At this point, I’m not going to think that the 2021-22 Marquette men’s basketball roster is 100% set until I see the ball getting tipped off in the first official game of the season, and even then, I’ll still say “well, we’ll see.”
Yes, that’s right, new head coach Shaka Smart is still out there hitting those new names in the transfer portal with the phone calls. We’ve got two new names to discuss here, and heck, there’s a non-zero chance that by the time you see this at whatever point on Wednesday that there might be someone new that we’re not covering here.
Let’s just dive in.
Louisiana transfer Mylik Wilson has told 336edits he’s heard from Georgia, Vanderbilt, Witchita St, Marquette, Creighton, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Wyoming, UAB, Mississippi State and SFA. Wilson averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds this past season for the Ragin' Cajuns. @mylikw13— 336 Edits (@336edits) April 30, 2021
Wilson is a 6’3”, 175 pound guard. He has spent the last two years at Louisiana, starting in 24 of 29 games as a freshman and all 26 games of UL’s games as a sophomore. His year-to-year stats are pretty consistent, so we’ll just give you the 55 game average of 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.
The steals should probably jump out at you there. In terms of steal rate, in terms of how many defensive possessions while he was on the court that ended in him stealing the ball? Wilson ranked in the top 75 in the country in that department per KenPom.com in each of his two years at Louisiana. We should also point out that he cut his turnovers way, way down while increasing his usage rate going from freshman year to sophomore year, and that’s always a positive development.
A non-positive development is Wilson’s three-point shooting. 36% on 81 attempts, or nearly three per game, as a freshman? Good! 25% on 53 attempts, or two per game, as a sophomore? Bad! Well, not all bad. Cutting his attempts down by nearly a third while shooting much worse is technically a good thing. Of course, shooting worse on two-pointers as a sophomore than he did as a freshman doesn’t make the cutting down on attempting threes thing better.
The obvious instinct here is “oh, well, he could be the point guard with D.J. Carton leaving.” I’d slow down on that idea if I were you. Wilson did not lead the Ragin’ Cajuns in assists in either of his two seasons in Lafayette. Maybe that changes under Shaka Smart’s tutelage, but for the time being, I don’t think it’s quite a plug and play point guard situation.
Schools that have reached out to @Cuse_MBB transfer Quincy Guerrier, who averaged 13.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg as a sophomore:— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 3, 2021
We should point out here that Adam Zagoria tacked on shortly after this tweet that this is a list of teams that has reached out to Quincy Guerrier’s camp/people, not necessarily actually talked to Guerrier himself. Take that into account, along with the fact that he is still exploring his NBA Draft possibilities as well.
Guerrier, a 6’7”, 220 pound forward out of Montreal, appeared in every game for Syracuse over the past two seasons. He came off the bench for all 32 games as a freshman, averaging 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. Guerrier was in the starting lineup for all 28 games of the 2020-21 season and that brought with it going from 20.3 minutes per game to nearly 33 per outing. As you’d expect, his stats went through the roof with a more than 50% increase in minutes. Guerrier averaged 13.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per games as a sophomore.
As you can tell from the counting stats, Guerrier is a talented rebounder. He’s been a top 250 offensive rebounder in terms of rate per KenPom.com in both of his seasons, and top 400 in both years on the defensive end, too. He was an efficient enough player as a freshman, but he cut his turnover rate by nearly ten full percentage points from freshman to sophomore year. That landed him just outside KenPom’s top 50 as a sophomore with a sub-10% rate, as well as having the bonus impact of shooting his offensive rating into the top 250.
The only thing that you would really have to worry about with Guerrier is his three-point shooting. And it’s a “can’t do it” worry, although it’s a “knows he really can’t” thing, too. Guerrier shot 3-for-25 (12%) as a freshman and 23-for-74 (31%) as a sophomore. The good news is that this is less than 22% of his total shots at Syracuse. He knows what he’s good at and he (mostly) sticks to it.
Milwaukee transfer Te'Jon Lucas (@too_smoove23) has heard from the following schools, i'm told: BYU, Arkansas, Georgia, DePaul, St John's, Marquette, Pacific, College of Charleston, +.— jake lieberman (@jakelieberman2) May 5, 2021
Averaged 14.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 5.8 RPG this season.
The last two guys that we talked about would be coming to Marquette with two official years of eligibility remaining along with their down the road COVID bonus season. Te’Jon Lucas has played in 112 collegiate games in two seasons at Illinois and two seasons at Milwaukee. 2021-22 will be a COVID bonus season for Lucas no matter where he ends up.
Lucas is a 6’2”, 180 pound guard out of Milwaukee. The former top 150 prospect played in 60 games at Illinois to start his collegiate career, starting in 34 of them including 15 as a freshman. He averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while getting 21 minutes of burn per outing, first for John Groce and then for Brad Underwood. He then transferred back home to play for the Panthers, and once he was eligible after a redshirt season, Pat Baldwin put him straight into the starting lineup and left him there. Lucas thrived, averaging 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in 52 games for UWM.
With D.J. Carton gone from the roster, Lucas fits into an obvious role on the MU roster as an experienced point guard. Across all four seasons of college hoops, he’s averaging 4.2 assists per game. He ranked in the top 175 in the country in assist rate in both of his seasons at Illinois, and when he was playing starters’ minutes at Milwaukee, that jumped into the top 70 for both seasons. In fact, he ranked #21 in the country in assist rate per KenPom this past season.
The big question becomes how much would Lucas feature in Shaka Smart’s offense? Baldwin let Lucas do pretty much whatever he wanted at UWM, ending up with the 45th highest usage rate in the country this past season. If Smart dials that back and turns Lucas into more of a playmaker than anything else, this has potential. If Lucas is allowed to shoot four three-pointers per game like he was at Milwaukee at a conversion rate of just 30%..... well, that’s bad. Lucas mostly knew that he couldn’t shoot threes (although he did hit 38% of them as a freshman at Illinois), so most of his shots came inside the arc. Getting to the rim was important to his game, as he was nearly top 100 in the country in fouls drawn per 40 minutes. If Smart can get him to focus on that, focus on the things that he’s definitively good at, this could/should work out in everyone’s best interest.
And now, the Marquette scholarship chart.
If Dawson Garcia stays in the NBA Draft, then Marquette is looking at 12 guys on scholarship for the 2021-22 season. That leaves a space available for one of the three guys we just talked about. If Garcia comes back to Marquette, then someone — Greg Elliott, Jose Perez, Oso Ighodaro or Justin Lewis, because it’s definitely not one of the new guys that Shaka Smart has recruited to the team — would have to depart to make way for Wilson, Guerrier, or Lucas. Adding Wilson or Guerrier would also drop a scholarship off the available list for the Class of 2022, although if that comes along with Garcia leaving Marquette, that’s just a one-for-one trade that leaves things where they currently stand with potentially three spots open for Smart’s first official recruiting class.