Marquette has a tendency to be a little too perimeter-oriented at times, and it has hurt them when its time to grind out wins in the Big East. However, against Notre Dame, they took advantage of their superior size and started the game pounding the ball inside .
With Notre Dame star forward Jack Cooley limited because of an illness that had him in the school infirmary earlier this week in order to get an IV, the Golden Eagles looked to starting center Chris Otule to take advantage of the hole in the middle.
The 6-11 275 pound fifth year senior did not disappoint. Otule, who plays with the use of only one eye, dominated the paint by shooting 8-8 from the field, and grabbing four rebounds with two blocks. Despite averaging 4.8 points per game for the season and usually being only used as a screener on offense, coach Buzz Williams made Otule the focal point of the attack against the depleted Irish.
The Golden Eagles of Marquette are going to make the tournament, but the question is how long will they last?
They have a numbers crunching coach in Williams, an outstanding shot maker and creator on the perimeter in Vander Blue, but it is post play that helps teams get through the grind of tournaments. Otule is not the type of player to carry a team through March but if he can continue to be a threat, it only helps create space for the outstanding outside scorers of this team.
Marquette is becoming an even more intimidating team going into the final stretch of the season.