The 2018-19 college basketball season is right around the corner, so let’s get into the Marquette Golden Eagles 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 MU’s lone true freshman, then the lone graduate transfer, followed by the three players who redshirted last season for one reason or another, and then wrapping up with the returning players, going in order of average minutes played per game last season from lowest to highest.
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, we turn our attention to the transfer from Nebraska who is now eligible to suit up.....
Redshirt Junior - #30 - 6’7” - 235 pounds - Chicago, Illinois
Ed Morrow is a big dude, not a tall dude (by basketball standards) but a big dude. The 6’ 7”, 235 pound Nebraska transfer made a name for himself prior to playing at Marquette by standing his ground against Big Ten centers who many times were four inches taller than him. This is the type of dude Ed Morrow is, a bulldog who will not give one inch of ground no matter who the opponent is. His sophomore season at Nebraska, Morrow led Nebraska with a 20.6% defensive rebounding rate, and an even more impressive 14.3% offensive rebounding rate which was good for 29th nationally. These attributes are the reason that we recruited Morrow so hard after he announced his intention to transfer from Nebraska. After watching Luke Fischer bring the heat on the offensive glass but not on the other end for the last three-ish years, it seemed that Wojo decided to do the total opposite direction with the bowing ball that is Ed Morrow.
During his mandatory redshirt season Morrow has impressed many people in the gym including Spectrum Sports’ Dennis Krause who has mentioned that when he was there Morrow looked like the best player in the gym (as I stated in my roundtable answer for later today, please do not take this all too seriously). At Nebraska, Morrow did not shoot the ball very much, if at all, outside of the lane, however, it has been rumored that Morrow has been working on his mid-range jumper which although is not the most efficient shot would still be useful to stretch the defense a bit. Overall, Morrow has some pretty big expectations this season that, if fulfilled, should bode very well for Marquette this season.
Settling on what is reasonable from Morrow this season is a bit difficult as there are so many forwards on this team who could get playing time at the 4 and the 5. However, I do believe Morrow will come out of the fray with a healthy dose of minutes ad I will project him that way. I expect Morrow to score around 11 points per game and grab around 7 rebounds per game. Realistically, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to numbers, but what I do know is reasonable is that Morrow beats the hell out of opposing bigs. Morrow is a massive dude who can punish opposing bigs down low, something we have not had since Davante Gardner. Morrow should be able to keep up his high offensive rebounding numbers at Marquette and hopefully increase his offensive rating which hovered around 100 at Nebraska. Overall, it is reasonable that Morrow comes in and get good minutes, goes to town on opposing bigs, grabbing offensive boards, and gathering a collection of highlight dunks/blocks.
Reasons To Get Excited
WE FINALLY HAVE A TOUGH BIG MAN!!!!! As I stated earlier, we have not had a tough big in a long time. As much as we all love Matt Heldt, no one sees him playing defense against them and rethinks their life choices that resulted in them in such a situation. Morrow on the other hand is big and strong enough to make even the toughest Big East center quiver. Morrow should be able to succeed as a rim running, shot blocking forward/center. If Morrow plays power forward, opposing teams will have a hell of a time keeping him off the glass which should really help Marquette as neither of our returning bigs have established reputations as great rebounders. When Morrow is playing center, he should be able to make opposing center uncomfortable away from the basket (assuming the reports of his outside shot are not similar to the facts we know about Ethan Happ). Overall, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Ed Morrow, he is a true power forward that can block shots, defend, and most importantly rebound. Most importantly, Morrow fits well into the roster as we really needed someone to bring in some toughness and energy down low.
Morrow has been seen limping around campus a bit over the last week which makes me worry a bit about his health as he had foot problems at Nebraska and foot problems and big men do not go together very well in case you haven’t heard. However, my biggest apprehension about Morrow is his ability to use his left hand. I have watched all the video that has ever been taken of Ed Morrow playing basketball (okay, not really but I found a lot of it), and I am yet to see him attempt a shot with his left hand! That is something a hyper athletic big can get away with in high school, but I am shocked that the trend continued at Nebraska, if Morrow does not have a left hand here at Marquette, it will be tough to rely on him to be a consistent scoring threat down low. Morrow is probably the most proven newcomer on the team which does something to alleviate the concerns I have about Morrow’s off hand, but I would like to see him improve in that area anyway, especially if he starts to handle the ball more outside the paint as he has stated he wishes to.