Five? We have to talk about five more transferring players who have heard from Marquette men’s basketball? Holy crap.
If you haven’t seen the checklist of who else that head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his current total of two assistants have made contact with, then you need to click here and here and here and here and here and here. That’s not a joke, those are all totally unique and different articles that have gone up on this site since March 16th.
Let’s dive into what we have now, shall we?
James Madison transfer Darius Banks has heard from a list of schools including Butler, Charlotte, Colorado State, ETSU, FAU, Georgia, Liberty, Marquette, Northwestern, Oregon State, UNF, USF, and UTSA, he tells @RivalsPortal.— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) March 24, 2020
Averaged 12.2 points & 4.9 rebounds last season
When Butler, Northwestern, and Georgia are the most interesting names after Marquette on the list, I have questions.
Darius Banks was listed as a 6’5”, 220 pound junior guard out of St. Petersburg, Florida, on the James Madison roster this past season. As the team went 9-21 overall and 2-16 in CAA play, Banks averaged 12.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. That’s pretty much a solid representation of his entire Dukes career, as Banks has started 89 of the 93 games he appeared in over the past three seasons. I think it’s important to point out at this juncture that I’m not 100% clear as to whether or not Banks is a graduate transfer or if he is a sit one/play one transfer. He did not redshirt a season at JMU and his own Twitter announcement of his transfer doesn’t mention graduation, so I’m leaning towards sit one/play one.
Banks is a career 36% three-point shooter, but that comes nowhere close to telling the whole story. He knocked down 37 of his 75 attempts as a sophomore, and anyone who will shoot 49% is always welcome on my team. He’s only hitting 32% in his other two seasons of college hoops, and that is not good. 33% on nearly 200 attempts last season is not great, especially with JMU having other options to knock down threes on the roster.
The other problem with his shooting is that, uh, well, I’m not really sure what else he brings to the table. He’s a good free throw shooter, but he’s not getting to the line all that much generally speaking. I’m totally confused on his turnovers, as he posted a 16.1% turnover rate according to KenPom.com this past season...... after an awful 25.6% in 2018-19. When he’s not raining in threes like he was in his sophomore season, his overall shooting numbers are questionable. Banks rebounds well enough for someone listed as a guard, but probably not well enough for someone who is 6’5” and 220 pounds. He’ll get you steals for sure, although if Steve Wojciechowski is dead set on finishing around 300 or lower in defensive turnover rate as a team for the third (or fourth if Banks is a sit out guy) straight season, then steals don’t matter at all.
Just one day of being in the portal, Santa Clara transfer Trey Wertz tells @Stockrisers he’s heard from 20+ programs. He talks his recruitment plus he landed scholarship offer from Arizona’s Sean Miller. Marquette is the newest program involved. | Story: https://t.co/4VOxyhS17v pic.twitter.com/HRub0tTJOn— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 25, 2020
Trey Wertz was a 6’4”, 180 pound sophomore guard on the Santa Clara roster this past season. As a sophomore, that makes him a traditional transfer, meaning that he’ll sit out the 2020-21 season no matter where he ends up and have two years of eligibility left after that.
Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Wertz was a major component from Day #1 for SC head coach Herb Sendek. He started 58 of the 62 games that he appeared in and only missed two contests in two seasons, both late in 2019-20. Wertz has career averages of 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He has a shooting splits line of 47%/36%/76%, which is perfectly fine. Shooting 40% on four attempts per game from long range as a sophomore for the Broncos is likely helping Wertz get so much attention now that he’s in the transfer portal.
Good to great shooter, both inside and outside the arc, quality size, great assist rates (including ranking #55 in the country as a freshman), decent enough free throw rate, pretty good rebounding for his position. There’s a lot to like about Trey Wertz. And then there’s the 27% and 22.5% turnover rates in his two seasons of collegiate hoops according to KenPom.com. Look, if it comes down to it, Wertz will likely be a quality addition to the Marquette roster. But if the Golden Eagles coaching staff is sorting their options into some kind of an ranking system, I’d prefer that they put several someones in front of Wertz. MU has had enough turnover problems the last few years. Let’s not invite more.
Radford grad transfer Carlik Jones has already heard from more than 15 schools, sources told ESPN, including:— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 25, 2020
Radford listed Jones as a 6’1”, 180 pound guard this past season as a redshirt junior. With 87 starts in 99 appearances for head coach Mike Jones, the Cincinnati native averaged 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while running out there for over 30 minutes a night.
Jones either fixed his shooting stroke, started taking better shots, or got on the world’s greatest hot streak as a junior. After going just 58-for-207 from behind the arc (28%) in his first two seasons of college ball, Jones knocked down 40.9% of his long range attempts in 2019-20. That was probably a big reason why his scoring jumped from 15.7 as a sophomore to 20.0 points per game as a junior.
The big question for adding Jones to the Marquette roster is how he will fit in to what Steve Wojciechowski wants to do with his team in 2020-21. Having a point guard that has put up back-to-back seasons with assist rates in the top 25 in the country per KenPom.com is a very good idea for a squad that doesn’t have any locked in go-to options and needs big minutes from freshmen in the front court. However, I don’t know if a high usage guard like Jones — #33 in the country in usage per KenPom, #73 in shot % — is the right move. It kind of worked out okay for most of 2019-20 for Marquette as they rose to #18 in the country in the AP poll. However, it stopped working the rest of the way, even though the ultra high usage All-American was still putting up All-American numbers. My instinct is that MU desperately needs a brand new system on offense because no one else can do what Markus Howard can do, and swapping Jones in for Howard is not likely to end up anywhere near as successful as anyone would really want it to be.
Rhode Island transfer Tyrese Martin has heard from Nebraska, Louisville, Ole Miss, Miami, Marquette, Georgia, Temple and Arizona State, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 25, 2020
Averaged 11.6 points per game and seven rebounds for the Rams.
Rhode Island listed Martin as a 6’6”, 205 pound guard on their roster this past season. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, native worked his way into the starting lineup as a freshman at URI and then started all 30 contests for the Rams this past year. With averages of 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals in 2019-20, you can see why people would be ringing his phone off the hook now that he’s in the transfer portal.
Okay, so here’s the problem: He can’t shoot. 31% from long range as a freshman, 32% as a sophomore. On four attempts per game, that ain’t getting it done. Rhody had better options than Martin this past season in Fatts Russell and Jeff Dowtin, but those shots still went up. That’s a problem, although URI was kind of a lousy three-point shooting team overall. If Marquette’s coaching staff can corral Martin’s tendencies and/or work on his shot during his mandated sit out year before he plays his final two seasons of eligibility, then that’s fine.
The biggest thing that jumps out at me when I glance at Martin’s KenPom.com page is his offensive rebounding. He snuck into the top 500 in the country in OR rate as a freshman, and was pretty good on that end as a sophomore, too. Now, that may mostly be a function of how URI head coach David Cox was deploying his lineups, as Martin was usually the third guard/small forward out on the floor for the Rams. Still, offensive rebounding from someone listed as a guard on the roster is something of a unique thing to see, and if that is just something that Martin innately understands how to do, that’s a great thing to add to a roster.
Illinois transfer Alan Griffin is officially in the transfer portal, a source told @Stockrisers. He’s heard from Creighton, Duke, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Pittsburgh, Marquette, amongst others. Highly-touted transfer.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 25, 2020
Let’s be clear and honest about what Alan Griffin is and was as a player for Illinois this past season, okay? The 6’5”, 195 pound guard from Ossining, New York, came off the bench to play 18 minutes per game and averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds as a sophomore while knocking down 41.6% of his shots from behind the three-point line. Griffin attempted four of those per game while averaging 6.4 total shots per game.
I get that he has a lot of very tippy top schools chasing after him right now along with Marquette. He also appears to be just a guy, or at least was at Illinois this past season. Now, Griffin was even less of a guy the year before that, averaging 7.8 minutes per game and only hitting 30% of his three-pointers. I will 100% admit that I never watched a single second of Illinois basketball this season, so if you want to hop in the comments and tell me that Griffin has an incredible ceiling that’s not coming anywhere close to be scratched yet, then hey, I’ll believe you. His KenPom.com page looks really great, ranking #6 in the country in efficiency this past season, ranking in the top 150 in offensive rebounding rate and in the top 500 on the other end, and he barely ever turned the ball over. He didn’t take many two-point attempts, but when he did, they went in a whole bunch. Cool! Very fun.
I just don’t know if “definitely a quality shooter and doesn’t take anything off the table elsewhere” is a particularly need for Marquette in a guy who will sit out one season and then play two more. MU currently has no known quantities in guards set for the roster in 2021-22, and I would prefer to see the Golden Eagles get a more dynamic player. That’s just my preference, and again, if I’m wrong, please tell me how wrong I am.
Let’s drop in the ol’ scholarship chart here.
You can see that everyone contacted in this update was a guard. This is because Marquette needs guards. Their guard/wing set for 2020-21 is Koby McEwen, Greg Elliott, and Symir Torrence returning from last year’s active roster and Dexter Akanno coming off his redshirt season. 2021-22 is the exact same guys minus McEwen as his eligibility will be wrapped up at that point. Maybe things change between now and November — Karim Mane’s future is still undecided — but we can definitely say that there are no known reliable quantities in that group of four guards. If you want, you can even flip Brendan Bailey into the group, as the influx of Dawson Garcia, Oso Ighodaro, and Justin Lewis might nudge Bailey more towards the wing. Still, that doesn’t fix the “no known quantities” issue, as McEwen’s wild hot and cold streaks are the closest thing to a set in place thing to trust.
Marquette currently has two scholarships open for sure, as one of the scholarships used in 2019-20 was for former walk-on Tommy Gardiner. If Steve Wojciechowski and his staff need a third scholarship, then it’s probably possible to withdraw the spot from Gardiner. I’m not sure what was and was not promised to him when he was put on scholarship for this past season, and part of the whole deal depends on that.