Shaka Smart and the Marquette Golden Eagles will look to notch their 10th win of the season on Tuesday when they host the Seton Hall Pirates. Marquette is coming off of a week-long break from the hardwood after dropping their last game when they fell to the Providence Friars on the road in double overtime. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 PM EST tip-off from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI. Marquette enters the game as a (-7.5) home favorite with the total set at 140.5 points.
Seton Hall enters the game with an overall record of just 7-6 on the season after losing two consecutive games to open Big East league play. The Pirates have opened league plays with losses to Xavier (on the road) and Providence at home. The former was their most recent game played, where they fell by a tally of 73-70 at the Cintas Center. Shaheen Holloway’s club shot just 4-17 from behind the arc and 14-23 from the charity stripe while committing 23 team fouls in the loss.
Marquette fell on the road in their most recent outing despite putting 98 points on the board against the Friars. Providence was able to score 1.20 points per possession on offense, mostly due to making 16 more free throws than Marquette attempted. For the game, the Golden Eagles were outshot from the line by 30 attempts, 49-19. Smart’s birds committed 30 personal fouls in the game, which ultimately led to their demise.
As surprising as it may seem, these two historic clubs have only met a total of 34 times dating back to the 1955-56 season. Marquette boasts a 21-13 edge all-time in the series and swept last season’s matchup with a 10-point victory on the road while edging the Pirates by one at home. Nearly all of the major contributors from last season’s head-to-head meetings are no longer with their respective teams through Kam Jones did average 8.5 points in the two meetings.
Seton Hall Pirates Overview
The Pirates are going through a bit of a transition period this season as Coach Kevin Willard has moved on and legendary Pirate Shaheen Holloway has moved in. Coach Holloways is utilizing some upperclassman transfers to ease the transition as he makes the program his own. One of those transfers, Al-Amir Dawes, formerly of Clemson, leads this team in scoring at 10.9 points per game. The 6’2 senior guard is also logging 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and is shooting 41.4% from deep and 81% from the stripe.
Dre Davis, a Louisville transfer, is another key addition to the program, averaging 9.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. A 6’5 wing, Davis has been a key player off of the bench this season but has fallen flat in his last couple of games; coincidentally, both were losses. When Davis scores in double figures, this Seton Hall team is 4-2 on the season, but health and inconsistency are clearly his largest hurdles.
The Pirates are 2-1 against the spread on the road this season, but their margin of victory number is -9.0 points per game. Overall, they are second in the league ATS at 7-5 on the season with a -0.3 points per game number against the spread. They have been nearly perfectly mediocre against the total this season at 5-6-1 and 2-2-1 over their last five games.
Marquette Golden Eagles Overview
While this Marquette team may not boast the stars of last season, with players like Justin Lewis and Darryl Morsell having moved on, this group may be better. This Golden Eagles team does have a budding star in wing Kam Jones. A 6’4 sophomore, Jones is leading this Marquette team scoring 16.4 points per game a year after averaging 7.4 points as a freshman. Jones is shooting 77% from the free throw line and 34% from behind the arc.
Junior hybrid guard Olivier Maxence-Prosper, a 6 ‘8 wing, is also emerging as a star for Coach Smart, averaging 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds on the season. Both averages rank second on the team, while his 67.1% shooting from two-point range also ranks second on the team.
The Golden Eagles currently rank fourth in the Big East against the spread at 7-5-1 on the season. They are second in the conference in margin against the spread at +3.1 points per game and own a margin of victory number of 12.1 points. The total has gone over in five of their last seven games.
Seton Hall at Marquette Prediction
While the Marquette offense and Seton Hall defense matches up quite evenly, the Pirates fall short on the offensive end of the court. Seton Hall ranks just 153rd in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, while the Marquette defense ranks 62nd in the country. Look for the Golden Eagles to take advantage of playing on their home court where they have a 16.1 point average margin of victory on the season, and cover this spread.