Matt Carlino: The most interesting transfer in the world.
It was announced yesterday that Brigham Young guard Matt Carlino was transferring to Marquette. Carlino, although in the top-10 for BYU’s all-time steals, three-pointers, and assists records, has brought some controversy to Milwaukee over whether or not he’d actually help the team. So in this article, we’re going to lay out the details of those contrasting narratives and come to a conclusion, as well as hypothesize the impact Carlino will have in both the immediate and distant future of Marquette basketball. Oh, and due to the controversy, we’re going to label him as Marquette’s Unofficial Most Interesting Man in the World for 2014-2015. Did we do that just so we can photoshop his head on the Dos Equis guy? Heh heh, not at all… okay, maybe. Anyways, let’s get started.
First, the good stuff:
1. Carlino averaged 13.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.7 steals for the Cougars last season. So he can score, pass, and play defense, which are three things we haven’t had in one player since Dominic James donned blue and gold.
2. He can play both point guard and shooting guard, which will provide versatility to our now overcrowded backcourt. He’s also going to be our first scoring point guard in what seems like an eternity and a half. Wait, that means…
3. DERRICK WILSON ISN’T GOING TO BE OUR STARTING POINT GUARD ANYMORE!! Take it away, Dumb and Dumber GIF!
4. Last season, Carlino shot 34% from three while averaging 5 attempts per game. That percentage would’ve been 2nd-best on our team this year, behind Jake Thomas’ 39% and just above Todd Mayo and Jamil Wilson’s 33%. With two of those three players gone, Carlino will provide another scoring option from behind the arc.
5. Since he’s only playing for one season, Carlino allows other guards such as Duane Wilson, John Dawson, and Jajuan Johnson to develop and immediately step into larger roles following the upcoming season. His short stay will also allow coaches to keep recruiting guards for the 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes.
Now, the supposed bad stuff, along with our counterarguments:
1. Carlino is going to be the sixth guard on the 2014-2015 roster, a crop that includes Duane Wilson, Todd Mayo, Jajuan Johnson, John Dawson, and Derrick Wilson. Some believe that’ll be too much, especially with the need for development in underclassmen Duane Wilson, John Dawson, and Jajuan Johnson. With Carlino now on the roster, Marquette will have to turn to a three-guard or even a four-guard lineup to give each the playing time they deserve. However, having to deploy these kind of lineups is not necessarily a bad thing. This team was expected to play uptempo, run the floor, and shoot threes even before Carlino’s arrival, so adding another dynamic guard to the mix only helps the team succeed in this style of play.
2. He shot only 39% from the field last season. However, due to his above-average shooting from beyond the arc, his effective field goal percentage (which adjusts efficiency by whether the shot was from two or three) was 50.3%. (For comparison, Todd Mayo’s EFG% was 51.5%, Davante’s was 53.2%, Jamil’s was 47.8%, and Derrick’s was 39.4%). Still, however, it’s hard to justify shooting 39% from the field. Let’s hope a new offense, different role, and an overall change of scenery can somewhat lessen his efficiency woes.
3. There’s a large segment of BYU fans who are okay with Carlino’s departure. As Anonymous Eagle pointed out, a BYU blog’s recent poll revealed that 56% of 244 voters were “glass half-empty” on Carlino’s BYU career in general. Expectations from being Jimmer Fredette’s successor likely played a factor in their disappointment, but the author of the BYU blog also wrote that Carlino at times had “multiple games in which he shot the team right out of the game from the three-point line, missed layups, and gave up too many turnovers trying to sneak a ball past defenders.” While he noted that Carlino also had “multiple games that impressed us with his ability to shoot, drive, pass, and play defense,” the negative side of Carlino seems to be more underlined. Read the full article here.
4. Carlino lost his starting job in the middle of last season. However, his production and efficiency actually went up from that point on.
While I don’t see Carlino as a bonafide star, I believe he’ll provide the Golden Eagles with another scoring option (although a streaky one at that) and an elite passer and on-ball defender. Although Buzz Williams left, I also believe Marquette’s superior basketball program will keep him more disciplined offensively than at Brigham Young. The good outweighs the bad, especially when factoring in the opportunity to grow as a player. To make a blind prediction, I say Carlino’s efficiency numbers go slightly up, scoring numbers go slightly down, and assists and steals stay about the same. In general, I believe his contributions to Marquette basketball will be, for the most part, positive.
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