While we all wait and wonder what will happen with colleges and college athletics for the 2020-21 school year just four months from now thanks to the coronavirus, the 2021-22 academic year seems like it will happen like things have always happened in the past. As such, future college athletes are still going about their expected timelines for that, and thus, Marquette men’s basketball has something to keep an eye on.
Let’s be honest: It’s kind of impressive that Marquette is in this grouping. The Golden Eagles only offered Conway a scholarship back in early February of this year, so it’s only about three months in between offer date and commitment date. Obviously, head coach Steve Wojciechowski isn’t just offering scholarships to guys he’s never talked to before, so the relationship between Conway and the Golden Eagles goes back a bit past February. I choose to read this as “Conway was really interested in Marquette but just never had the offer and now he does and thus can proceed with his final grouping.” That’s just the optimism in me, I guess.
Conway is listed as a 6’1”, 160 pound point guard out of Maryland, where he attends Dulaney High School in the Baltimore suburbs. He’s currently ranked #133 in the Class of 2021 by the 247 Sports Composite system. That makes him the #21 point guard in the country and the #6 player in the state of Maryland. That point guard ranking puts him behind guys like Carter Whitt and Tyrese Hunter who also have offers from Marquette.
Back in February, The Baltimore Sun noted that Conway was averaging 26.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.2 steals this season for Dulaney. That average includes a 55 point performance in mid-January where Conway shot 11-for-12 from behind the arc and added eight steals and four assists...... and only played 22 minutes. Again: He had 55 points in 22 minutes of action, and “only” 33 of it were on triples. That’s nuts.
Since Marquette offered Conway a scholarship, the Golden Eagles have welcomed Ohio State transfer D.J. Carton to the fold, which changes the scholarship situation for 2021 a little bit. Let’s look at the chart.
Marquette is looking at three open scholarships for the fall of 2021 after the conclusion of the careers of Jamal Cain, Theo John, and Koby McEwen. However, the addition of Carton to the backcourt alters what the Golden Eagles are now projected to have in the backcourt since Conway was offered a scholarship. Now Carton figures to be the primary ballhandler, and he’ll be a redshirt sophomore for the 2021-22 school year, or at least we’re projecting him as one until the NCAA actually changes the transfer rules by vote in June. Carton joins a group of Greg Elliott, Symir Torrence, and Dexter Akanno. You might be able to push Brendan Bailey back to a guard/wing position as well based on MU’s 2020 big men presuming he’s still here for his senior season as he has entered his name for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Now, taking what we saw in 2019-20 into account, I think it’s safe to say that Marquette would still welcome adding a talented guard like Conway to that group of backcourt guys. Not only can you never have too many talented ballhandlers, but the Golden Eagles will be looking to fill McEwen’s minutes anyway. What it comes down to is what kind of experience is Conway looking for, and what would he get at his other five finalists relative to what’s available at Marquette.
If Conway chooses Marquette, it would make him Steve Wojciechowski’s first commitment for the Class of 2021. With or without Conway, MU’s next priorities would be Kendall Brown (#16 in 247’s rankings) and DaRon Holmes (#112) , both of whom took junior year official visits during this past season.