With the 2016-2017 season now in the books, let’s take a few moments to look back at the performance that each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles this year. While we're at it, we'll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We'll run through roster in order of total minutes played (lowest to highest). Let’s continue and turn our attention to MU’s grad transfer player....
#22 - Graduate Student - 6’6” - 210 lb.
Katin Reinhardt Traditional Stats
Katin Reinhardt Fancy Stats
(** - denotes top 500 ranking via KenPom)
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.
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 writer) 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.
Well, we should probably start with the elephant in the room, right?
Back in late November, this fine website published an article titled “At What Point Does Katin Reinhardt Need To Be Shackled To The Bench?” It discussed what was, at the time, Reinhardt’s incredible struggles on the floor for the Golden Eagles. Let’s not beat around the bush too much: He was really bad to start the season. I wasn’t trying to be particularly mean about it because I don’t think it’s mean to wonder how much more rope a coaching staff is going to give to a guy who was taking way too many shots relative to how often they were going through the rim.
In case you don’t remember: Tied for most three-point attempts on the team, but only shooting 25%.
That’s a really bad combination, and I stand by what was written at the time. As you can see in our Potential Pitfalls section from Reinhardt’s preview in late October, there was reason to believe that he was going to be gunning for his own stats at the start of the season. Through the first six games of 2016-17, it certainly looked like that could be the case and Reinhardt’s poor shooting numbers weren’t going to deter him from firing away.
Hilariously, Reinhardt missed the game the day after that article was published due to illness. He played in the next three games, going 7-for-17 (41%) on three-pointers, but that was largely due to a 4-for-6 effort against Wisconsin where he disappeared in the second half (0-1 from distance) as MU blew a five point halftime lead and lost by nine.
That’s where things got fun. Reinhardt missed the next two games as head coach Steve Wojciechowski gave him time off after finals to heal an mild Achilles injury that he had suffered in the “secret” scrimmage against Dayton and was affecting his lift on his jumper. Yes, that’s right, Reinhardt was hurt, tried to play through it, and shot just 31% on treys even though he wasn’t able to jump properly on his shot. End result? Wojo pulled him from the active lineup in order to let his Achilles rest and heal..... essentially shackling him to the bench to try to fix the problem.
I don’t want to tell you “I told you so,” but I told you so.
Reinhardt returned for the start of Big East play and had perhaps his worst game of the season. He played 19 minutes against Georgetown, went 2-for-6 overall, 0-for-4 from long range, committed one turnover (which was particularly memorable and more on that in a moment), committed one foul, and finished with an offensive rating of 59. This game included Reinhardt taking a meandering dribble from one wing to the other across the free throw line and then immediately fired up a turnaround fadeaway three (he missed, obviously) as well as just flat out missing Luke Fischer on a entry bounce pass for the aforementioned turnover. It wasn’t tipped, as the referee that was all of six feet away signaled Georgetown ball, it just slowly bounced out of bounds without coming anywhere near Fischer. In a season already full of maddening plays by the California native, this one — and this game in general — took the cake.
Serious question: are we SURE Katin Reinhardt has played high major basketball before this season? #mubb— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) December 29, 2016
That tweet was sent immediately after that errant pass.
This next one was sent after the game and is a reply to the AE tweet.
Well, at least he was entertained.
Facts are facts: A guy with a reputation as an unrepentant gunner was shooting an atrocious 28.6% on three-pointers and making head scratching plays left, right, and center. This was not going well for anyone involved, as Marquette had gone through non-conference play without any particularly impressive non-conference wins and had held on to beat Georgetown in a game that they absolutely needed to win to make it to the postseason.
All of this, as it turns out, is prelude.
Katin Reinhardt was pretty flipping great the rest of the season.
He shot 41.7% on threes (43-of-103) the rest of the way, winding his way into a 38% shooting mark on the season, which is more than acceptable and is veering straight into pretty great as he was one of the 500 best shooters in the country. In league play only, Reinhardt was top 10 in the Big East in offensive rating (#7), effective field goal percentage (#7), true shooting percentage (#8), turnover rate (#4), fouls called per 40 minutes (#2), and three-point shooting percentage (#9). Considering he ended up playing a lot of the 4 on defense, either partnered with Luke Fischer, Matt Heldt, or Sam Hauser if MU went really small, that fouls called mark is almost absurdly great. If you want to get a little more traditional about things, Reinhardt averaged 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in the 18 game Big East schedule, coming off the bench for each game to average 27.6 minutes a night. Each one of those stats, even the minutes, are all higher than his season averages.
As if to drive home the point about how great Reinhardt was in league play, his lone KenPom MVP performance of the season came in...... you guessed it, the home upset of #1 Villanova. He had 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting, with a 4-of-7 mark from long range. All four three-point makes came in the second half as MU rallied from a 17 point deficit a few seconds after the break to stun the top ranked Wildcats. He had a big stretch midway through the second half where he assisted on a Fischer dunk, blocked a Mikal Bridges shot, drew a foul while rebounding a Rowsey miss and made both free throws, then nailed threes on MU’s next two possessions. Now, this will largely be lost to history, as it merely kept Marquette even with Villanova at that point. But it was a crucial juncture of the game to keep the game between 10 and 14 points.
Reinhardt wasn’t done with his heroics in that game, though. He assisted on the Sam Hauser bomb that cut the lead to just three, answered a Jalen Brunson steal & layup with a jumper of his own, and then cashed in the three that tied the game at 70 with 64 seconds left to play. He STILL wasn’t done, as it was Reinhardt’s two free throws with 11 seconds left that provided MU with the winning margin when Brunson’s layup and Darryl Reynolds’ tip-in attempt missed.
We talked about Duane Wilson’s role in winning that game in his review, but it has to be said here as well: Marquette doesn’t beat Villanova without the performance of Katin Reinhardt, and as you can guess, it qualifies as his Best Game of the season.
Season Grade, on a scale of 1 to 10: The question here becomes how much do we ding Reinhardt for being bad before conference play started even though he was dealing with the Achilles issue that hampered him to a degree?
On one hand: bad. On the other hand: injured. On the other other hand: was obviously hampered by injury and kept being bad even though the injury was causing him to be bad.
The problem is that if you only look at how Reinhardt played after New Year’s Day, he clearly qualifies for a very good grade. He was a better than expected shooter for that part of the season, and he clearly filled in the role that Wojciechowski and the staff had carved out for him to the best of his ability: lots of great shooting, a better assist rate than anywhere else in his career, and the best rebounding rates of his career. It’s just that there’s this 13 game sample where he was kind of bad and kind of dragging the whole team into the earth, essentially displaying every red flag that was thought to be possible about him before the season started.
Ultimately, I think I have to give him a 7. As a whole, he had a very good season, and a 7 is a very good grade. I can’t go higher than that because of his early struggles and going lower just feels like being mean for no reason other than just to do it. Did Katin Reinhardt have a bunch of moments where he was incredibly frustrating to watch? Sure. He was also incredibly fun to watch a lot of the time and the fact of the matter is that Marquette made the NCAA tournament for the first time in four seasons in large part because of Reinhardt’s contributions.