The 2016-17 college basketball season is right around the corner, so let's get into the Marquette basketball roster and take a look at what to expect from each player this season. We'll be going through the players one by one: First the freshmen, moving on to the two transfer players, and then wrapping up with the returning players, going in order of average minutes played per game last season.
We’re going to organize our thoughts about the upcoming season as it relates to each player into categories:
- Reasonable Expectations
- Why You Should Get Excited
- Potential Pitfalls
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at Marquette’s graduate transfer......
Senior - #22 - Guard - 6’6” - 210 lb.
First things first, so we can all be on the same page: check out this video from USC, as it opens with Reinhardt pronouncing his first name.
Reinhardt comes to Marquette after completing his degree at Southern California. Before that, he also spent his freshman year at UNLV. Through his three years of collegiate experience, Reinhardt played 28.2 minutes per game while averaging 11.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and just barely short of a steal.
He is a proficient three point shooter, averaging 36.9% in college. Across his three years of experience, his game has tended more towards being a long range sniper than anything else. Reinhardt shot more threes than twos as a freshman and was just about even between the two as a junior for USC. He ramped up his efficiency in a big way last season by boosting his two point percentage over 50%, which ended up giving him a top 400 effective field goal percentage overall.
All of that shooting, though, has turned him into a scoring focused player. His assist rate has dropped each year of college, going from 16.6% as a freshman (essentially what Jajuan Johnson did last year) to just 9.5% last season (somewhere between Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer).
He’s also not a rebounder by any stretch of the imagination. In each of his three years of college, Reinhardt has never had an offensive or defensive rebounding rate higher than the 8.1% defensive rate he had last year. To put it in perspective, even at 6’6”, he’s still a worse rebounder than Duane Wilson and Traci Carter. That’s what makes his addition to this team so interesting. The #1 thing the team needs this season is rebounding, and Reinhardt, at least up to this point, shows no ability to be able to provide it.
I think it’s safe to expect Reinhardt to continue his solid shooting ways. He shot 37% last year with a USC team that had four guys shooting at least 130 times, and as the only guy taking more than 110 threes the year before, he shot 39%. If Marquette is going to spread the floor with shooters surrounding Luke Fischer, Reinhardt is certainly capable of holding up his end of the bargain in that regard.
When his addition to the team was announced, I think it’s safe to say that you could look at “6’6”, 220 lb. who can shoot it” and say “well, I guess he can be a stretch four on this team,” given that only Fischer and Matt Heldt can provide real size. As mentioned above, Reinhardt has never proven himself to be a rebounder. If he decided to play for Steve Wojciechowski, then it seems safe to presume that what could be expected from him has been clearly explained.
However, I’m kind of confused about whether Wojo and his staff are thinking “stretch four” for Reinhardt. Take a look at this tweet.
Worked on my body a lot 203 lightest I've been in college. Can't wait for season!! pic.twitter.com/zQ5niZ8FSX— Katin Reinhardt (@5SWISH) October 20, 2016
As of October 19th, Reinhardt was down to 203 pounds. Now, he still looks like he’s in amazing condition in terms of strength, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Strength & Conditioning coach Todd Smith. I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s going to not be expected to defend a lot of bigger guys if the aim is for him to be hovering around 200 pounds.
And if it’s not him, then who is actually going to do it?
Why You Should Get Excited
This might get a little esoteric, but stick with me here. Reinhardt played in the NCAA tournament last year with USC and again in 2013 with UNLV. He’s now playing for a team that hasn’t even been in the NIT for the past three seasons. He didn’t come here to take a break from all of that excitement in his final year of college ball. Look at Trent Lockett’s lone year with Marquette. He came in after averaging 13 points in each of the two previous seasons with Arizona State, but only scored seven per contest with MU. However, he did a little bit of everything for the Golden Eagles that year to make sure they won as many games as possible that year. I obviously can’t promise you a Big East title and an Elite Eight appearance as was the case in 2013, but if Reinhardt shows the same commitment to the team concept as Lockett did, then we could be in for a very positive season at the Bradley Center.
We should probably talk about the blind quote in the NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk article, shouldn’t we? The article by Rob Dauster (whom I like and respect as a write) talks about the situation that USC finds themselves in after an NCAA tournament appearance last season. They’ve lost a number of players from last year’s squad that should have returned, and Dauster outlines the scenarios that caused that.
That’s where this paragraph comes in.
Then the Trojans lost Katin Reinhardt to Marquette. Reinhardt was a part time starter as a junior after leading the team in scoring as a sophomore. As one source close to the program put it, “he wanted to go score 25 a game somewhere.” It’s not that he didn’t want to win, per se, it’s that he wanted to win in a place where he was the star, not playing behind a kid two years his junior.
My instant reaction to this: Sour grapes. It makes zero sense for Reinhardt to leave USC - after graduating, remember - for Marquette in order to get a chance to be the leading scorer for the Golden Eagles. Between Luke Fischer at center and the pairing of Haanif Cheatham and Jajuan Johnson on the wing, I don’t think there’s a Marquette fan alive that’s openly clamoring for Reinhardt to be the leading scorer on the team this season. Steve Wojciechowski doesn’t strike me as a guy - and he’s at the very least alluded to this when talking about not signing a recruit just to sign him - who would blow smoke at a potential graduate transfer that doesn’t actually fill a need on the team in order to convince him to come play his final year in Milwaukee. I would be shocked to find out that Wojo told Reinhardt one thing but actually expects him to do another for this year’s edition of Marquette basketball.
And yet, someone still said that quote out loud to a reporter with firm knowledge that it would get printed. Even with the discordance of the appearance of Reinhardt playing for a team somewhat focused on its younger players that doesn’t have any kind of history of winning with their current coach, that’s still that person’s perception of Reinhardt’s departure.
What if they’re right? What if Reinhardt’s a gunner? What if he dominates the ball? What if doing that is to the detriment of the team?
I honestly don’t think this is likely. Wojo talks about playing nine or ten guys a night, which means everyone’s playing time will be somewhat limited. From a look at how MU operates at both Marquette Madness and the season ticket holder practice, there’s no reason to think this is really the case. But that quote nags at the back of my mind anyway.