featuring the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman's best role: "You're a shitty bubble team, we're a shitty bubble team. You told Brandt on the phone, he told me. I know what's going to happen. Yes? YES?"

Anyway: I think we're going to barf on each other and somebody's leaving with a 4-point win. I'll take us, I guess, 64-60.