Last season: An uncharacteristic mediocre season finished 17-15 (9-9 BIG EAST) with no postseason bid, and then Buzz Williams poured salt in the wound by resigning to take the Virginia Tech job. It was an odd move at the time, and one that might cost Williams down the road.
Last Season/All-Time Series: The two teams played a thriller in Milwaukee, full of controversy at the end of regulation before Villanova pulled out a 94-85 win in overtime. The return trip to Philadelphia was all 'Nova, with Jay Wright's squad churning out a 73-56 win. Villanova now leads the all-time series 14-9 heading in to the new season.
Head Coach: The departed Buzz Williams was replaced by Steve Wojciechowski. Wojo was a part of Coach K's staff since the 1999-2000 season, and was promoted to associate head coach in 2008. It was a home run hire for Marquette, and Wojo has already hit the ground running, landing Top-10 forward Henry Ellenson. Marquette currently sits with the #4 class in the country, and Wojo is armed with an administration that wants to pour money in to the program.
Top Returners: Deonte Burton is getting a lot of preseason love, and rightfully so. He's the type of explosive potential star the conference is craving. He played just 12.6 mpg last season, but was generally impressive. Derrick Wilson played over 30 mpg last season but was more of a floor general - he should help to ease in the new players. JaJuan Johnson, like Burton, didn't play much a year ago but should see his role expanded. A stress fracture forced former blue-chipper Duane Wilson to redshirt, but he'll be back in action this season.
Key Losses: There was a lot of turnover in the program, and Marquette will be without some key faces. Davante Gardner averaged 14.9 ppg and 5.7 rpg on his way to the 6th Man of the Year award. Jamil Wilson averaged a fine 11.7/5.9/2.6 line and Todd Mayo's 11.3 ppg are gone too. Sharpshooter Jake Thomas (39% 3FG) has graduated. So has frontline stalwart Chris Otule.
Key Additions: Top-100 shooting guard Sandy Cohen is the lone recruit for Marquette, but he's a good one. BYU-transfer Matt Carlino is another shooting guard who should have an instant impact. He averaged 13.7 ppg, 4.3 apg and 1.7 spg last season.