Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin
By ANDREW GRUMAN  |  Last updated 11/22/13
MILWAUKEE -- Just four games in, Marquette hasalready reached what may be a turning point in its season. There's certainly noreason to panic just yet, but it's concerning when Buzz Williams rants abouthow there's a disconnect within the program in November.How will the Golden Eagles respond to what essentially was acalling out of everyone involved with the program? Onlytime will tell, but Marquettewill have to figure things out quickly with its next five games played awayfrom the BMO Harris Bradley Center.Marquette begins its West Coast swing with a game at ArizonaState on Monday. The Sun Devils, who will likely be 5-0 and ranked in the Top25 by next week, will provide the Golden Eagles with a stiff test.After two down seasons, ASU returned to the postseason lastyear and won an NIT game before falling to Baylor. Behind star sophomore pointguard Jahii Carson, the Sun Devils have their eyes set on making the NCAAtournament for the first time since James Harden donned the maroon andgold."I think they are an NCAA tournament team,"Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "I think Jahii Carson is anearly-entry draft pick as a sophomore. Coach (Herb) Sendek is one of the moreintelligent people that has ever been employed as a coach."Going into what could have been a pivotal year, he waswilling to completely change how they play on both ends of the floor. They aredramatically different than they have been."The Sun Devils have other talented pieces, but they willonly go as far as Carson takes him. A lighting quick guard who has already saidthis year will be his last in college, Carson is averaging 24.0 points and 5.5assists per game.Carson turned down scholarship offers from bigger programsin order to be the difference in turning ASU's program around. After sittingout his first year on campus as an academic non-qualifier, Carson has done justthat.His 18.5 points per game average last season was second-mostin school history and seventh-most in Pac-12 history. The first-team All-Pac-12selection and co-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year will challenge Marquette'sstruggling backcourt."Jahii Carson is arguably one of the top three pointguards in the country," Williams said. "Really good things happen offhis hand."Though ASU lost Carrick Felix to the draft and Evan Gordonto Indiana, Carson has received quite a bit of help from Penn State graduatetransfer Jermaine Marshall. The former honorable-mention All-Big Ten selectionhas fit in seamlessly, averaging 18.5 points per game.The Sun Devils' two high-scoring guards are going to putpressure on Derrick Wilson, Jake Thomas, Todd Mayo or whoever Williams decidesto give minutes to at both guard spots.The duo combined for 60 of ASU's 86 points in an impressiveroad win over UNLV on Tuesday, as Carson went for a career-high 40 pointsagainst the Rebels."They play small, with four perimeter guys,"Williams said. "Some of them look like they can guard a bigger guy, butthey are four guards with a really skilled five man. They play really fast andthey will put us under stress real fast, real quick."Sendek has played zone defense religiously for the majorityof his career but recently shifted to man-to-man. Despite the change, Williamsexpects ASU and most teams to play zone against the Golden Eagles until theyprove they can shoot.Marquette is currently 260th in the country in points pergame at 67.5, and that includes a win over Grambling in which it scored 114points. The Golden Eagles have got just 14.4 percent of their points on3-pointers, 328th in the nation.Both of those numbers are directly caused by Marquette'sextremely poor shooting percentage numbers. The Golden Eagles are 305th in thenation in field-goal percentage at 38.1 percent, 326th in effective field-goalpercentage at 41.0 percent and 346th out of 351 Division I teams in 3-pointpercentage at 18.3 percent."If your opponent doesn't make any shots it makes moreand more sense to keep playing zone," Williams said. "In the samematter, whether we (see) man or zone, I think it's important we get the ballreversed. I think it's important we get the zone to shift."The way you can get the zone to shift is to get apaint touch. You want to play in the high post and the short corner as much youcan. You want your shots, if they are not coming off penetration, that somewaythe ball went from one side to the other quickly to allow you to take an uncontestedshots."The Golden Eagles could see the Sun Devils twice in the sameweek, as both teams will travel from Arizona to California for the WoodenLegacy tournament that begins Thursday.Marquette opens up the tournament with a Thanksgiving daygame against Cal State Fullerton. On opposite ends of the bracket, Marquettewould only face ASU or Big East foe Creighton in its final game in Californiaon Dec. 1. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter
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