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Record: (6-11)
Postseason: None
Coach: Bill Chandler
Captains: Bernol Ketchum, Matthew Reich
Leading Scorer: Raymond Kuffel (8.4 ppg)

Schedule and Results

Date Opponent Results
D 6 at UW-Madison L 34-35
D 9 at Illinois L 43-45
D 13 Chicago W 49-24
D 20 UW-Madison L 25-36
D 31 Michigan W 49-42
J 10 Butler W 39-29
J 14 at Syracuse L 29-41
J 16 at Michigan State L 40-51
J 17 at Detroit L 32-34
J 31 at Notre Dame L 42-66
F 5 at Bradley L 50-52 OT
F 7 Georgetown (N) L 34-35
F 14 at Butler W 40-30
F 21 Michigan State L 45-47
F 28 Detroit W 42-38
M 7 Notre Dame W 46-43
M 10 at Great Lakes L 48-52

Season Review

Ten points might have turned the hard luck story of the basketball season into a happy tale of success. Coach Bill Chandler's crew of neophytes dropped 11 of 17 games, but the record of games won and lost belies the actual strength of the team.

Playing perhaps the stiffest schedule in Marquette basketball history, the cagers made each opponent fight to the very last second to achieve victory. Strong point of the squad was its habit of staging roaring second half counter-assaults, either tying up the game in the last minutes or forcing their opponents to lose by larger margins than two or three points. At home or away, the team usually had the fans in uproar with its sensational second half comebacks.

For the scond consecutive year Coach Chandler opened the season without reliable holdovers from the preceding campaign and with considerable laco of scoring power. Keeping upperclassmen in reserve, he experimented principally with sophomore talent to develop a winning combination.

An all-sophomore lineup of Jack Dentinger at center, Bob Pierce and John Millunzi at forwards, and Burt Bril and Al Skat at guards answered the call in the season's first emngagements. Immediately following the close of the football season Ray Kuffel, star end, took over in basketball where he left off in football, displacing Pierce in the lineup. This combine showed itself to be long on scrap and enthusiasm but short on poise and team play, revealing only sporadic flashes of its potential ability by copping but three of the nine first semester games.

Dentinger pacing the scoring in this period, with Kuffel not far behind. Skat, Bril and Millunzi proved themselves capable of playing as regulars, with Pierce, veteran Tom McCarthy, diminutive Dick Collentine and Bill Chandler Jr., supplying reserve strength.

After a surprise 36-31 win over the alumni, Marquette couldn't overcome its jitters in the Wisconsin fieldhouse and lost to the Badgers on John Kotz' last minute basket, 35-34. After this close one the team gave Illinois' Big 10 champs the scare of their lives, the rangy Illini outlasting the Hilltoppers in another close game, 45-43. Next, the Chandlermen momentarily hit the win column, drubbing Chicago, 49-24.

Far from the polished machine of the previous week, Marquette again lost to Wisconsin, 36-25, on the Auditorium floor. It was the first defeat on the downtown court since 1936. On the same floor, the team resumed its winning ways with a 49-42 triumph over Michigan in the first half of the New Year's Eve doubleheader. In another Auditorium twin bill the next week, Marquette beat Butler, 39-29.

The Hilltoppers then took to the road and a list of setbacks, the first to Syracuse, 41-29, and then in close succession to Detroit 34-32, and to Michigan State, 51-40.

Ineligibilty took Dentinger and McCarthy at the semester, forcing Coach Chandler to rebuild his team mid-season. Moving Kuffel to center and Skat to forward, and inserting two juniors, Mike Swieciak and Jerry Schudrowitz at forward and guard, the coach found a combination that improved consistently until it reached its peak in beating Notre Dame and Detroit in the last two home games.

Interchanging Swieciak with Skat and Mullunzi and utilizing the height of Matt Reichel, a senior, Chandler was able to floor a fast and aggressive combination that had front line scoring punch and improved defensive play as the squad raced down the home stretch. Although shooting was still inconsistent at times, this group acquired poise and smoother team play that reached its peak in the unexpected upset of the Irish.

The Hilltoppers lost to Notre Dame at South Bend, 66-42, for the worst defeat of the year. Coach Chandler's revamped lineup had not “jelled” and the team was far off form. The next week however, the new combine showed the season's best form in losing to a highly favored Bradley Tech powerhouse by two points in a nip and tuck overtime tussle, 52-50. In the second story-book finish in four days the Georgetown Hoyas beat Marquette, 35-34, in one half of a doubleheader at the Chicago Colisium.

Michigan State's ball-handling wizards snatched a two-pointer from Marquette in the cager's first home appearance in six weeks, 47-45, in a game which had the fans delirious as the fighting Hilltoppers overcame a large Spartan lead in the last minutes only to have Chet Aubuchon's superlative generalship win it back in the last 30 seconds. Fighting right back, however the cagers duplicated their second-half rally the next week, this time edging Detroit 42-38.

The last home appearance had Marquette conceded little chance to beat Notre Dame, the the fighitng team fought its hardest to upset the Irish 46-43, in one of the wildest battles ever played on the Auditorium floor. Twice Notre Dame tied up the game in the waning minutes as the crowd screamed, but each time Marquette had the little extra something to forge ahead.

The season was concluded at Great Lakes, the former all-American standouts now wearing Uncle Sam's colors edging Marquette 52-48. The team bowed out as it played all year, fighting against the very best opposition Coach Chandler could schedule. Other Marquette teams were better, but few fought harder than the 1941-42 squad.

men_s_basketball/1941.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/07 16:49 (external edit)