With the 2017-2018 season in the books long ago, let’s take a few moments to look back at the performance of 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), which means we kick things off with a player with eligibility remaining that won’t be returning to the Golden Eagles next season......
Sophomore - #21 - Center - 6’11’’ - 250 lbs. - Townsville, Australia
Harry Froling Traditional Stats
Harry Froling Fancy Stats
Before I give my take...why not get Froling’s thoughts on his expectations? Here’s what Froling had to say in that same interview with ESPN:
“I know I’m not Henry [Ellenson], but we do have some similar attributes and the way Coach demonstrated how he changes the offense and plays to his team was awesome. As long as I hold up my end of the bargain and give it my all, there’s no reason I don’t see myself playing a huge role in the success of Marquette in the near and distant future.”
Any time someone compares themselves to first round NBA draft pick Henry Ellenson, they are very confident about their game. I definitely buy his mentality and think he’s on to something. Froling has similar physical attributes to those of Ellenson. The only problem is that no one has seen Froling play in a competitive basketball game since leaving SMU last December. So what does this guy really have in him? I believe that with his combination of size and 3-point range he will be a key aspect for the Golden Eagles on both sides of the ball. Due to his mid-season transfer, he will be eligible to start playing for Marquette in mid-December. This doesn’t give Big East opponents much game film to study up on. Froling’s immediate impact will be a bit of a mystery for the Big East. Not just for them, but for us too. We trust he has been working hard in the gym and on the court in the practices leading up to the season. But you never really know what a player is capable of until they get real-game playing time. In his first few games, I see him filling in well for Matt Heldt when he needs a break and also being a quality spot sub when they need a boost defensively.
Why You Should Get Excited
Froling likened himself to first round draft pick Henry Ellenson so that should make you curious of just what he thinks he can do. I mentioned his ability to shoot threes twice already and you’re probably wondering why I think a 6’11”, 250 pound big man has any 3-point shooting ability. Well I’ve been doing my own personal scouting as a blogger should. Most recently, I was at Marquette’s open practice last Thursday and Froling was knocking down threes with ease. I was very impressed by his stroke and comfort he has shooting from behind the arc. If my math is correct, he made five straight threes at one point — none of them even grazing the rim. I know it’s a small sample size but definitely don’t underestimate Froling’s range. I don’t think he’ll hesitate to shoot it from deep if he’s open. That, combined with his potential to dominate the paint makes him a very scary player for opposing defenses. For us, it makes him the most compelling player to watch come January.
I really see two potential pitfalls that could impact Froling’s game this year. The first has to do with timing. Even though he’ll still be practicing with the team, he won’t get any game time until January. Who knows how the first semester is going to shape up? Marquette may have already built a certain chemistry with each other. It could be difficult for Froling to get in game rhythm and in Big East shape since he’ll miss all of the non-conference schedule. I don’t really see this being an issue, however, because he’ll still be practicing with the team and will be very involved on the bench even if he isn’t playing. The second potential struggle for Froling is his quickness and agility. Even after dropping a bunch of weight since transferring, he’s the tallest and bulkiest man on Marquette’s roster. That’s obviously great when he’s in the paint because he can dominate the glass. The flip side of this is that he could struggle covering someone on the wing or if he switches to the ball-handler on the pick-and-roll, and we know that this has been a problem for Marquette in the past. I’m not sure how fluid Marquette’s defense will be this season, but I don’t envision he’ll find himself in this situation too often. Wojo will likely try to keep him in the paint where he can bring down rebounds and help an MU defense that was below average (to put it lightly) last year.
I think Froling will be a big difference maker for the Golden Eagles next semester. I see him splitting time with Heldt at the center and being a key piece in Marquette’s defensive success this year. Aside from his ability to post-up and finish under the basket, I also see him emerging as a three-point shooting option in the rare situation where Markus Howard, Andrew Rowsey, or Sam Hauser haven’t already scored a three on any given offensive possession.
Clearly I was wrong.
Sometimes that happens when you’re optimistic about the team in November. Fortunately (or unfortunately I guess depending on how you look at it), redshirt sophomore Harry Froling is no longer with the Golden Eagles after it was announced on March 23 that he would not be returning to the team next season. Scratch that, it should be a fortunately no matter how you slice it. I don’t mean to bash the kid’s game too much but from a productivity standpoint… he didn’t do enough to warrant a sizeable chunk of minutes next year, especially considering the boatload of bigs Marquette will have on their team next season. Look at the list: Matt Heldt, Theo John, Ed Morrow, and Ike Eke. All probable centers or at the very least post-centric guys that would be deservingly in front of Froling on the pecking order.
The Australia native was an exciting prospect coming in as a sophomore transfer in January of 2017. However, he had an underwhelming 2018 campaign for the Golden Eagles. He averaged 12.4 minutes per game, 2.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in 19 games. Froling looked like he was going to be an integral part of this team when he posted nine points, seven rebounds, and four assists in his second game against American. That turned out to be his most complete game in an MU uniform as he only eclipsed 20+ minutes five times the rest of the season. Froling scored double-digit points in just one game when he had 11 against ‘Nova on January 28. He didn’t see the floor in three of the last six regular season games when the games mattered the most. Over Marquette’s final nine games, he appeared in just four of them, recording just 19 minutes total, but figuring out a way to commit eight fouls.
What happened to the Harry Froling we all thought would have a bigger impact on this team?
In short, he was a one-dimensional player. The one thing he was consistently decent at was grabbing boards. The rest of his defense was okay at best, and given his problems with fouls, that’s probably being generous. Then again, Marquette’s defense was near non-existent all year so I can’t fault the man for his defensive mishaps. What really frustrated me the most was Froling’s offensive output or lack thereof. He had a couple good-ish offensive performances against the aforementioned American and Villanova where he shot 4-of-9 and 5-of-5 respectively. Other than that, missed bunny layups and poorly-timed three point attempts (21% on 4 of 19 shooting, including 11 straight misses at one point) seemed to be the recurring theme for Froling.
Froling’s second game of the season against American was by far his best overall performance. He was close to a double-double with nine points, and seven rebounds. He also nicely dished out four assists. His best shooting performance was at home against ‘Nova when he went a perfect five for five from the field and scored 11 points. Sadly, Marquette lost that game in heart-breaking fashion. Oh so close to back to back upsets of the #1 team at the Bradley Center...anyways.... enough of living in the past.
Season Grade, on a scale of 1-10: 4
He wasn’t Haanif Cheatham bad from last year, since no one really knew what to expect from him. But I think most of us would agree that he just didn’t do enough to prove himself this season. Hence why he’s not returning next year. With Matt Heldt and Theo John being better offensive and defensive options for Coach Wojo, Froling was left to play benchwarmer in the back half of the season. It was simply a failed experiment. Wojo tried to find Froling a role on this team but the Aussie did not seem to ever find a groove within Wojo’s system. It happens. I wish Froling the best of luck in his future endeavors. I hope he can be successful wherever he decides to go next, whether it be another collegiate program or the professional ranks overseas.