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:
Which of the newcomers will have the biggest impact on Marquette’s season?
Koby McEwen has been with the team for a full year, but he sat out in 2018-19 as a redshirt after transferring from Utah State. Jayce Johnson is a graduate transfer from Utah who got started on college a semester early and thus finished his degree with a year of eligibility remaining. Dexter Akanno and Symir Torrence are both traditional freshmen, although Akanno is a year older than Torrence after spending a post-graduate year at Blair Academy.
Koby McEwen has been the assumed running mate alongside Markus Howard since he transferred here from Utah State. He should be able to provide Howard relief from having to both be the leading scorer and facilitator. McEwen was a bit inconsistent at Utah State having his three-point shooting percentage drop from 41.6% to 32% from his freshman to sophomore year. That was with a bit of a volume jump, though, going from 4.3 attempts per game to 6.8 per game, so with a year to practice and a reduced offensive load, I see no reason why his percentage should not climb back up past 37% or so. Other newcomers like Jayce Johnson and Symir Torrence may very well have an impact on the team but I do not see either of them getting the minutes to contend with the impact that McEwen should have. In a recent interview, McEwen said both his shooting and his defense have gotten better during his redshirt year. If he is right at all, he will be one of the biggest contributors on the team, not just amongst the four new guys.
Koby McEwen, in that his play could almost single handedly determine how the season goes. If he lives up to the scouting hype on offense then we’ll see a dynamic wing with size who can take a lot of pressure off Markus Howard. If he plays like he did at Utah State, then we’re getting a high volume, low efficiency chucker who takes more valuable shots away from Markus with lazy defense on top of it.
Koby McEwen, but I think that both Symir Torrence and Dexter Akanno will prove that they belong in the rotation by the end of the year. Symir is a backcourt scorer heir apparent, and Dexter reminds me of a combo of Greg Elliott and Sacar Anim with a smoother jump shot than either of them immediately out of high school. Both will be great multi-year players at Marquette, but for the single season impact, I think it has to be Koby.
Koby McEwen will be the most impactful newcomer, for better or worse. I remained concerned about his efficiency, but he will command a much bigger role than any of the other newcomers because of his established pedigree.
Koby McEwen is the newcomer that will have the biggest impact this year. Again, it just makes the most sense to me that the person that will likely be inserted as the starting point guard will have a huge impact on how well the Golden Eagles play. I think Koby and Markus will split time running the offense. But just having a competent ball-handler that can mesh well with Markus will be a massive improvement from last year. We can get into hypothetical arguments as to whether or not Koby is really a newcomer since he was on the team last year...but I’m not going to entertain those arguments since he has yet to play a competitive game for Marquette. He will have the biggest influence on the success of the team compared to the other newcomers.
Just to be a problem as well as to make things interesting around here, I’m going to veer from everyone else and say Jayce Johnson is the guy for this topic. While I have my doubts about the effectiveness of Steve Wojciechowski’s “two bigs at the same time” tactic, he keeps talking about it out in public, so I presume we’ll see quite a bit of it. If that’s the case, then we’re going to see quite a bit of Jayce Johnson paired with either Theo John or Ed Morrow.
The fact of the matter is that Johnson is Marquette’s first actual 7-footer since the 2009-10 season, and the first 7-footer that’s going to actually contribute something to the team since Jim McIlvaine, and he was a senior in 1994. Johnson is a legitimate rebounding wizard on both ends of the court, and in a year where Marquette is going to have to suddenly solve for losing the offensive efficiency of both Hauser brothers, Johnson is going to provide extra extended/ended possessions that MU didn’t get last year. He’s a perfectly respectable rim protector, and if he’s paired with Theo John, he might even turn into a very dangerous one. On top of all of that, we can trust him with the ball after a Pac-12 turnover rate of just 13.9% last year.
We go on and on about how elite of a defender that Theo John was for Marquette last season..... but Jayce Johnson might just be able to contribute the exact same things in the exact same way for the Golden Eagles.
Which newcomer will have the biggest impact on Marquette’s season?
This poll is closed