Steve Wojciechowski just stood there with his hands on his hips and a stone-cold look of disapproval. While the Bradley Center started to fill up with boos from every direction, Wojo was the only person who did not say a word. The often boisterous head coach of Marquette University was left speechless.
Maybe it was the 22-3 run that Seton Hall just came off of. Maybe it was the fact that Marquette was in the midst of their worst losing streak of the season. Maybe it was the fact that the referees did not have their best performance on Wednesday night. Whatever it was, Wojo had enough.
Nobody expected this season to be a walk in the park. Everybody expected there to be grueling growing pains and for the Golden Eagles to be pushed to the limit every single night, especially during conference play. Winning streaks would end and when it appeared as if Marquette could salvage their season, it became a foregone conclusion that they would not be able to.
On the same day that star recruit Henry Ellenson was named to the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game, the players on Marquette’s current roster struggled to hold their own against a Seton Hall team that was in the middle of a rough patch, entering into the game.
It served as a perfect omen for the state of the program. While the present appears gloomy, the future is extremely bright. While that is easy to say from the outside, losing still takes it’s toll.
“I hate to lose. I take full responsibility as a senior captain” exclaimed Juan Anderson after a loss that was filled with inconsistent play by a majority of the Golden Eagles.
Wojo repeated that sentiment as he muttered “all losses are gut punches for me; I hate to lose.”
Both men did not elaborate on their mood after the game but it was clear that with this being the tenth loss of the season, not finding the win column on a consistent basis has started to affect the team’s mood. Gone are the days when Wojo appeared optimistic no matter what the score was. Players—rightfully so—feel the weight of this season starting to fall down on their shoulders with tremendous force. Frustration is starting to seep in and it is clearly apparent by the extended mental lapses out on the court. Off the floor, this notion is even more apparent.
When asked after the game if he took any positives out of his team’s performance, Wojo did not go into a lengthy speech in which he stated that he liked his team’s fight or the energy was there from start to finish. Instead, he simply answered “no.”
One word, but it symbolizes so much.
Once again, nobody expected this Marquette team to surprise anybody. Labeling this season as one of “rebuilding” would be accurate.
While the future promises to be more prosperous, it is becoming more and more difficult for this team to endure the present.