Marquette Offseason Bits, Day 80 — 5/31/15

Author: Dave Klinger (Editor), david.klinger@marquette.edu.

Seventy-eight days have passed since we published our last column. And we’re sorry — really — but last year was a rebuilding season, so no one cares about a game recap when the team is sliding down its second six-game losing streak. And the people especially do not care about poor performance when the team was expected to be, well, terrible.

Nevertheless, posts are engaging and exciting, especially when read at school or work. So we’re back and ready to update you on the happenings of Marquette basketball for the rest of eternity.

Freshmen Haanif Cheatham and Sacar Anim arrived on campus.

https://twitter.com/mubbnation/status/60332272431274803

One issue: Number 24 was retired for Marquette in honor of George Thompson.

It wasn’t an accident, either. Marquette has retired 9 out of the 36 numbers a college basketball player can wear. It’s too many numbers. Jimmy Butler, Jerel McNeal, Jae Crowder, and a couple more recent stars finished on par with the other “retired jersey greats,” and we don’t have enough room to keep this method. Anonymous Eagle supports the idea of pulling out some retired numbers and implementing a better system in honoring our greats. 

Reportedly, staffer and fellow Marquette great Travis Diener reached out to Thompson to make sure everything was okay — after all, he did have a dispute with Lazar Hayward wearing the number a few years ago. Apparently, things were okay at first, but for some reason they turned out to be, once again, not okay. The Instagrams and Tweets of Cheatham’s locker were deleted and this statement was issued by Coach Wojo.

Cheatham even changed his Twitter and Instagram usernames to include the number 25 instead of 24. He’s moved on, we’ve moved on. Thompson hasn’t, apparently, and now we’re back to square one.

Marquette landed its first transfer of the offseason.

…but, as a standard hopper (and not an eligible graduate like Carlino), he needs to sit the next season. Everyone, please welcome Andrew Rowsey, a quick, scrappy point guard with a high tendency to score.

Check out his basic and advanced stats here.

Seems like another Carlino? Not so fast. Although their field goal and three-point shooting percentages are similar, Rowsey’s true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentages are much higher than those of the other. Those stats are more important in measuring scoring — especially for a prolific shooter — because the first accounts for 2-pointers, 3-pointers, and free throws and the second accounts for the fact that 3-pointers are worth more than 2-pointers.

Rowsey is a fine addition to the 2015-16 practice squad and the 2016-17 team. I’m excited to see this guy on the hardwood.

…and on the same day, in-state 2016 recruit Sam Hauser committed to Marquette.

He’s a three star recruit on 247 Sports, but his stock is soaring. He received offers from Virginia, Iowa State and Creighton before he committed to Marquette.

Similar to a recent in-state commit, Sam Hauser has a younger brother who is also very good at the game of basketball. Keep an eye on Joey Hauser, class of 2018.

Freshman Traci Carter is flying to Milwaukee today,

according to his Snapchat Story.

Assistant coach Mark Phelps is joining Sean Miller’s staff at Arizona. He will be replaced at Marquette by Stan Johnson, a young assistant coach from Arizona State.

And, like every other coach on the Marquette staff, Johnson is a former college basketball basketball player. He was a point guard at Southern Utah in his glory days.

Read more about the hiring from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel beat writer Matt Velazquez. Below are quotes from the article.

“It would have had to take something extremely, extremely special for me to leave here because I had no plans,” Johnson said in a telephone interview Tuesday night.

“He is an outstanding person who has established himself as one of the top young basketball coaches in the country,” Wojciechowski said in a news release. “Stan is a tremendous addition to our coaching staff and a tireless recruiter, terrific relationship builder and someone who believes in the values that align with both the university and our men’s basketball program.”

Junior forward Wally Ellenson, a high jump superstar, qualified for the NCAA Championships track meet. He cleared a 7 foot, 2 1/2 inch bar in a tie for first place. 

Wally Ellenson, who transferred from Minnesota last year, is eligible to play basketball this season with his freshman brother Henry. I’m most excited to see Ellenson-to-Ellenson fast break slams rain on innocent opponents. Below is Wally showing off his track jumping skills in the 2014 Marquette Madness dunk contest (in which he lost to Deonte Burton, who later transferred to Iowa State).

No immediate help has been added to the roster as of now.

And it doesn’t seem like anything’s coming soon. A graduate or JUCO transfer (or both) was expected at the beginning of the offseason. Marquette chased after a bunch of players but none committed to the Golden Eagles. Things are quiet now, and we might head into the season without one.

Let’s look at the roster.

Courtesy of Anonymous Eagle, below is a roster chart that is color-coded by grade. Three things to know: Open spaces are available scholarships, no red appears for next year because the team has no seniors (barring a late graduate transfer), and, again, Andrew Rowsey isn’t eligible until 2016-17.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 1.16.57 PM

The roster confuses me. Here are my issues:

1) Too many newcomers and too few upperclassmen. We only have two players — Duane Wilson and Jajuan Johnson — who have three years of program experience under their belts. One of the two, Duane Wilson, played his first year of college basketball last year. Can we trust Wally Ellenson, Luke Fischer, Jajuan Johnson, Duane Wilson and Sandy Cohen to take responsibility for the team’s direction and development of the freshmen? Can we trust the freshmen to contribute? Can we trust the sophomores and juniors to contribute more consistently?

2) Where are the proven stars? There are players on this roster who can do good things (possibly even great things), such as Duane Wilson, Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson. None have proven themselves to be consistent or experienced. I’m a little worried.

3) Will the team develop quickly enough to finish in the top four of the Big East? Will this team make the NCAA Tournament?

So many questions and not enough answers. We’ll have a better idea after the team’s trip to Italy in August.

Welcome to Marquette Nation – a blog and twitter feed of all things Marquette basketball. Follow us on Twitter at @mubbnation for live updates on recruiting, games, facts, and the occasional opinion. For inquiries, contact us at mubb.nation@gmail.com. Our email is flooded with Twitter notifications, however, so just tag us in a tweet or something, okay?

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