Hello and welcome back to another wonderful week in the world of “Marquette men’s basketball desperately needs reliable guards on their roster.” Let’s see who the newest entry into the crowded field is, shall we?
Spoke with Jalen Carey earlier today on his future. Carey said he enjoyed his time at SU, but won't be returning next season. UConn, Georgetown, Marquette, Creighton & Alabama are just a few schools that have shown interest. Carey hopes to have a decision on what's next soon. pic.twitter.com/948007VW1M— Mario Sacco (@MarioSaccoNC9) April 3, 2020
Syracuse listed Jalen Carey as a 6’3”, 186 pound guard for the 2019-20 season. After coming out of Immaculate Conception High School in New Jersey as the #61 prospect in the country in the Class of 2018, Carey never quite got a chance to live up to the billing in upstate New York. 12 minutes per game in 25 appearances with two starts as a freshman isn’t too bad, and he averaged 3.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. However, as a sophomore, Carey started the first two games of the year and then did not play again for the rest of the season. That’s not a call by SU head coach Jim Boeheim, as Carey suffered a thumb injury over the summer and finally realized that he needed surgery in November. With 10 weeks of recovery time involved, Carey wouldn’t have been able to return until February at the earliest, so he ended up just sitting out the rest of the year to heal up.
Playing two games means that Carey will have to sit out for a year and will have two years of eligibility remaining after that. However, it wouldn’t be completely surprising to see him get a medical eligibility waiver for another year after that given the situation if that’s something he wanted to pursue. That’s down the road though, as my understanding of the whole thing is that you have to wait til after your otherwise final year to apply for the medical waiver. As such, if Carey is considering Marquette, we will consider him with two years remaining after sitting out for the 2020-21 season.
I want to preface everything that I’m about to say by repeating the fact that Carey was the #61 prospect in the country coming out of high school. I also want to point out that it’s hard for freshmen to earn playing time at Syracuse, given that they have to fit into Boeheim’s zone defense structure effectively to earn playing time. The fact that Carey played at least 15 minutes in his first six collegiate games and in eight of his first nine means that it appears that Boeheim thought he was picking it up well enough to put him out there right away.
Okay, so the fact of the matter is that after those first nine games, Carey played more than 15 minutes just once and played 10 or more minutes just four times with none of those coming after January 13th. He did, however, pick up eight DNPs in ACC play. We have to look at his KenPom.com page and see that 34.1% turnover rate and figure that had an awful lot to do with Boeheim’s decision to essentially remove Carey from the rotation. Shooting 17% from behind the three-point line didn’t help, I’m sure.
Carey did start the first two games of the 2019-20 season, and in just 23 minutes of action, he had a turnover rate of 26.6%. Now, he had the thumb problem, so I don’t want to judge him too harshly for that. However, it was the same problem that really affected him as a freshman, so there’s that to consider. Anyway, the point of the story is that if you thought that Markus Howard and Koby McEwen turned the ball over too much, then you probably would not enjoy watching Jalen Carey’s 327 minutes at Syracuse, and you would probably be very concerned about adding him to the Marquette roster.
For now, though, Marquette’s involvement isn’t deeper than contact and interest as far as we know. If Carey is looking to make a decision “soon,” that’s also not surprising. He knew he was leaving Syracuse two weeks ago, so he’s had a chance to get the lay of the land already.
Before we dive into the scholarship chart, I do want to update the transfer board with news as to where Marquette stands with some guys.
- Jamarius Burton has Marquette in a final five with Ohio State, Seton Hall, Texas Tech, and Xavier Musketeers.
- Justin Turner has Marquette in a final three alongside Missouri and Iowa State, although that’s really a final four as he hasn’t ruled out returning to Bowling Green.
- Carlik Jones committed to Louisville.
- Mark Gasperini committed to UMass.
- Ryan Murphy committed to Tulane.
- Landers Nolley II is down to 11 schools, but Marquette is not one of them.
And so let’s look at the ol’ scholarship chart to see how Carey theoretically fits in.
With Carey sitting out the 2020-21 season, he would theoretically slot into Koby McEwen’s spot on the active roster for the 2021-22 season. The Canadian guard will be a senior for the theoretical 2020-21 year, so he’ll be out of eligibility a year from now. Marquette is already in need of guards for next year, so needing to fill McEwen’s spot with a guard makes adding a guard for 2021-22 even more important.