ESPN’s Jeff Goodman confirmed on Monday afternoon what had been the subject of rumors for an hour or so: Marquette guard Duane Wilson is graduating in May and exercising his option to transfer for his final year of collegiate eligibility.
Duane Wilson leaving Marquette and will be a grad transfer. Can play immediately. Last player Buzz Williams signed.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 20, 2017
A little over an hour earlier, this had apparently popped up on Snapchat.
All due respect to loyal reader Jon there, but I couldn’t quite take “a screenshot of Snapchat that a friend sent me” as 100% serious until confirmed by someone else.
Shortly after Goodman’s tweet, Wilson posted a tweet of his own, with mostly the same wording as his Snapchat posting, but with an extra thank you tossed into the middle of it.
Wilson’s departure does come as something of a surprise, as he did not give that impression to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the locker room following the Golden Eagles’ NCAA tournament loss to South Carolina on Friday night.
Wilson was at Marquette for four years, but only played for three of them after redshirting his first season due to a stress fracture in his leg. That season was Buzz Williams’ final year in Milwaukee, putting all of Wilson’s playing time under the tutelage of Steve Wojciechowski. Wilson was the final remaining player on the roster that was recruited by Buzz Williams, as he joins seniors Jajuan Johnson and Luke Fischer in departing following the 2016-17 season.
Wilson went from starting in 29 of his 32 appearances as a freshman while averaging 11.9 points per game to 15 starts in 33 appearances while scoring 11.6 points per game as a sophomore to a greatly reduced role as a junior. He had his minutes cut nearly in half, playing just 16.4 minutes per game while appearing in 30 of Marquette’s 32 games this past season. He started seven times, with six of those after Wojciechowski jumbled the rotation late in the season in order to salvage an NCAA tournament appearance. Wilson averaged just 4.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, but it was clear that he was the heart and soul of the team, not just on the floor but off of it as well.
Wilson was just 92 points away from becoming Marquette’s 48th 1,000 point scorer, and would have easily cleared that bar if he had elected to stay for his final year of eligibility.
Quite honestly, Duane Wilson is going to be missed, and we here at Anonymous Eagle wish him nothing but the best both at his new school and in everything else he does.
Here’s what the Marquette scholarship situation looks like going forward, now that Wilson’s spot for 2017-18 is open.