<p>Spoke to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter <strong>Todd Rosiak</strong> today. He's covered the Marquette Golden Eagles for the past eight years and he knows more about the team than just about anyone. Follow <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/goldeneagles.html">his blog </a>for the latest info on MU.</p>
<p>In a wide-ranging interview, he breaks down a remarkable year for Marquette, which silenced the skeptics, overcame a slow start and made an incredible run to the NCAA tournament. </p>
<p>No. 6 Marquette plays No. 11 Washington 4:20 p.m. Thursday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.</p>
<p><strong>How does Marquette compensate for its lack height?</strong></p>
<p>"They got two guys on the inside <strong>(Lazar) Hayward </strong>and <strong>(Jimmy) Butler </strong>who really play taller than they are listed. Hayward is legitimately is only about 6-4Â½ and Butler is about 6-7 I don't know why they list him an inch shorter. Neither are real heavy, but they're strong and they play really good defense on the inside. I made a joke at the Big East that those two guys should have been nominated for Big East Defensive Player of the Year just because every night they're going in there and they're banging against guys that are four inches taller and sometimes 50 pounds heavier and they're holding their own. I think you have to give a lot of credit to those guys.</p>
<p>"The other thing that they do real well, they put a lot of pressure on the perimeter and try to make it hard for the opponents' guards to get the ball in low. I think the perfect example of that is the game plan they had against Louisville where <strong>Samardo Samuels</strong> who is one of the better post guys in the Big East and the amount of pressure they used on the guards made it almost impossible for them to get the ball in to him. And once they did, they brought an opposite guy from the post Hayward or Butler over to double and Samuels couldn't do anything.</p>
<p>"They've had their problems. Syracuse gave them some issues with their two big guys, but overall I would say Marquette has done a really good job of mitigating their size deficiency this year."</p>
<p><strong>(The Golden Eagles shoot the three-pointer very well. Have you seen them have an off night from the outside?)</strong></p>
<p>"Oh yeah. They've had a few. They've been few and far between. They have happened and when they don't shoot it well, they don't play well. Even though they won't admit it, that's really what their offense is predicated on. They've got legitimately five guys who can step out there and knock it down pretty consistently. Hayward is probably the key guy. When he's inside, he's able to drag his guy out with him and he's a pretty good shooter from out there. <strong>Darius Johnson-Odom </strong>is their best three-point shooter in terms of range and ability to knock down tough shots from long range. They've got five guys that the defense has to honor that opens things up for everybody.</p>
<p><strong>(What has impressed you about them?)</strong></p>
<p>"Mental toughness. This is my eighth year doing this and I've never seen a team this tough mentally and that includes the Final Four team with <strong>(Dwayne) Wade</strong>. Just unbelievable for a team to be 11-8 and 2-5 (in conference) - you kind of saw it with your guys - but 2-5 in the Big East and pretty much left for dead. A six-man rotation. Undersized. Every reason in the world to give up and these just battled, battled and battled. </p>
<p>"If you want evidence of that mental toughness you just got to look at the end of the season when they won three straight overtime road games in a seven-day span. It's just remarkable.</p>
<p>"It starts from the top. <strong>(Coach) Buzz Williams</strong> is really a tough-minded guy. He's hard on his guys, but they respond. It just trickles down to the players. They refuse to quit in any situation. I would say that's probably their best asset.</p>
<p><strong>(Why has Marquette played so many close games?) </strong></p>
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Spoke to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Todd Rosiak today. He's covered the Marquette Golden Eagles for the past eight years and he knows more about the team than just about anyone. Follow his blog for the latest info on MU.
In a wide-ranging interview, he breaks down a remarkable year for Marquette, which silenced the skeptics, overcame a slow start and made an incredible run to the NCAA tournament.
No. 6 Marquette plays No. 11 Washington 4:20 p.m. Thursday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
How does Marquette compensate for its lack height?
"They got two guys on the inside (Lazar) Hayward and (Jimmy) Butler who really play taller than they are listed. Hayward is legitimately is only about 6-4Â and Butler is about 6-7 I don't know why they list him an inch shorter. Neither are real...