Well, we have the first big news of the season.
On Wednesday, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski announced that freshman Ike Eke will redshirt this season, according to this tweet from new Journal Sentinel MU beat writer Ben Steele:
Ike Eke will redshirt this season, according to Coach Wojo. #mubb— Ben Steele (@BenSteeleMJS) November 8, 2017
It should be noted that since Eke isn’t ineligible, he’ll be allowed to travel with the team. Which is nice, because I’ve heard Maui is lovely this time of year.
This isn’t entirely surprising. Eke only played 4 minutes against UW-Milwaukee in the charity scrimmage, and he didn’t see the floor at all against Lindenwood on Saturday. Still, given the need for post depth or just flat out size, one less body means Harry Froling’s return to eligibility can’t come soon enough.
Eke, a 6’9" forward from Nigeria by way of Detroit for high school, was only a three-star recruit, coming in at 361 in 247Sports’ composite rankings. He was going to be a project, and now he has more time to develop before actually seeing action. It’s no secret that he has the physical tools and athleticism to be a valuable piece for the Golden Eagles, we’ll just have to wait for that value to manifest itself. The year ridin’ the pine and working on the scout team with Ed Morrow should allow him to make some strides in terms of skill, as well as bulk up to fill out his wiry frame.
This is more or less good news for Eke’s fellow frosh forward Theo John. Despite only playing 4 minutes against Lindenwood, largely due to an ankle injury, he’ll likely absorb however many of Eke’s minutes are now on the table. He should have ample time to prove himself a worthy Matt Heldt backup before the Thunder from Down Under becomes eligible.