The St. Thomas Men’s Basketball team takes on Idaho State in a basketball game in Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul on November 10, 2023.

In the News: St. Thomas Men’s Basketball vs. Marquette

The Tommie men’s basketball team plays its second top 10-ranked opponent in the team’s first three seasons of D-I play tonight – Dec. 14, 2023. Following a strong showing against No. 7 Creighton last season, St. Thomas heads to Milwaukee to play the nationally ranked Marquette Golden Eagles.

Multiple media outlets have covered the matchup. Here’s some of what they had to say:

Star Tribune logo

From the Star Tribune:

The Tommies are just starting off here in Division I – only in Season 3 and still on the way to a full scholarship limit of 13. ...

Coach Johnny Tauer’s Tommies start three graduate players who were recruited as Division III athletes.

Two freshmen recruits – Hayden Tibbitts and Ben Oosterbaan – are being redshirted. A promising group of four recruits was signed in November for next season.

They are building, and at the same time, the current roster is being shown the big time: Overmatched in all likelihood, but you’re playing Marquette, one season after playing at Creighton.

“That was a great experience for us, opening down there last season,” Tauer said. “And this will also be one. We want to schedule teams like this. Marquette … I think they definitely are one of the best teams in the country.”

From SB Nation:

Why is St. Thomas in Division 1? Because they got kicked out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the league that they founded in 1920. Not because they did anything wrong, but because they were too awesome at Division 3 football. ...

Shooters? To steal a turn of phrase from Minnesotans everywhere, Yah, sure, yabetcha. As a team, the Tommies are shooting 35% from behind the arc, which is just barely outside the top 100 in the country. They have four guys attempting at least three long range shots per game, and all four are hitting somewhere between 38.7% and 34.1%. ...

All-Time Series: Believe it or not, even with St. Thomas not being a Division 1 program until very recently, there is a series history. The two teams met three times in the 1920s, three times in the 1940s, once in the ’50s, twice in the ’60s, and twice in the ’70s. Marquette is 8-3 all time in the series, and MU has won seven of the last eight meetings. St. Thomas last won in January 1957, 69-63, in Minnesota, while Marquette has hosted and won each of the last four contests in the series, up through the most recent game. That was an 80-45 encounter in November 1977.

From CBS Sports:

St. Thomas (6-4) comes into this matchup on a three-game winning streak with victories over Western Michigan, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and most recently over Chicago State on the road on Sunday by a 66-50 final.

Brooks Allen and Ben Nau each led the way for the Tommies with 17 points. Raheem Anthony was the lead distributor with eight assists and Drake Dobbs added seven points along with six assists.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” St. Thomas coach Johnny Tauer said. “To get to come back here (to Chicago State) at almost two years after our first Division I game, some of it is a marker of how much we’ve progressed.”

The Tommies are led in scoring and rebounding this season by Parker Bjorklund with 13.9 and 4.8, respectively. Anthony leads with 3.2 assists per game.