The Marquette Golden Eagles are soaring with a six-game win streak during the beef of conference play. At this point, there is no secret that the special ingredient to all of this success is their senior guard Tyler Kolek.
Kolek is building off of a first team All-Big East nomination during the 2022-23 season and has been even better in his third season in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His scoring numbers are up to 15.1 points per game on 48.6% shooting with field goals and a three-point percentage that sits right around 38% a game.
Kolek has also really stepped up rebounding the basketball with almost 5 boards a game and that is second on the team behind his teammate and 6-foot-11-inch forward Oso Ighodaro. This season has been kind to the reigning Big East player of the year and that has been apparent during Marquette’s six-game streak they are riding.
The Golden Eagles are 17-5 now overall and 8-3 in conference play putting them second only to UConn who has been the number one team in the country for a long while. However, this good conference record started as 2-3 through their first five Big East games and the play from Kolek has helped them a ton.
He has averaged 18.5 points a game during this win streak and his scoring has helped a Marquette offense that has scored 70+ points in each of these contests. Kolek has also been super efficient during this time as he has put up field goal rates of 50%+ in five of these six wins.
The more recent two wins the Golden Eagles have had against Villanova and Georgetown saw Kolek take and make a lot of three pointers too. He went 8-15 (53.3%) in those combined matchups. It is safe to say that the scoring has been head started by him in Marquette’s conference play revival. He went over how he has been able to perform well postgame after Marquette took down the Wildcats on February 1st. He had a career-best 32 points and added 9 assists and 6 rebounds to an active game.
“I just take what the defense gives me and do what my teammates need. They [Villanova] were playing one-on-one so I just kind of took what they gave me.”
Whenever you have a player taking and winning the one-on-one matchups like Kolek can that makes the Golden Eagles dangerous come NCAA tournament time and gives them a chance to get the Big East tournament and even regular season title once again.
Kolek’s assist numbers cannot go unnoticed during this win streak either. He has had 7+ assists in each of these games including 11 assists three times against Villanova, St. John’s, and Seton Hall. Not only is he scoring at a high rate, but he is also setting up his teammates who are beginning to thrive as well.
Best game of the season for Marquette's Tyler Kolek in a win at Villanova, dropping 32 points (5/8 3P), 9 assists, 6 rebounds with just 2 turnovers. The 6'3 All-American candidate is an elite pick-and-roll operator who plays with phenomenal pace and feel. pic.twitter.com/mjx0SbSKPw
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) January 31, 2024
The Golden Eagles are now one of the top offensive teams in the Big East too thanks to his efforts. They rank 4th in the conference in points per game and 3rd in the conference in team field goal percentage. However, the great play from Kolek will need to continue for Marquette to continue having an electric season.
A look at the remaining schedule shows that the Golden Eagles have to play UConn twice in both Milwaukee and Storrs. They also have a tough matchup with 19th-ranked Creighton on the road in Omaha. That will be the game before they play the Huskies at home. Both of those teams are top 30 in the Kenpom for defensive efficiency.
For now, Marquette’s next game will be Saturday, February 10th, against St. John’s inside of Fiserv Forum. Kolek came off of a great shooting game going 50% from the field with 15 points the last time he played the Red Storm in Madison Square Garden. Tip-off for the second game between the two teams this weekend is 6:00 p.m. E.T. with the game televised on FS1.