Heading into the month of February, you can talk all you want about who’s in the driver’s seat for Big East Coach of the Year.
There’s still plenty of basketball to still be played, but at the moment that title has to go to Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. In a year of uncertain expectations following the graduation of both Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, the Golden Eagles are once again soaring near the top of the Big East.
This is credit to Williams and the production of his 2012-13 roster despite their mediocre preseason hype. On Monday night, Marquette advanced to 15-4 overall and 6-1 within the conference with a 63-50 victory over South Florida. Their most recent victory also comes on the heels of their first appearance in the AP Top 25.
The 25th-ranked Golden Eagles are facing a pivotal test this upcoming Sunday at Louisville, but for the time being, they are looking like a legitimate threat amongst the league’s best. In addition to Williams’ coaching, some of that credit can also go to the production of the team’s leading scorer, Vander Blue.
On Monday, Blue went off, finishing the game with a career-high 30 points. Following its conclusion, he had this to say, “I know what I can do. I’ve been playing basketball for a long time. I’ve played against the best competition pretty much my whole life. I just knew my time was coming.”
Blue was 13-of-20 from the field and continues to make considerable strides on the offensive end of the court. If the Golden Eagles are going to continue to be competitive within the conference, Blue needs to be a main reason why.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS