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What did we learn about Marquette in the preseason?

The Markus Howard show hopes to continue.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Like Providence, Marquette has taken advantage of the NCAA waiver and played an exhibition game for charity, against Milwaukee.

From that game, we see that the incoming big men who got the most minutes were Jamal Cain (14) and Theo John (22), while Ike Eke only had four minutes on the floor. John and Cain also combined for nine fouls, with Cain fouling out.

Those big men will be tasked with providing a bit more interior presence for the Golden Eagles.

Steve Wojciechowski spoke on the need for better defense on this year’s squad at Big East Media Day:

[Defense] has been a huge point of emphasis. I don't know that this year's team is going to be able to score the ball like last year's team, however, i do think we have better defensive potential. We've put a huge emphasis on it. There isn't one area on the defensive end that I was happy with last year. Our focus has been from A to Z.

We have a lot of new faces trying to learn what defense means on the college level, so we're not quite where we need to be but we're getting closer every day.

“Not quite where we want to be” sounds like it could be coach speak, or it could be ominous.

More from Wojo on development:

Each of the years... we've been able to move forward with the program. We're hoping to build on last season. We're going to need Markus Howard, Andrew Rowsey and Sam Hauser, those three guys in particular who played large roles for us, to take a step forward, while the new faces that we added to our program are getting their footing in college basketball and Big East play.

And on Markus Howard, the freshman who shot a blistering 57% from outside the arc in Big East play and 55% overall, a mark that is the best rate for a freshman on three-pointers since at least 1992.

Markus had an outstanding freshman year... and did it in an incredibly efficient manner. Historically, he ranks up with some of the best all-time seasons from beyond the three point arc.

Obviously we're going to need him to shoot the ball and score like he's capable of doing, but we need him to grow in other areas. So we've asked more of him in terms of leadership... in terms of defensive play and asked him to improve his decision making. He's improved in all three of these areas.

St. John’s faces the Golden Eagles in the span of 11 days - first on Saturday, February 10 at Carnesecca Arena and again in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center on Wednesday, February 21.