No, he’s not transferring, but the 6’10″ center is returning to Milwaukee in a UMBC jersey for the first time since the summer of 2009, where he was enrolled in the school in an attempt to land a spot on the Golden Eagles’ squad. Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go as well as planned, but his return is sparking attention in the Wisconsin media, and he’s excited to play in the Bradley Center.
This is the first of two teams the Retrievers play against a major conference school this year, and few get tougher than a 4-1 team receiving votes in both the coaches’ and AP poll. Recently finishing fifth in the Maui Invitational, Marquette is led by Jamar Wertz’s high school teammate Davante Gardner, who leads the Golden Eagles with 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Their second-leading scorer, Vander Blue, is resting a sprained knee and will be out, which takes 11.4 ppg off the court. Their junior forward, Jamil Wilson recently scored his career-best 19 points in Maui against USC, so without Blue, Wilson will be the second player UMBC’s defense needs to contend with. Senior one-year transfer Trent Locket, who played for three seasons with Arizona State, his hoping to use this game to score points with his new teammates.
With Roseboro struggling in his last two games, he needs an offensive performance that will shoot his confidence up, and against a team he had summer workouts with three years ago might do it. The three main shooters for the Retrievers, Chase Plummer, Ryan Cook and Brian Neller, can’t be the only contributors, as, even though Plummer feels like he needs to carry this team, Roseboro needs to be that underneath presence he was brought in from St. Bonaventure for. This is exacerbated by the fact that Marquette has only allowed 62.8 points per game by an opponent. Although playing defense against an almost-ranked team is difficult, this is a Marquette team that has something to prove after being predicted to finish in the middle of the pack in a 500+ -team Big East. But then again, UMBC needs the defensive practice going forward if they want to move beyond the bottom of the cellar.
Marquette 111.8, UMBC 338.2
RealTime RPI Prediction
Marquette 88, UMBC 52
Team Rankings Prediction
Marquette 79, UMBC 61
Marquette received 13 points in AP poll, and 11 points in the Coaches’ poll