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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Golden Eagles of Marquette

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown put its UNDEFEATED and FIRST PLACE Big East record on the line tomorrow against Marquette and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us to dish on all things Golden Eagle are our best buddies over at Anonymous Eagle, your source for all of your Marquette news.  Let's do this!

Marquette! What's the latest over in The Good Land, my dudes?

Casual Hoya! Friend of friends! You know how we do over here -- MAYBE we're framing simple country folk for a murder they didn't commit. MAYBE we'refloating half-baked rumors on why a certain local college basketball coach abruptly retired. We're DEFINITELY doing those things while eating cheese fudge, though. Business as usual.

We'll get to hoops in a minute, but first please regale us with what you did on New Year's Eve.

I would love to tell you I gorged myself on steak and champagne and stayed up until 3 in the morning, but let's be real: we're all parents here. We did what we do every night: tried to make sure Frick and Frack had something else to eat besides leftover Christmas cookies, snuck in a beer or two during the tantrum intermissions, served as a garbage disposal for everything the kids didn't eat, and cried myself to sleep at 10:00 p.m. HAPPY NEW YEAR, DADDY.
I did manage to learn who Taylor Swift is, though. So there's that. TEASE!

So, what's the deal with the Golden Eagles this year? Who are some of the cats that the Hoyas are going to need to watch out for on Saturday?

Man, I don't know if they know what their deal is this year.  In the three losses on the season, they were pretty much exposed as the young, inexperienced, and slightly clueless about college basketball team that you'd expect from a squad that's getting 80 of their total 200 minutes every night from three freshmen.  Then they go out, stomp on all the cupcakes on the schedule, they grab two wins from two high major squads in Arizona State and Brooklyn as part of the Legends Classic, and they ride into the Kohl Center and hand Bo Ryan his final home defeat.  I know Georgetown put the boots to Wisconsin earlier this season, but trust me: It's a way harder thing to accomplish in their home barn.
Kind of all over the place, as you can tell.

Y'all are going to want to watch out for Duane Wilson, whom you might remember from last year's 6-8 performance from long range in Georgetown's overtime win in Milwaukee.  Kid's been riding a hot streak from distance over the last seven games after opening the season shooting 22% on triples.  HaanifCheatham is one of those aforementioned three freshmen, and while he runs a little hot and cold as far as involvement goes, he did nearly singlehandedlykeep Marquette in the game against Seton Hall with 15 first half points.  Lastly, there's Luke Fischer, who hit all six of his shots during MU's loss to Georgetown in the Verizon Center.  He's even better than last year, thanks to an off season shoulder surgery as well as the introduction of Henry Ellenson into his biosphere.

And speaking of Henry Ellenson.....

Is this Henry Ellenson kid as good as advertised? Is he a one and done? Who is a good NBA comp for him?

As good if not better.  Since he made his commitment, we've used the phrase "if he really is The Light And The Truth" as a catch-all for what the possibilities were based on the recruiting profiles that existed on him.  He absolutely has lived up to the billing as a top 10 recruit in the country, and there's essentially nothing on the court he can't do.  He'll yank down a rebound and take off on the break on his own, or he'll hit an outlet pass on a bullseye for a layup for a teammate.  He can get into traffic and use his strength to get to the rim, or spin away from it and hit a fadeaway jumper.  The only thing that he's not great at is shooting threes, as he's shooting 26%.  His 18 footer, though?  Lethal.

The one and done question is an interesting one.  He's projected as the #8 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by Draft Express right now.  Presuming that holds until April, I don't know why he would stay.  We've had a recent tiff with people on the Twitters who seem to be under the impression that because Henry had a bad game against Seton Hall, that's a guarantee that he's coming back next year, because "he's not ready."

Henry Ellenson had 13 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals in that game.  And I'm happy to tell you that he was bad on Wednesday night, shooting just 3 of 14.  His stat line was still really great, and on top of that: No NBA scout is making any decisions about Ellenson based on one 40 minute outing 6 months before the draft.

If he stays, it will be to play another year of college basketball with his older brother Wally, who is a reserve on the MU roster, and that's pretty much the only reason why.

The comp I've seen people utter most for him is Dirk Nowitzki, and given Ellenson's struggles shooting threes this season, that seems insane.  CBS' Doug Gottlieb had an interesting comp the other day: Kristaps Porzingis.  I admittedly haven't seen much of Porzingis with the Knicks, but from looking at his stat averages this season, it seems somewhat reasonable.

Wojo was unhappy with Marquette's lethargy in the final non-con game ( and they couldn't maintain their composure to answer Seton Hall in a woeful Big East opener. How does this affect their mindset/confidence after a massive winning streak? With no seniors, who steps up with the "shake it off" mentality?

I presume most of Wojo's annoyance at the Presbyterian performance was really more of a combination of 1) You're better than this and 2) This ain't gonna cut it in Big East play.  He's right on both accounts, of course, and we saw that in both halves against Seton Hall, although only the second half was really very lopsided.  The hope is that they respond to this loss the same way they responded to the sandblasting from Iowa: refocusing on what makes them the best team possible and aiming to play that way on every possession.

The cheap answer on "who steps up" is obviously Wilson, Fischer, andEllenson.  But the two dudes who need to shake off the SHU game the most are sophomore forward Sandy Cohen and freshman point guard Traci Carter.  They were just flat out bad against the Pirates, combining for one rebound, one assist, four turnovers, and seven fouls in 31 total minutes.  Carter in particular was nearly useless to Wojo, contributing his two turnovers and four fouls in just six minutes.  Marquette's got a lot of guys who can contribute a lot of things to the team, but MU's ceiling may depend on how far Carter can lift them.

Cheese fudge. Please defend and/or explain this culinary atrocity. (I will not rest until I find out why people eat this stuff.)

OK, all joking aside: when this question came through, every one of us had the same reaction: "What in the fucking fuck is cheese fudge?" None of us had ever heard of it. We visited a couple of local supermarkets and consulted twocheesemongers (or is it like attorneys general -- cheesesmonger?) and were informed that, yes, cheese fudge is a thing, but, no, they didn't have any on hand. Was this a lie? Was it simply an attempt to hurry us out of the store, since we'd already been drinking? Rest assured, we are AGGRESSIVELY investigating this situation and will report our findings on cheese fudge before we see each other again in March.

Do you like that Wojo's contract was extended through 2022 after only one season? Are you all-in on the WoJo Train?


Here's the deal on that: Marquette's largely turned their recruiting attention to Class of 2017 players at this point.  Those kids will be in college until spring of 2021, and Wojo's original contract ended in 2020.  You can see the value of having a coach in a situation where he can go talk to kids with the full knowledge that he won't even approach a lame duck year during that kid's college career.  Plus, Wojo has a unique situation where he's going to be tied to the Duke job as Coach K winds towards retirement.  Marquette making it very public that Wojo is locked in until 2022 provides a strong message that he wants to be in Milwaukee for the long term.

You'll be shocked to find out we started to hear from people bitching about the extension during the loss to Seton Hall.

When these teams play next season, can we find a set of Little Tikes hoops and have Rubie Q's twins square off against Casual's pair as the halftime dose of cuteness?

I think you might be overestimating the potential cuteness of the matchup. I say this because my twins are 3 years old now, and 3 year olds are goddamn monsters. Yes, they have cute moments, and yes, I love them more than cheese fudge, but when they flip that switch HOLY SHIT are they a tornado of terror.  Last night, for example, our daughter lost her freaking mind at bedtime because she couldn't find the $2 knockoff Barbie doll my grandma randomly gave her at Thanksgiving. Mind you, she has never played with this doll before, and she had approximately 83 stuffed animals in her bed to keep her company, but within seconds of realizing Barbie was nowhere to be found we'd reachedDEFCON Toddler and nothing was ever going to be right in the world again and everything was despair and misery.  Based on that, I fear this contest would be less Puppy Bowl and more Real Housewives reunion.

What's the best TV show/series you are watching right now, Netflix or otherwise.

Master of None is great, but for real: you guys are all watching Making A Murderer, right? I'm not sure if it's possible to spoil the ending of a case that's been over for 8 years, but I realize this probably wasn't big news outside of Wisconsin, so let me know when you're done with it and we'll talk. In the meantime, I would like to personally assure you that the series is not an accurate representation of how things are in the Dairy State. Not all of us are morbidly obese with horrible pushbroom mustaches. At MOST, it's like 89% of us.

If you had free tickets to the following concerts, please rank the order by which you would be excited to attend them:  Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Jay Z, Springsteen, Billy Joel, Other (detail).

True story: because I am not a teenage girl, I learned who Taylor Swift was for the first time tonight. That "Shake It Off" tune is awfully catchy. Good for her!

Anyway: Billy Joel is last on the list because of his disturbing resemblance to Barry Alvarez. Flip a coin between Rihanna and my new friend Taylor Swift, then Jigga at No. 2, and then the Boss. And I'm just throwing this out there so you can get your travel plans in order in the next 10 weeks: Tuesday, March 1 -- Marquette vs. Georgetown at the Bradley Center. Thursday, March 3 -- Springsteen vs. the senses at the Bradley Center. And then we'd go shopping for cheese fudge on the weekend. How can you say no to this?

Which teams in the Big East are making the Dance?

I think we end up at four this year: Xavier, Nova, Butler, and Providence. I think Marquette needs to finish better than 10-8 to be assured a spot in the Tournament, and I'm not sure I see the wins on the horizon to make that happen. Georgetown probably needs the same kind of record, and I'm not sure I see that either. I was about to type "maybe Seton Hall?", but then I remembered Kevin Willard so nevermind.

Final score prediction?

77-64 Hoyas.  It's the first career Big East road game for three of Marquette's starters, and y'all saw what they looked like in their first Big East game overall.   I have a feeling that this is a team that's going to need to get punched in the face and start seeing their own blood before they start pulling it all together.