Well this was a decidedly different post than it would have been a week ago. As everyone has now heard, Duane Wilson, Marquette's freshman point guard, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left leg and is going to miss some time. Could be three weeks, could be three months, we're not exactly sure. But either way, it throws a wrench into the projections of what we were hoping his freshman season could be.
What I wanted to write here was that this 6'3" freshman, who led Whitefish Bay Dominican HS to a state title last season, was going to bring his talents to MU and challenge for the starting point guard job. I wanted to write that his ability to push tempo, attack off the dribble, and score in bunches was going to allow him to eat into incumbent PG Derrick Wilson's minutes, and that the keys to the offense would be in his hands by the time we got to meaningful games in January.
All of those things are theoretically still possible. However, the injury news makes it much harder to see things shaking out that way.
Minimum Expectation: It's hard to set expectations for a guy that could potential be out until Christmas. You may recall Wesley Matthews suffering a similar injury his freshman year, which caused him to miss half of his freshman year (Which then caused me to win a bet regarding Joe Chapman, and a case of beer. But that's not important right now). I guess the minimum expectation is for Duane to take his time recovering, get himself back in shape, up to speed, and hopefully be ready to be a contributor off the bench before we get into crunch time. Anything beyond that is gravy.
In My Wildest Dreams: The injury is more on the three weeks side of things, than the three months. Duane is able to come back without missing a beat, and does all those things I mentioned before - especially the "eating into Derrick Wilson's minutes" part.
In My Worst Nightmare: The injury lingers and, even after he gets back to playing, prevents our newest Wilson from getting on track and results in a lost season akin to Matthews' or Junior Cadougan's freshman year. In the case of Matthews, you could make the case that the injury cost him even more than that season. While he was recovering, Dom James and Jerel McNeal were making themselves into go-to players for Tom Crean. Wes never seemed to find his way back into favor with Crean, and would not be a focal point of the team until Buzz Williams took over as head coach. I don't really see that happening in Wilson's case, but you never know.
Oh, and one more thing..... MIXTAPE!!!