Yes, that ball went in.
Every year, the Marquette basketball team participates in the Milwaukee Pro-Am, a summer league in the Milwaukee area for players at the college or professional level. It’s a scoring extravaganza due to the broad range of talent, lack of defense from all parties involved, and individual wishes to throw down emphatic dunks rather than, say, improve off-the-ball skills. The games are forty-eight minutes long and take place at Greenfield High School, located roughly twenty minutes south of the Marquette campus. Admission is free, making it an even more phenomenal way to spend a Saturday morning, or even better, Friday night. Here’s the link to the schedule — remaining games take place on July 25th and 26th, as well as August 1st.
Before we break down performances, let’s analyze the highlight tape from the first week of action.
- Holy #BANE. You can hear the rim echo thunder claps after receiving vicious slams from the big-bodied forward. He still dribbles the ball as if he’s trying to hurt the floor and moves around the court without any consideration for the well-being of humanity. And I love every second of it.
- Duane’s bounce has returned (see the dunk at 0:02, along with numerous others posted on his Instagram profile) — and not only the initial hop, but the second and third ones, too. Witness for yourself at 0:45, where, after soaring above the rim for a breathtaking block, the point guard explosively side-steps out of bounds to keep the ball alive. These types of plays are the ones I can’t wait to witness at the Bradley Center.
For the full player break down, we’ll categorize players based on their performances and explain these labels with game stats and analysis.
SIMMERING HOT. MICROWAVED WAY LONGER THAN THE BOX ADVISED. SKIN IS LITERALLY MELTING OFF THEIR BODIES.
Duane recently broke the Pro-Am. And by that, I mean he scored SEVENTY-NINE points in one game. Here’s his full stat line:
79 points, 33-60 FGM-A, 13-26 3PM-A, 0-1 FTM-A, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
And yet, his team only won by one point. The clear explanation for this? Jajuan Johnson, who is coincidentally a teammate of Duane, didn’t play. For whatever reason, #FreeJJJ!
The 79-point explosion wasn’t Wilson’s only eye-opening performance. Here are the stat lines from his other two matches:
43 points, 18-32 FGM-A, 4-10 3PM-A, 3-4 FTM-A, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block
36 points, 16-25 FGM-A, 1-10 3PM-A, 3-5 FTM-A, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Say your prayers, Big East defenders. #BANE’s sidekick will not hesitate to destroy your ankles nor end your career.
Deonte Burton (#BANE)
No introduction sufficiently sums up the terrorizing force #BANE has been throughout the Pro-Am. Simply scroll down and witness his #BANE-ness, all while paying respect to his terrifying persona on and off the court.
47 points, 12-38 FGM-A, 3-6 3PM-A, 2-3 FTM-A, 11 rebounds, 1 assist
37 points, 14-26 FGM-A, 0-4 3PM-A, 9-9 FTM-A, 20 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 blocks
31 points, 12-20 FGM-A, 1-2 3PM-A, 6-7 FTM-A, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 steals
47 points, 18-29 FGM-A, 3-7 3PM-A, 8-12 FTM-A, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 2 steals
Confession: I had to pick up my jaw from the keyboard after reading those stats.
Side note: Deonte actually participated in a match the morning after the last one, but since not everyone from either team showed up, they chose random players from other squads to fill up the rosters. So, the 50 points that Deonte dropped wasn’t recorded as official.
As the starting shooting guard of the Portland Trailblazers, Wes Matthews had no reason to even appear at the Milwaukee Pro-Am. His deep roots in the state of Wisconsin, however, cause him to annually participate in a game or two — not to merely practice, but perform for the crowd. And perform he did!
64 points, 26-38 FGM-A, 12-16 3PM-A, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Although it didn’t top Duane Wilson’s points record of 79, Matthews’ performance was far more efficient and all-around productive. Nevertheless, both put on quite the show for fans who showed up last Friday night.
Here are the highlights from Wes Matthews’ unbelievable 64-point performance:
The stats of Derrick’s first game pale in comparison to those of Duane and Deonte, but when stacked against his regular season numbers seem to reveal he’s morphed into the second coming of Michael Jeffrey Jordan over this past offseason.
16 points, 6-15 FGM-A, 3-6 3PM-A, 1-1 FTM-A, 9 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals
So you’re telling me that…
1) Derrick Wilson was one rebound away from a triple-double.
2) Derrick Wilson hit not one, not two, but THREE three-pointers in one organized match of basketball.
3) It only took Derrick Wilson six attempts to hit said three three-pointers.
Yes, I know, it’s just the Pro-Am, but once you consider that…
1) Derrick Wilson never scored more than 14 points this past year, even after leading the team with 31 minutes per game.
2) Derrick Wilson has hit TWO three-pointers in his entire three-year college career. He has attempted twenty-three.
3) While every other Marquette player was easily posting scoring numbers between the 20s and 30s during last years’ Pro-Am, Derrick Wilson averaged a mere 7.3 points throughout six matches. He also missed every single attempt at a three-pointer. He did this as a starting point guard for a college basketball team participating in an amateur league.
…his recent works seem to be the miracle work of Jesus Christ himself. However, although his second game was nearly as productive, his disastrous efficiency hinted that some things never change.
25 points, 10-25 FGM-A, 1-7 3PM-A, 4-5 FTM-A, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Sure, he scored even more points and was yet again near a triple-double, but the atrocious field goal percentages allow me to toss any previous assumptions of improvement down into the cellar.
PRETTY DAMN GOOD IF I SAY SO
Juan’s only played one game, but still, take a look at the stat line.
30 points, 13-22 FGM-A, 2-5 3PM-A, 2-4 FTM-A, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Nobody will expect that type of performance from the senior with a tendency to disappoint, but it’s heartwarming to see him actually utilizing his skill set for the time being.
Like Anderson, Johnson’s only participated in one match, but it was still an impressive one.
24 points, 11-20 FGM-A, 2-6 3PM-A, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Certainly not as jaw-dropping as Duane or Deonte’s stat lines, but again, it’s nonetheless both a productive and efficient game from the Memphis native.
NOTHING TOO IMPRESSIVE, BUT STILL PRETTY GOOD
The incoming freshman didn’t top 20 points in his first match, but nonetheless pieced together a stat line displaying efficiency and versatility.
19 points, 7-12 FGM-A, 0-4 3PM-A, 5-7 FTM-A, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
That o-for mark from three certainly isn’t pretty, but again, considering his 7-8 mark from inside the arc, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, Cohen’s all-around game has seemed to already started showing itself.
Dawson posted a surprisingly poor stat line for his first match, for one reason or another. He redeemed himself with a better performance in his next game.
4 points, 2-7 FGM-A, 0-4 FGM-A, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
18 points, 7-11 FGM-A, 4-7 3PM-A, 0-2 FTM-A, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
It’s relieving to see that 4-7 clip from three after that underperforming 0-4 mark. Dawson’s ability to shoot and score should earn him valuable minutes this upcoming season.
Those listed on teams but not participating include Jake Thomas, Steve Novak, Matt Carlino, and Luke Fischer. Steve Taylor and Todd Mayo aren’t even listed on teams, which is odd. Here are our theories as to why each current Marquette player isn’t participating:
Matt Carlino: I don’t think he’s even allowed to attend team workouts yet. If true, he’ll join the team later in the offseason.
Luke Fischer: As a Wisconsin native, it seems there’d be no reason for him to not participate unless he was injured. Since Fischer was rumored to have been spotted with a boot on his foot earlier in the offseason, we’ll assume he’s either not healthy yet or doesn’t wish to risk re-injuring himself in an amateur league.
Steve Taylor: I’m pretty sure I saw a picture of Taylor working out with strength and conditioning coach Todd Smith earlier in the month, so I have absolutely no idea why he’s not playing, let alone listed on a team. Hopefully his knee isn’t hurting again.
Todd Mayo: I haven’t heard of Mayo since the Wojo hiring, when he added a jab or two at Buzz during interviews, much to the delight of many fans. So the real question is: Where is Mayo, what is he doing, and is he even alive at this point?
If you made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS! And remember, admission to the Pro-Am is free! We leave you with two mixtapes. The first? Highlights from Deonte Burton’s 47-point game. It’s worth a watch.
The second? A mixtape including dunks from Anderson, JJJ, Duane, and of course, #BANE. If you’re skipping over this video, at least watch the last dunk. Hint: a screenshot of it is at the top of the article.
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