Marquette’s Tyler Kolek out until Big East Tournament

Marquette’s Tyler Kolek out until Big East Tournament

Marquette (22-7 straight up, 17-11-1 against the spread) announced Monday that star senior point guard Tyler Kolek will miss at least the team’s final two regular-season games with an oblique injury. The Golden Eagles will host UConn on Wednesday before playing at Xavier in their regular-season finale.

Kolek, who was last year’s Big East Player of the Year and the Big East Tournament MVP, will be reevaluated before next week’s Big East Tournament in New York City. He sustained the injury in last week’s win over Providence.

Kolek missed his first game of the season in Saturday’s 89-75 loss at Creighton as an eight-point underdog. Marquette was also playing without senior forward Oso Ighodaro, who was unable to go against the Bluejays due to an illness.

Ighodaro, who is listed as ‘questionable’ vs. the Huskies, averages 14.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 blocked shots and 1.1 steals per game. He’s made 61.3 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Kolek is in his third season with the Golden Eagles. He started his career at George Mason, garnering Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors in 2020-21 when he averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 SPG.

Kolek started all 32 games for Marquette in 2021-22 and all 36 games last season. He averaged 12.9 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 SPG in 2022-23, helping the Golden Eagles to a 70-68 win over UConn, the eventual national champion, as four-point underdogs in the Big East Tournament semifinals.

Kolek had 17 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot in the win over the Huskies. Then in the Big East Tournament finals, he produced 20 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals in a 65-51 win over Xavier as two-point favorites.

In 28 starts this year, Kolek is averaging 15.0 points, 7.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 SPG. He’s made 48.6 percent of his FGAs, 40.0 percent of his 3-pointers and 88.0 percent of his free throws. Kolek leads the nation in assists and has a 214/78 assist-to-turnover ratio.

In Joe Lunardi’s latest edition of ‘Bracketology’ that was updated on ESPN.com Friday before the loss at Creighton, Marquette was listed as a #2 seed in the Midwest Region. Lunardi had the Golden Eagles facing Oakland in a first-round showdown in Indianapolis.

Marquette is 13-5 in Big East play and has a one-half game lead over Creighton for second place in the league.

In the latest mock posted to nbadraft.net, Kolek is listed as a second-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the #39 overall selection.