Florida coach Billy Donovan admitted following his team’s 84-50 win over Norfolk State that he hadn’t watched Marquette much during the regular season.
Donovan said he’ll take a crash course this week in studying Marquette, UF’s Sweet 16 opponent on Thursday in Phoenix (10:17 p.m. TBS).
Donovan could call Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, a close friend, for a scouting report. Or LSU coach Trent Johnson. Both Southeastern Conference coaches faced and beat Marquette during the non-conference schedule. LSU won 67-59 in Baton Rouge, while Vandy won 74-57 at Marquette.
Marquette (27-7) has won 15 of its last 18 games, playing at a high level since the Big East Conference season began. Like Florida, Marquette, relies heavily on ball movement, averaging 16.3 assists per game. Marquette has two primary scorers– senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom (18.5 ppg) and senior 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward Jae Crowder (17.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg). Crowder was named Big East Player of the Year.
Marquette shoots 45.7 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from 3-point range. Despite Crowder’s bulk down low, Marquette is not a great rebounding team. The Eagles have a negative (-0.1) rebounding margin this season.
Donovan said he knows Marquette coach Buzz Williams “pretty well.” Williams attended and spoke at Donovan’s coaching clinic at UF last August.