There are no superstar recruits who are committing to Marquette. Head coach Buzz Williams simply doesn’t need them.
Entering the 2012-13 season, the Golden Eagles were fresh off back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16, but the losses of both Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder were expected to set Marquette back.
In fact, media members voted the Golden Eagles to finish seventh in the Big East Conference this season when the preseason prediction poll was released back in mid-October. Williams and Marquette surely didn’t pay much attention those expectations.
Fast forward to now and Marquette’s resume for the 2012-13 season is quite impressive. Vander Blue has emerged as a budding and clutch performer and their lineup is just so representing of what Williams and his players are trying to do. That of course being a tough, gritty squad that does not care about their expectations. They simply always seem ready to go above and beyond what is expected of them.
So, not only did Marquette qualify yet again for the NCAA Tournament this season, they did so as a No. 3 seed after winning a share of the Big East Conference regular season title. The Golden Eagles have since won back-to-back games within the tournament and have once again found themselves in the Sweet 16. That’s just remarkable.
The bottom line is this — Williams deserve more national credit.
Marquette is in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year and as the Golden Eagles prepare for Miami (FL) later this week, the program will be searching for its first trip to the Elite 8 since 2003.
It’s impressive. Teams and programs across the college basketball landscape are quickly learning not to underestimate Marquette and the job that Williams is doing.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS