The 2019-20 college basketball season is quickly approaching, and thus, we turn our attention to previewing the upcoming Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season.
To that end, we’ve got a stacked up list of questions about the 2019-20 campaign, and each of the contributors to AE are going to take a crack at answering them. There will be a new question every weekday afternoon between now and the start of the season, so be sure to stop back every day to find the new one.
Onwards, then, to the question of the day:
Who will lead the team in rebounds this year?
Marquette returns no one who averaged at least 5.0 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles last year. Sam Hauser averaged 7.2 rebounds per game, while Joey Hauser grabbed up 5.3 caroms per contest. Theo John is your returning leader at 4.9 rebounds per game. In short, there’s going to be a lot of available missed shots for someone to grab this coming season.
I seriously considered the possibility of Theo John killing a wolf with his bare hands, if that gives any prior indication of my answer.
Eric Gebhart’s favorite player, Jayce Johnson. Jayce was brought in specifically to own the glass. I’d be shocked if he didn’t do that. Marquette seems to spread rebounds evenly, so I wouldn’t predict Jayce to have numbers that blow others out of the water, but it’s his role on this team.
I’m going to say Ed Morrow on this one. It is tough to base a prediction off anything we saw last year since Marquette lost their top two rebounders and Coach Wojo is now planning on playing a significant amount of two bigs basketball. However, Morrow lead fellow big man Theo John in rebound rate last season on both sides of the ball, so that has to be worth something. Furthermore, Morrow can play the four and five which should allow him more minutes in two big lineups (I just don’t see John and Johnson playing together, European trip starting lineup be damned). Having a smaller man on him should give a slight boost to Morrow’s rebounding numbers. Between that and the fact Theo John is yet to prove he is able to stay out of foul trouble, I think Morrow edges him out. Jayce Johnson could very well lead the team in rebound percentage but I just don’t see him getting enough minutes to edge out Morrow or John is total rebounds. One reason I could be wrong on this one is Morrow showing a bit more of an outside game in the preseason. If Morrow fades farther from the basket in an attempt to space the floor for this team, his rebounding numbers could take a bit of a hit and John’s end up receive a boon.
Ed Morrow is my pick here. He’s a voracious rebounder when he gets playing time, and I think his athleticism coupled with Theo John’s foul issues and Jayce Johnson not commanding enough minutes will make Ed the team’s most consistent threat on the boards.
I’m going to make the assumption that it’ll be one of the three bigs on the roster. I know, really out a limb here. It’s entirely possible that Brendan Bailey or Markus Howard finish top two, but I’d be pretty surprised if either of them led the team. Ed Morrow led the team (scholarship players anyways, but shoutout Mike Lelito) in rebounds per 40 minutes last year. With the potential for a two big rotation this year, it’s safe to say that his minutes see an pretty noticeable increase from 15 per game last year. Jayce Johnson averaged 7.7 boards per game at Utah last year, but he’s not at a mid major anymore (suck it Pac 12), and if Theo John isn’t able to stay out of foul trouble, which he hasn’t proven an ability to do yet, then it makes sense for Big Ed to lead the team in rebounding.
We have to go back to Luke Fischer to see the last time a center led the team in rebounds for Marquette. Sam Hauser has taken over in that department for Marquette since then. Last year, Sam and Joey were first and second in boards with an average of 7.2 and 5.3 apiece. One could say (as some of my colleagues have) “Hey, Theo John is the returner with the most rebounds last season, let’s pick him.” He’s the easy choice. I’m going to go with Brenden Bailey though. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s roundtable, I see him improving a lot this year and he’s got the athleticism and length (he’s got a 6-10 wingspan) to go up and grab those treasured rebounds. Not to mention he showed some promising game in the closed scrimmage against Indiana nearly missing a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Sure, it’s one exhibition so make of it what you will. But I think he’ll be Marquette’s leading rebounder by the end of the year.
Until I see it in action — and by the way, even Steve Wojciechowski didn’t start out the game with it in the secret scrimmage against Indiana — I am in denial about the mythologized two-bigs lineup actually being a thing that Marquette uses to good effect on a regular basis this season. There’s just way too many highly mobile fours in the Big East, and I just don’t see it working as a long term successful idea.
What this means is that someone who is not Theo John, Jayce Johnson, or Ed Morrow would, just maybe, end up playing a whole bunch of minutes at the four, the spot on the floor where Sam Hauser and then Joey Hauser grabbed up a whole mess of rebounds over the past two seasons.
The most likely recipient of all of that playing time and thus a whole wad of rebounds? Ladies and gentlemen, Brendan Bailey.
Who will lead Marquette in rebounds in 2019-20?
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