Nov. 20, 2015
Marquette Game Notes
TV Info: ESPN2 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men's basketball team (1-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) opens the championship rounds of the Legends Classic Monday night at 6 p.m. CT against LSU (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. ESPN2 will feature the national television broadcast, with Mark Jones (play-by-play) and Kara Lawson (analyst) calling the action. The Golden Eagles will conclude tourney play Tuesday night against Arizona State or NC State, depending on Monday night's result.
Golden Eagles Facing Tigers For Fourth Time
Monday night's matchup with LSU will mark the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs in men's basketball. The series dates back to 1970, with the most recent game occurring in 2012.
MU claimed the most recent matchup, downing LSU?84-80 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Dec. 22, 2012 to complete a home-and-home series. LSU downed MU 67-59 in 2011-12 in Baton Rouge, La., to hand Marquette one of its eight losses en route to a Sweet 16 appearance.
In the only other meeting between the squads, MU downed the Tigers 101-79 on March 19, 1970 in a semifinal matchup of the National Invitation Tournament. Joe Thomas led five Marquette players in double figures with 28 points and LSU's Pete Maravich had 20 points for the Tigers.
Marquette defeated St. John's two days later 65-53 to claim the NIT title thanks for 22 points from Jeff Sewell and Dean Meminger chipped in 16 points.
Monday's Matchup Features Nation's Top Freshmen
Monday night's first semifinal matchup at the Legends Classic features a matchup of two of the nation's top-rated freshmen in Marquette's Henry Ellenson and LSU's Ben Simmons.
Simmons was the consensus No. 1 player in the 2015 class after prepping at Montverde Academy in Florida and was the Gatorade National Male Basketball Player of the Year. Ellenson was rated as high as fifth in the country in the ESPN Top 100 and was co-winner of Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball Award (Diamond Stone, Maryland).
Ellenson and Simmons have never faced each other or been teammates on the court. Both were McDonald's All-America selections this past summer, but Ellenson was unable to participate after suffering a hand injury in the state high school tournament.
Through three games, Ellenson is contributing 14.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and Simmons is chipping in 18.7 points and 12.7 boards per contest.
Marquette Hoping To Continue Tourney Success
Marquette is hoping to continue a trend of recent success in regular-season tournaments when the team competes in the 2015 Legends Classic.
MU has claimed four titles since 2004-05 and advanced to the final game in four other events. Two of the wins have come in overtime and at one point the Golden Eagles had claimed 12-straight victories in the annual tournaments.
The Golden Eagles are 29-9 overall since 2004-05 in multi-team events, including four championships at the BCA Classic (2005), Great Alaska Shootout (2006), CBE Classic (2007) and U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam (2011).
MU appeared in the championship contest of the EA?SPORTS Maui Invitational (2007), Chicago Invitational (2009), Old Spice Classic (2010) and DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (2013).
Cheatham Improving Offensive Production
Freshman guard Haanif Cheatham netted a personal-best 12 points Thursday night against Iowa to lead the team in scoring.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native has increased his point total in each of his three starting assignments and finished 4-of-5 from the floor against the Hawkeyes in 24 minutes of action, including a 2-of-2 effort from behind the 3-point line.
Cheatham has found a majority of his offensive success while driving to the basket and as a result is second on the team to Luke Fischer (.765) in field goal percentage (.529). He has knocked down 9-of-17 from the field and is also shooting 87.5 percent (7-of-8) from the charity stripe.
Through three games, Cheatham is chipping in 9.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing in an average of 26.7 minutes per night.