You didn’t think that Marquette basketball was going to sit back and do nothing after bringing in D.J. Carton, did you? No, of course not. We already talked about some new transfer options that they reached out to somewhat recently, but it turns out that the Golden Eagles are very serious about Jose Perez. The Gardner-Webb transfer has trimmed his list to a final five, and he has included Marquette along with Memphis, Illinois, Georgia Tech, and Iowa State.
As we pointed out when MU first reached out to him, Perez is currently 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. While the NCAA is still going to vote on removing the transfer redshirt rule soon, the recommendation to the voters is that they do not change the rule at this time. As such, we have to expect that Perez will be sitting out.
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.
The reason why we have to think about Perez going from 38% to 25% as a three-point shooter is that he has been a high usage player for Gardner-Webb. Perez was #140 in the country per KenPom.com in usage as a sophomore after ranking #230 as a freshman. Seeing as Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski sure liked turning the ball over to Markus Howard more and more during his career, we have to be slightly wary of Wojciechowski’s interest in a high usage guard that just had a season where he absolutely should not have been shooting the ball a lot. With that said, Perez only attempted 104 threes in 2019-20 out of his 300 total shot attempts, so the real problem for him was shooting just 39% on two-point shots.
We probably should mention 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. I suppose it’s possible that said personal reasons could possibly result in Perez ending up pursuing and receiving a waiver to play in 2020-21, but that’s just guessing at this point.
There’s no mention from Perez as to when he’s going to make a decision about his landing spot. However, he announced a final 10 on April 26th, one week prior to cutting his list to only five. That final 10 came about a week after he first heard from Marquette, so he appears to be moving pretty quickly when it comes to trimming down things to a manageable number of people contacting him. There’s no reason for him to rush his decision, so it could come in the next week or maybe it won’t happen till June.
Let’s take a peek at the ol’ scholarship chart here.
Marquette has definitely one scholarship open for the 2020-21 school year, and maybe/probably two. It’s still a mystery as to what Wojciechowski is doing with the scholarship that went to former walk-on Tommy Gardiner for the next school year, but it stands to reason that if Marquette needs it, then Gardiner will be a walk-on again. The Golden Eagles definitely need guards, as the 2020-21 group of Koby McEwen, Greg Elliott, Symir Torrence, and Dexter Akanno didn’t do anything in 2019-20 that makes you incredibly excited to see what’s next for them. That’s not as big of an issue for 2021-22, when Perez will most likely be first available for Marquette, as D.J. Carton will be part of the active roster by then. Still, MU will be without Koby McEwen at that point, so merely adding another guard with Division 1 experience will be helpful.