Monday, January 19, 2009

From Hunter, To Hunted


Really digest that for a moment.

Jumpin’ Jesuits… WE’RE 5-0!!!

That’s about the reaction from almost every Marquette fan as they wake up on this holiday weekend. If you pick up a newspaper, and turn to the standings of the Big East Conference you cannot help but smile when you look to the top.

1. No. 11/10 Marquette 16-2 (5-0)

To put it plainly, this is awesome. But be wary Marquette Basketball fans, because in this conference, being the hunted is something new for this program. The history speaks for itself through the first five games of conference play.

2006: 3-2; 2007: 3-2; 2008: 3-2

Good, but certainly not great. Starts that are not going to make opposing teams and fans sweat over the upcoming Marquette game on their schedule. You get off to a 5-0 start though… Regardless of who you did it against, everyone is looking up at you.


If Buzz Williams and his players wake up today and notice a strange itch developing on their backs, it might be a big red bulls eye that grew overnight. And with every victory that bulls eye will get bigger.

Hey, you all wanted this. Now it’s time to put up or shut up. Two of the next three games are against ranked teams, with the always heated Notre Dame game taking place in South Bend. We’ll all find out just how good this team really is.

If this group gets to 6-0… 7-0… dare I say even 8-0 in conference play… with only four players scoring the basketball, Buzz Williams should get the Nobel Prize. Talk about getting the most out of your players. You could write a book on the things that this team lacks. And you could write another about overcoming adversity.

I’ve always used one main criterion to determine a great team from a good one: Even when you don’t play well, you are still able to find ways to win games. In the past three seasons, if the Golden Eagles didn’t show up at the start of a game, they were dead in the water. Let this past Saturday’s game against Providence show that this trend is beginning to be bucked.

The national media has begun to take notice. Alumni are tip toeing around their homes trying not to jinx anything. The student body is nearly in a frenzy. And all the while, Buzz Williams keeps his players focused on their school work, and the next game ahead. Even with some irritated powerhouses looking up at one of the Big East’s newbies, it’s hard for fans to say they’ve never felt more confident.

The foundation for a special season has been laid. Now let’s find out how high and fast they can build in the middle of a hurricane.
Brian Henry
Marquette University Radio Sports Director

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