UPDATE [3/21/21]: This article was published on March 15, 2021. On March 19, 2021, Marquette fired head men’s basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski. Until MU has a new head coach in place, it is unclear what involvement the program will have with recruiting Fletcher.
We’ve already broken the seal on TRANSFER SZN for Marquette men’s basketball, so if you need to get up to speed on the guys that head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his staff are exploring bringing in for next year, point yourself this way.
Here, we’re going to talk about a new name that popped up on Monday morning. Forward Cam’Ron Fletcher let Tipton Edits of all places and people know what schools had reached out to him as part of his process of transferring out of Kentucky.
Kentucky transfer Cam’Ron Fletcher tells me he has heard from:— Tipton Edits (@TiptonEdits) March 15, 2021
It is not a quiet list of teams inquiring after Fletcher. Marquette is joined by Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Memphis, UCLA, USC, as well as Washington, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Tennessee, and Georgetown as Tipton Edits mentioned in a follow up tweet.
For those of you wondering why I’m crediting some weird account that’s not some sort of nationally relevant college basketball recruiting reporter on this, well, the answer is simple. Tipton Edits is one of the most well known Twitter accounts on the Twitter Machine, as Joe Tipton has made his name by being the guy that top level prospects turn to when it’s time to make a cool graphic to announce their top five lists. Tipton knows the list before anyone else and keeps it quiet until the player wants to make their announcement. You have to respect that level of professionalism, and so we credit Tipton Edits with the Fletcher news.
Fletcher is getting a bucket load of attention because, quite simply, he was a top 75 prospect coming out of high school. The Saint Louis native was ranked #64 in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite system when the 2020-21 school year started, although he has dipped down to #70 retroactively because of the number of high end Class of 2021 players electing to enroll early for second semester. That’s not a usual thing, but nothing about the 2020-21 college basketball season is/was normal.
The 6’6”, 215 pound forward spent his freshman year at Kentucky. It was not a dull season in Lexington, and not solely because the Wildcats went 9-16 for the program’s first losing season since 1988-89. Fletcher started out the year as a rotation player for head coach John Calipari, including starting in UK’s second game of the season. His minutes dropped off a cliff after game #3, leading to an incident during Kentucky’s December 19th game against North Carolina. Fletcher was instructed by Calipari to take some time away from the team at that point. He would eventually return, but he played in just three games after that for a total of seven minutes.
In short, I’m saying don’t take a whole lot away from the fact that Fletcher averaged 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game for Kentucky as a freshman. Heck, I wouldn’t even assign a whole lot of anything to averaging 4.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in Kentucky’s first three games of the year when he was actually playing. Playing at Kentucky isn’t for everyone, even if they think they want to, and playing for John Calipari isn’t for everyone, even if they think they know what they’re getting into. Kentucky Sports Radio noted that Fletcher averaged 20.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game as a senior in high school, and you don’t do that on accident, no matter where you’re playing.
As one of if not the most highly ranked transfer hitting the portal this offseason, I would imagine that Fletcher will not be in a hurry to make a decision about his future. Not only are a lot of teams going to be interested in bringing in a guy as highly regarded as he was on the recruiting trail, but Fletcher is going to want to make sure he finds the best possible opportunity for him to succeed in this second go-round for him. Relative to that idea, we should point out that Fletcher was offered a scholarship by Steve Wojciechowski back in the summer of 2018. I don’t know how far that relationship progressed from there, but it’s not like Marquette is just calling Fletcher completely out of the blue, either.
Let’s wrap up with a look at the scholarship table.
Marquette either has one or two scholarships available for next season. It’s one for sure, but Tommy Gardiner’s status is up in the air after his season ending injury. Is he coming back from that? Is he coming back to the team, but going back to walk-on status? Who can say? If Gardiner isn’t coming back, then MU has two spots available. The Golden Eagles have a lot of guards on the roster and look to have three capable bigs between Dawson Garcia, Justin Lewis, and the incoming Jonas Aidoo. What they don’t seem to have is a wing-type player, and given his size, Fletcher seems to fit that spot exactly. Whether he’s a fit with Garcia and D.J. Carton’s playing style, that’s an entirely different issue that I can’t help you with at the moment.