On Wednesday, Marquette officially announced the additions of top 40 point guard recruit Markus Howard and USC graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt to the men's basketball team. That puts the roster at 13 scholarship players for the 2016-17 season, which is the NCAA's maximum limit.
Then this rolled up on Thursday morning from ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
Duquesne grad transfer L.G. Gill told ESPN he's been contacted by Marquette, Texas, Iowa St, Alabama, Cincy, ECU, Maryland - and more.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 14, 2016
L.G. Gill is a 6'8", 220 lb. forward, who played a career high in minutes for the Dukes this past season. He averaged 10 points and 6.5 rebounds for Duquesne, who finished 17-17 on the season. You can kind of see how he would fit into a roster that has only Luke Fischer and Matt Heldt providing true size on the floor. He's also a halfway decent three point shooter, going for 34% in his collegiate career and more than half of his field goal attempts this past season were from long range.
But like we mentioned earlier, Marquette's at the scholarship limit. Gill hearing from Marquette must mean that head coach Steve Wojciechowski is waiting on some sort of announcement of someone leaving the team, right? I mean, the question has to be asked as to why that person hasn't been announced as leaving if it's going to happen anyway, but that's the only solution as to why Marquette has checked in on Gill, right?
Well, maybe not.
Here's noted recruiting guru Corey Evans, on April 7, one week ago, two days before Reinhardt committed to Marquette.
Miami, Wake Forest, Marquette, Alabama, Auburn, UNLV, Texas, Clemson, and ECU among those that have reached out Duquesne transfer LG Gill— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 8, 2016
So here's the possibilities:
1) Marquette reached out to a lot of guys when looking for a grad transfer, and Gill happened to be one of them. When Goodman got the info this morning, it was merely Gill passing along a list of schools that he knows have talked to him. No one is expecting Jeff Goodman nor L.G. Gill to be paying extra careful attention to Marquette's scholarship situation, and thus, MU gets mentioned even though there's no longer space for Gill.
2) Marquette is expecting to have another roster spot to fill and has contacted Gill after Reinhardt's commitment. You'll notice that while four teams are the same on the tweets, Goodman's includes teams that Evans did not. Both men tweeted some variation on "amongst others" instead of a detailed list, but Goodman's list could be a more current representation of who is talking to Gill.
Marquette having a scholarship popping free at some point in the future would certainly explain why Class of 2016 big man Kalif Young announced his intention to visit Marquette the day before Reinhardt committed to the Golden Eagles. It's also possible that Wojo didn't have a strong feeling for Young's interest in Marquette and moved ahead with accepting Reinhardt for the final spot, quietly informed Young that there's no need to take a visit, and began looking at Class of 2017 big men instead.
I'm not saying one thing or the other is happening, merely presenting the possibilities ahead of us. My personal opinion is that from a basketball perspective, neither Young (a sub-300 ranked recruit) nor Gill is worth turfing one of the 10 returning scholarship players. That actually goes double for Gill, who will only have one season of eligibility remaining. I'd be more comfortable with giving the existing roster the chance to develop under the guidance of Wojo's staff instead of giving someone the boot simply because there's a new dude available.
Anyway, things may or may not still be in motion. Keep your eyes open for the Bat-Signal....
HERE COMES THE BAT-SIGNAL (4:57pm, 4/14/16): While we could debate about whether or not Goodman was working with new information, this update from CBS's Jon Rothstein is definitely new information.
Duquesne transfer LG Gill told @CBSSports he will visit Marquette on 4/29. Also plans to visit Texas. May take an unofficial visit to Iona.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 14, 2016
That's particularly interesting, since that means Gill will be on campus at the same time as Kalif Young, and they might be competing for just one available spot.
That seals it, though: At least one of the players that were expected to return for the 2016-17 season will not actually return. Now it's just a matter of which one.