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Believe It Or Not, Marquette Is Looking At More Transfers

I know, right??

Gardner-Webb v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Hey, remember when D.J. Carton announced that he was transferring to Marquette? Well, believe it or not, that was a week ago.

Anyway, the point of the story is that Marquette is still not done looking for transfer options to add to the roster. All of the four gentlemen we’re about to talk about in this article have made it known that Marquette has reached out to them since the Carton news was official. As such, we can view all of them through the lens of already having Carton as a part of the team.

Let’s jump in head first, shall we? Going in chronological order.....

Jose Perez

Perez is finishing his sophomore year at Gardner-Webb, so we would have to expect him to sit out the 2020-21 season at this point before having two years of eligibility remaining. The NCAA is voting on changing the transfer rules this summer, but for now, Perez will have to redshirt a season.

As a sophomore for the Bulldogs, the Bronx native averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. That’s roughly the same stats (15/6/3) as his freshman year, where he started in 26 of his 35 appearances. The 6’5”, 200 pound Perez shot just 25% from behind the three-point line after connecting on 38% of his attempts as a freshman. That’s wildly different, and it’s mostly on the same number of attempts (4.0 per game as a freshman to 4.7 as a sophomore), so I don’t know what exactly the deal is with that.

What I do know is that Perez missed Gardner-Webb’s final 10 games of the 2019-20 season. In early February, the team announced that Perez was taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. There’s no explanation as to what that is specifically (they’re called personal reasons, y’know) but whatever they are, they have resulted in Perez pursuing a transfer at this point.

This one’s a little more serious for Marquette than a standard phone call to see what a prospect’s whole deal is. According to a conversation with the always in-tune Jake Weingarten, Perez already talking to Marquette’s staff about setting up a visual visit/tour of the facilities and campus. The logical conclusion there is that Marquette is pretty serious about Perez as well as Perez is already pretty interested in Marquette.

Courvoisier McCauley

As you can see, Courvoisier McCauley is transferring into Division 1 from Division 2. As you can also see from Jake Weingarten’s tweet, McCauley already has at least 10 high major programs blowing his phone up. Why? Well, let’s let Evan Daniels explain:

McCauley, a 6-foot-5 guard out of Lincoln Memorial, is coming off a sophomore season, where he averaged 20 points and 6.3 rebounds, while making nearly 44-percent of his 236 three-point attempts.

SEEMS GOOD.

McCauley is a stupid good three-point shooter from the right half of the arc, as you can see in this heat map from Paint Touches and Synergy:

I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the known universe wonders what the hell is up with McCauley on the left wing, up to and including McCauley himself.

LMU is a real place with a real website with real stats, so we can add some context to what else he brings to the party. 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game is just bonus material for a guy who can shoot like that, and with a 75% free throw mark on 114 attempts in a 33 game season, he’s getting to the line at a pretty decent clip as well. While he has an obvious impact behind the arc, McCauley was still only getting less than half of his shots — just barely at 49.7% — back there, so defenders would be required to take him seriously in terms of getting to the rack.

Barring a change in NCAA rules, McCauley would have to sit out a season while transferring from Division 2. He would then have two years of eligibility remaining after that.

Francis Okoro

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello isn’t the first tweet to pop up with news about Marquette and Okoro, but I wanted to use his tweet because it’s the most informative. Jon Rothstein’s didn’t mention Okoro sitting out for sure in 2020-21, and Jake Weingarten didn’t explain the specific reason.

The Oregon center saw action in 66 games for head coach Dana Altman, averaging 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds while playing 15.2 minutes per game. Those numbers are pretty standard across the board for his two seasons in Eugene. These are, admittedly, surprising numbers for a guy who was 247 Sports’ #56 prospect in the country coming out of high school in Normal, Illinois, back in the Class of 2018. While he’s planning to sit out 2020-21 with his shoulder and ankle injuries, Okoro never missed extended time for Oregon. In fact, he missed just two games as a sophomore and only one game as a freshman. His minutes were wildly variable for the Ducks, going from a rotation guy in his first two collegiate games to struggling to get off the bench, to starting, then back to the bench, then back to starting through the end of the 2018-19 season and into the 2019-20 season, and then playing spot minutes by the time March 2020 rolled around. I’m guessing that last part was a result of the injuries slowing him down, but Okoro was bouncing around a lot before that.

At 6’9” and 235 pounds, he has a lot of physical similarities with current Marquette forward Theo John. In fact, KenPom.com’s fifth best comparison for Okoro’s sophomore season in 2019-20 was John’s sophomore season at Marquette. His rebounding rates have always been very good on both ends of the court, he’s got great block rates, and he doesn’t turn the ball over a lot. Getting healthy will clearly be important to maximizing his potential wherever he ends up. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining after redshirting in 2020-21.

Ray Salnave

Ray Salnave was listed as a 6’3”, 205 pound guard for Monmouth this past season. He averaged career highs in points (14.5), rebounds (4.5), assists (3.2), and steals (1.5) for the Hawks in 2019-20, as well as posting a career best 36.4% shooting percentage from behind the three-point line. Against Division 1 foes, Salnave has shot 33.6% for his career and went 8-for-18 this past year in Monmouth’s five games against what KenPom.com calls adjusted top 100 opponents. That’s pretty good stuff.

Quite honestly, if you look at his KenPom profile, Salnave is poor man’s Markus Howard. He didn’t shoot as much because he wasn’t as good of a shooter, he didn’t have as good of an assist rate, and he turned the ball over a little bit more. However, Salnave balances that out by creating more steals than Howard (#212 in rate per KenPom) and by getting to the line more often relative to how much he shoots the ball (#183 in free throw rate).

As a grad transfer and thus eligible for only the 2020-21 season, Marquette could do a lot worse than putting a guy like Salnave into the lineup to replace Markus Howard in the rotation.


Let’s drop in the ol’ scholarship chart as we always do here.

Excel changed what their default orange color is so I feel like I may need to change how I do these scholarship charts.

Anyway.

Marquette has at least one scholarship open for the fall of 2020. That might be two, depending on what head coach Steve Wojciechowski does about the scholarship that former walk-on Tommy Gardiner had in 2019-20. If Gardiner goes back to walk-on status, then MU has two scholarships to work with. Marquette is still in the running for Karim Mane, who clearly described D.J. Carton when talking to Evan Daniels last week and included MU in the five schools that he’s considering now. Mane is #121 in the country in the 247 Sports Composite rankings, but he’s #25 in their internal system and is also considering entering the NBA Draft. We’re close to Mane making a decision about the draft at least, as he would have to enter his name into the process by April 26th. Past that, we have no idea when he could make a decision. The spring signing period for Class of 2020 prospects like Mane started on April 15th, so he can commit and sign a letter of intent whenever he wants.

The question, then, is whether the guys mentioned in this article are insurance policies for Mane, or whether they would be going along with Mane. Both options are completely possible, as most of them would have to sit out the 2020-21 season if the NCAA doesn’t alter the transfer rules in June.