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What’s Next For Marquette’s Recruiting After The Hauser Departure?

We take a look forward as Steve Wojciechowski has to replace nearly 64 minutes per game of playing time in the short term.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Hartford Practice David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Based on the site data for the last couple of days, you’d have to be living under the world’s largest rock to have not heard that Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser will be transferring away from Marquette following the end of the spring semester. That issue has its own multitude of issues to speculate and ruminate about, but without cold hard facts coming from the mouths of either Hauser or head coach Steve Wojciechowski, all we can do is draw conclusions.

That’s not what this article is, though. Here we’re going to look forward from this point and see what’s up with the Marquette roster in the short term as well as in the long term while Wojciechowski is still the head coach. In that vein, let’s start with a freshly updated scholarship chart.

The departure of Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser from the 2019-20 roster will require the MU coaching staff to fill the 33.4 minutes per game from Sam and 29.2 minutes per game from Joey. The pair both started more than 30 games each this past season, so it’s a major void to be filled for next season. What passes for good news here is that Marquette has two players on the roster that we’re expecting to be active in 2019-20 as well as a third that might make it there. Koby McEwen has finished his transfer redshirt season and has been practicing with the team all through 2018-19. Greg Elliott has been cleared for full activity after breaking his thumb for months now and has been a part of practices as well. Both guys were expected to make a big contribution in 2019-20 anyway, and it’s entirely possible that the departure of the Hausers makes it easier for the coaching staff to figure out how to distribute minutes.

The question mark to be answered from the guys currently on the roster is Ike Eke. He sat out his first year on campus with a back issue that required surgery, and then, after apparently making a full recovery and breaking the MU standing leap record over the summer, needed a second procedure that kept him from playing at all in 2018-19. It’s unclear at this time if it was the same injury or a different one. However, I’m not entirely sure that matters. Back injuries can be weird things to deal with if you’re an average sized human being, and when you’re 6’9” like Eke is, that can make things radically worse. I’d love nothing more than to see him out on the Fiserv Forum court come November, but that issue can only be resolved by the Marquette medical staff at this point.

If McEwen, Elliott, and Eke all end up able to play, that’s going to solve a lot of problems for the MU coaching staff. That, along with Dexter Akanno joining the team as a freshman, would give them a 10 man rotation. Considering that they depended on eight guys every game in 2018-19, and by the end of the season it was really only seven, having 10 is more than enough. However, Marquette does still have three open scholarships for this fall as things stand right now.

My gut instinct is that none of those three spots will be filled. The most likely candidate to get one of them is Symir Torrence. The Class of 2020 prospect is eligible to reclassify to 2019, and Marquette’s scholarship offer essentially came with a “hey, show up whenever you want” clause. It’s hard to argue that remaining at Vermont Academy for another year would be the best thing for Torrence from a basketball perspective, but given that he’s a guard, there are questions as to how much playing time he would get as a freshman behind Markus Howard as well as McEwen, Elliott, and Sacar Anim.

As far as any other candidates go, it’s a short list at best. Depending on how much notification that Wojciechowski got that the Hausers were leaving, Marquette is behind the pack when it comes to looking around for incoming transfers. We talked about a couple of prospects that MU was involved in recently, but one of them has already made his choice. Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook’s Mark Miller mentioned yesterday, after the Hauser news was public, that Marquette had reached out to Waukesha West’s David Skogman.

He’s a Class of 2019 prospect, measuring up at 6’10” and 210 pounds according to 247 Sports. He’s also unranked in 247’s Composite system, but there may be a reason for that. Skogman suffered cardiac arrest during a summer league game in June 2018. While he spent a week in a hospital and underwent surgery, he ended up with a full clearance to play hoops again. He averaged 18.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 3.2 blocks to earn himself Wisconsin Top Senior Post Player honors from WSN. It’s verrrrrrry late in the game to get involved with a 2019 prospect, but on the flip side, Skogman is still uncommitted.

That’s immediate future stuff. The long term recruiting is probably the bigger issue here. Sam Hauser was going to be a senior in 2019-20, so his scholarship was going to be available following next year anyway. Joey Hauser’s departure does give the Marquette staff another scholarship to work with for 2020-21, in addition to the four that they were expecting to have available. The big question is how the coaching staff is going to deal with the questions they get from prospects and their families about why the Hausers elected to depart from a team that was projected to be at worst a top 10 team with Markus Howard returning.

It appears that the coaching staff will get their first chance to deal with these questions on Friday. Jake Weingarten from Stock Risers reports that the Golden Eagles will be visiting Andre Jackson on Friday. Jackson, currently ranked #40 in the Class of 2020 by 247 Sports, received an offer from Marquette in February. Jackson is a club basketball teammate of Symir Torrence, so there’s a natural connection to Marquette past the relationship that the coaches have already forged with him.

The Golden Eagles have a laundry list of guys with offers for the Class of 2020, most notably Nicolet’s Jalen Johnson (#3) and Jamari Sibley (#80). The top targets past those two Wisconsin guys seem to be Jalen Suggs (#10), Dawson Garcia (#30), and Dain Dainja (#51). Julian Strawther (#37) had Marquette in his top 10 in February, and he’s set to announce his college choice on April 18th. I wouldn’t exactly cross your fingers there, but that’s something to keep an eye on, I suppose.

The final issue to address in terms of where the roster is going is Steve Wojciechowski’s contract. It expires following the 2021-22 season. Given the end of season collapse and the subsequent departure of the Hausers, there is zero reason to expect that will change. The only possible reason that Marquette would want a longer deal at this point would in trade for diminishing Wojciechowski’s buyout if they decide to go in a different direction between now and April 2022, and there’s pretty much no reason why Wojciechowski would agree to that. That does mean that the coaching staff has to go talk to 2020 prospects all summer long knowing that Wojciechowski’s contract is currently slated to end following their sophomore year. It is not a good situation to be in, and I wouldn’t expect that to change over the next 365 days.