New Year’s Resolutions: Marquette Golden Eagles

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Over the course of the holiday week, we at College Basketball Talk will be detailing what we believe will be the New Year’s Resolutions of some of the nation’s most talented, most disappointing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood.

Who else made Resolutions? Click here to find out.

WHAT DOES MARQUETTE PROMISE TO DO MORE OF?: Get more consistent production from their backcourt.

  • Why it will happen: Junior point guard Derrick Wilson is a fine defender and distributor and senior Jake Thomas is the team’s best shooter, but neither of them have the capability to be well-rounded offensive threats like junior Todd Mayo and freshman point guard Duane Wilson (no relation to Derrick) — who is practicing with the team after returning from a leg injury. The debut of Duane Wilson and more consistent playing time for Mayo should help the Golden Eagles’ offense immensely.
  • Why it won’t happen: Asking Duane Wilson to run an offense after returning from injury, and nearing Big East play, is an awful lot to ask of a freshman point guard and Mayo — who, during the course of his Marquette career, has been sent home to West Virginia, ruled academically ineligible for first semester last season, and suspended for the Wisconsin game this season — has too many strikes on his resume to be counted on to consistently stay on the floor and produce.

WHAT DOES MARQUETTE SWEAR THEY WILL DO LESS OF?: Go for prolonged scoring droughts.

  • Why it will happen: Besides the return of Duane Wilson, sophomore forward Steve Taylor is finally getting healthy following complications from off-season knee surgery and the Golden Eagles should have better luck finding lineups that gel together on the offensive end. Jamil Wilson, Davante Gardner and Todd Mayo are all capable scorers, but for whatever reason, head coach Buzz Williams has found difficulty getting multiple scorers rolling at the same time during some games this season. As the season wears on, Williams will figure out his most potent offensive lineup when he needs points and he’ll have more pieces to work with — like a healthy Wilson and Taylor — going forward.
  • Why it won’t happen: The Golden Eagles have been held under 60 points three times this season — including 35 points in an ugly home loss to Ohio State — and the team lacks the perimeter shooters to space the floor for their interior scorers and perimeter drivers to flourish. Marquette shot 29 percent from beyond the three-point line last season and this season that number has stayed nearly the same (30 percent) as senior Jake Thomas is their only player above 34 percent from distance. Despite the poor perimeter shooting, the Golden Eagles still made the Elite Eight last season, but they lost three of their top five scorers from last season in Vander Blue, Junior Cadougen and Trent Lockett and didn’t replace them with much scoring punch.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.