Almost everyone, who attends a college/university, enjoys a good college basketball game, but no one does college basketball like Marquette University. Every college could say that their basketball team is the best, but Marquette wins for the most unique team with a great story. But what could make a basketball team special other than great players and great skills? Back in the 70’s, Marquette had it’s own unique sense of style in the way they played basketball which shaped college basketball and shaped Marquette.
Al McGuire, Marquette University’s basketball coach at the time, was a man who went above and beyond with his players. According to Glenn “Doc” Rivers, a former Marquette player, Al McGuire was always comfortable in his own skin and he brought that out on the court and in his way of coaching. McGuire went out and got eccentric players from all over which is something that most coaches were too afraid to do at the time. He got the eccentric players because he himself was eccentric and that is what gave Marquette a great team because at the end of the day it was about playing basketball.
As soon as Maurice “Bo” Ellis joined the team is when Marquette’s basketball team started to shine. They started making a ton of designs for their jerseys that was out of the ordinary and Marquette was the only team doing it. They were constantly switching up the designs and jersys and making headlines doing so. They were using designs that were unique and so far from the traditional jersey that every other university was using. For example, they had a jersey called the bumble bee jersey that was navy with small gold stripes that eventually got banned.
McGuire’s tactics were different and that is what lead Marquette to so many wins under his reign and what eventually lead to a National Championship. He was caring and put the players first. For example, he gave Bo the opportunity to go Mount Mary to pursue a degree in fashion design and even let Bo create the famous “untucked” jersey that everyone faved about. No other coach went to the lengths he did for his players and it created a great relationship between the players and coach and a great, functioning team overall.
Marquette made history. They were on the headlines going outside the norm and having fun while doing it. Their different and wild jerseys made them unique and that was what was so important about it. People thought they were disruptive, not serious about the game and too wild but eventually Marquette proved them wrong after winning the 1977 National Championship.
Unfortunately, Marquette cannot use the famous “untucked” jersey, that Bo Ellis designed for the team, because in 1984 the league bannned untucked shirts and made it mandatory for every player to have their shirts tucked in. This wasn’t a set back though. Marquette will always be known for having a fun, dedicated, outgoing team with a fun, dedicated, outgoing coach, Al McGuire, and that will never change. Marquette’s basketball team lived by Marquette’s goal of being the difference because they were the difference in college basketball and they certainly made sure of that.