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2008-2009 Marquette Men's Basketball

mediaguide_08.jpgThe 2008-09 season marked Buzz Williams' inaugural season as the Warriors' head coach.

Buzz inherited a veteran team that won 25 games the previous year and returned four starters, including 3 highly-touted seniors, two of whom had previously flirted with early NBA departures. By the end of the season, Jerel McNeal was Marquette's all-time leader in scoring and steals, while Dominic James finished third points, second in assists and fourth in steals. Wesley Matthews finished his career as Marquette's all-time leader in made free throws and was eighth in scoring. Williams also inherited Lazar Hayward, who is on pace to be amongst Marquette's all-time leaders in scoring and rebounding.

Expectations were high for a group of seniors who had made the NCAA tournament the previous three seasons, but only managed one win under Tom Crean. The team started out strong and was ranked throughout the season, but when Dominic James broke his foot during the opening minutes of the Connecticut game on February 25th, it started a downward trend. Marquette played their remaining regular season opponents close, but could not pull out a win against any of their highly-ranked opponents. Their season-ending slide dropped them to fifth in the Big East standings, with a surging Villanova squad moving up to fourth, which gave them a two-day bye for the Big East Tournament.

Marquette managed to beat St. John's on the second day of the Big East Tournament, but lost to the Final Four-bound Villanova Wildcats on a last-second shot the next day. Marquette received a favorable seed in the NCAA tournament, but a tough draw in a Utah State team, whose boisterous fans would travel very well to Boise, Idaho. Marquette managed to get past Utah State and faced Missouri in the second round. The night before the game, it was announced that Dominic James would be available to play. James ended up playing less than 20 minutes and did not score, but was able to end his Marquette career on his terms. Marquette lost a close game to a Missouri team that ended up dismantling a Memphis squad in the Sweet Sixteen, who many had predicted to be contenders for a national title.

Schedule

Date Opponent Location Results Record TV Notes/Promo
Oct 25 Marquette Madness Al McGuire Center Complete
Exhibition
Nov 8 Colorado State-Pueblo Home W 94-73
Non Conference
Nov 14 Houston Baptist Home W 95-64 1-0 Magnetic Schedule
Nov 17 Chicago State Home W 106-87 2-0 ESPN FC Chicago Invitational Challenge / Poster Schedule
Nov 22 UW-Milwaukee Home W 100-80 3-0 ESPN FC & BEN #1,400 Victory in School History
Nov 25 Texas Southern Home W 85-68 4-0 ESPN FC Chicago Invitational Challenge
Nov 28 Northern Iowa Sears Center W 73-43 5-0 Chicago Invitational Challenge
Nov 29 Dayton Sears Center L 89-75 5-1 BEN Chicago Invitational Challenge
Dec 2 Central Michigan Home W 81-67 6-1 ESPN FC
Dec 6 UW-Madison Home W 61-58 7-1 ESPNU Baird T-Shirts
Dec 13 IPFW Home W 69-50 8-1
Dec 16 Tennessee Nashville L 68-80 8-2 ESPN
Dec 19 Western Carolina Home W 94-77 9-2 ESPN FC & BEN
Dec 22 NC State RBC Center W 68-65 10-2 ESPNU Dominic James game winning 3-pointer
Dec 28 Presbyterian College Home W 84-45 11-2 BEN
Big East Conference
Jan 1 Villanova Home W 79-72 12-2 (1-0) ESPN2
Jan 4 Cincinnati Home W 84-50 13-2 (2-0) ESPN FC & BEN Trading Cards Set, Jerel McNeal makes 7 three-pointers
Jan 7 Rutgers Away W 81-76 14-2 (3-0) ESPN FC
Jan 10 West Virginia Home W 75-53 15-2 (4-0) ESPN FC & BEN Trading Cards Set
Jan 17 Providence Away W 91-82 16-2 (5-0) ESPN2
Jan 24 DePaul Home W 79-70 17-2 (6-0) ESPN2 Trading Cards Set
Jan 26 Notre Dame Away W 71-64 18-2 (7-0) ESPN
Jan 31 Georgetown Home W 94-82 19-2 (8-0) ESPN FC Trading Cards Set / Flag
Feb 3 DePaul Away W 76-61 20-2 (9-0) ESPN FC & BEN
Feb 6 South Florida Away L 57-56 20-3 (9-1) ESPN FC & BEN
Feb 10 Villanova Away L 102-84 20-4 (9-2) ESPN2
Feb 14 St. John's Home W 73-59 21-4 (10-2) ESPN FC & BEN Al's Night / Al McGuire Statue
Feb 17 Seton Hall Home W 79-67 22-4 (11-2) ESPN FC & BEN MU Mini-Backboard
Feb 21 Georgetown Away W 78-72 23-4 (12-2) ESPN
Feb 25 Connecticut Home L 93-82 23-5 (12-3)
Mar 1 Louisville Away L 62-58 23-6 (12-4) CBS
Mar 4 Pittsburgh Away L 90-75 23-7 (12-5) ESPN2
Mar 7 Syracuse Home L 86-79 23-8 (12-6) ESPN FC & BEN Senior Cards
Big East Tournament
Mar 11 St. John's Away W 74-45 24-8 (13-6) ESPN2
Mar 12 Villanova Away L 76-75 24-9 (13-7) ESPN2
NCAA Tournament (MU #6 Seed)
Mar 20 Utah State Boise, ID W 58-57 25-9 (13-7) CBS Utah State #11 Seed
Mar 22 Missouri Boise, ID L 83-79 25-10 (13-7) CBS Missouri #3 Seed
  • Most BIG EAST Network local and syndicated games were available on ESPN Full Court, MASN, SNY, and/or MSG.
  • Marquette was in discussions with UW-Green Bay in 2007 for a multi-season agreement which did not occur.

Roster

No. Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Year Hometown (High School)
1 Dominic James 5-11/175 G SR Richmond, Ind. (Richmond)
22 Jerel McNeal 6-3/195 G SR Chicago, IL (Hillcrest)
23 Wesley Matthews 6-5/215 G SR Madison, WI (Memorial)
12 Dwight Burke 6-8/245 F SR Brooklyn, NY (St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.))
2 Maurice Acker 5-8/165 G JR Hazelcrest, IL (Hillcrest)
10 David Cubillan 6-0/170 G JR Mara Caibo, Venezuela (St. Benedict's (N.J.))
32 Lazar Hayward 6-6/215 F JR Buffalo, NY (Notre Dame Prep (Mass.))
33 Jimmy Butler 6-6/215 G SO Tomball, TX (Tomball HS)
21 Joseph Fulce 6-7/210 SF SO Plano, TX (Plano HS)
4 Patrick Hazel 6-7/215 F SO Blair, NJ. (Blair Academy)
45 Robert Frozena 6-1/165 G SO Sherwood, WI (St. Mary's H.S.)
42 Chris Otule 6-10/240 C FR Sugar Land, TX (George Bush HS)
55 Liam McMorrow 7-0/260 C FR-Redshirt Xfer Canada (Durham College)
0 Scott Christopherson 6-2/180 G SO Melrose, WI (La Crosse Aquinas )
Nick Williams 6-4/200 G FR Mobile, AL (Le Flore)
Tyshawn Taylor 6-2/170 G FR Jersey City, NJ (St. Anthony HS)
33 Trevor Mbakwe 6-7/220 F SO Mendota Heights, MN. (St. Bernard's)

Notes

  • After Tom Crean abandoned Marquette in April 2008, Nick Williams and Tyshawn Taylor asked for and received releases from their National Letter of Intent to attend Marquette. Scott Christopherson also asked to be released from Marquette after his first year of play. Taylor ended up being a huge star at Kansas. Tom Crean stole Nick Williams for Indiana, but Williams left the Hoosiers after one year. Christopherson transfered to Iowa State.
  • The day before the 2008 school year began, Trevor Mbakwe decided to quit the team and leave Marquette “to go the junior college route”.
  • Jimmy Butler was Buzz Williams' first recruit as head coach of Marquette.

Coaching Staff

Jersey Record

Jersey Overall Record Big East Record Jersey Overall Record Big East Record
0-2 0-1 12-0 4-0
6-6 5-3 7-2 3-2

Rankings

Week AP ESPN/USA Today
Preseason 16 (592 votes) 17 (219 votes)
1 15 (653 votes) 17 (236 votes)
2 15 (735 votes) 15 (284 votes)
3 25 (221 votes) ORV (86 votes)
4 24 (222 votes) 24 (102 votes)
5 24 (240 votes) 23 (130 votes)
6 ORV (69 votes) 25 (58 votes)
7 ORV (79 votes) 25 (55 votes)
8 18 (436 votes) 15 (251 votes)
9 14 (752 votes) 14 (353 votes)
10 11 (1003 votes) 10 (469 votes)
11 8 (1,209 votes) 8 (538 votes)
12 8 (1,358 votes) 8 (586 votes)

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