Tag: Marquette

Buzz Williams

2014 forward Marial Shayok verbally commits to Marquette

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Just hours after junior college transfer Jameel McKay announced his decision to transfer, Marquette received a verbal commitment from 2014 forward Marial Shayok. Shayok, a 6-foot-6 native of Ottawa, Ontario, attends Blair Academy in New Jersey where he announced his decision. According to many recruiting analysts Marquette and Providence were believed to be Shayok’s top two choices, with the Golden Eagles winning out in the end.

Shayok’s decision comes less than a week after he took his official visit to Marquette, and he becomes the fourth verbal commitment in the 2014 class for head coach Buzz Williams. Shayok joins forward Malek Harris and guards Ahmed Hill and Sandy Cohen as players verbally committed to the Big East school. Shayok, who possesses a good skill set that includes a solid perimeter stroke, is listed as being 6-foot-6 but according to multiple outlets he’s still growing.

Shayok helped lead Blair to the finals of the New Jersey Prep A tournament, scoring 21 points in the team’s 64-45 semifinal win over Lawrenceville Academy.  Blair fell in the title game to St. Benedict’s Prep, which at the time featured Tyler Ennis (now a freshman at Syracuse) and Isaiah Briscoe (one of the top players in the 2015 class who now attends Roselle (N.J.) Catholic).

Shayok’s commitment gives Marquette additional depth at the small forward position with Jamil Wilson graduating after the 2013-14 season. But even with this news the Golden Eagles are still in a position where they need to add some more size, with McKay’s decision to transfer and both Davante Gardner and Chris Otule out of eligibility after this season.

Marquette Sweet 16-bound after holding off Butler in tournament’s best game

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Around this time last season, Marquette was on its way to the Sweet 16 with Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder and his right-hand man, Darius Johnson-Odom. Three different Marquette assistants sat on the sidelines and guard Vander Blue was a solid producer on a solid Big East team.

One year later, Crowder and Johnson-Odom are gone. Those three Marquette assistants have moved on. And perhaps most importantly Vander Blue is at the center of a Golden Eagle run that once again finds them in the Sweet 16 after a 74-72 win over No. 6-seed Butler at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday night.

After two Davante Gardner free throws with four seconds left to play gave Marquette a four-point lead, 74-70, Butler launched an inbounds pass the length of the court where center Andrew Smith grabbed it and laid it in for two. That pulled the game within one possession, 74-72. A botched inbounds play by Marquette and perhaps a missed foul call allowed the ball to go out of bounds with two seconds remaining, giving Butler one final opportunity to tie.

The subsequent pass was thrown to Smith at the top of the key, but he stumbled and missed a three-pointer that would have given Butler the win.

Blue had 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including a big three-pointer from the right corner with 1:29 to play that tied the game at 69. His major performance followed a game-saving layup in the Round of 64 that allowed Marquette to survive and advance past Davidson.

With all the change that has come to this program over the past year, there has remained one constant: head coach Buzz Williams. Williams did not win Big East Coach of the Year, but he very well could have. Considering the assets that he lost, the development of the players he had returning, and the production that he has been able to help them unlock, this Marquette run to the Sweet 16 is remarkable.

Marquette now moves on to play the winner of Miami-Illinois for a chance to punch its ticket to the Elite Eight.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Marquette gets share of Big East title on Vander Blue overtime buzzer beater (VIDEO)

Vander Blue
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St. John’s stormed back from 10 points down with 2:46 to play in the second half Saturday to force overtime, but No. 17 Marquette was too much in overtime for the young Red Storm.

With just over seven seconds remaining in overtime and coming out of a timeout with possession of the ball, Marquette guard Vander Blue drove down the right side of the paint and was met by St. John’s shot blocker Chris Obekpa. Blue used his build to shield the defender away and threw up a layup that rattled around the rim and went home as time expired for a 69-67 win.

The victory ties Marquette with Georgetown at the top of the Big East standings, with Louisville in control against Notre Dame in the second half Saturday. A Louisville win would create a three-way tie at the top of the conference.

Watch Blue’s buzzer beater below:

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_