When Marquette men’s basketball and head coach Shaka Smart announced the signings of three freshmen for the 2023-24 school year back in November, that meant that the Golden Eagles were overcommitted by one scholarship spot for next year. The day that we all knew was coming — someone on the 2022-23 roster was not going to return — finally came in on Monday, as Verbal Commits is reporting that sophomore guard Emarion Ellis has entered the transfer portal.
Marquette G Emarion Ellis has entered the transfer portal. https://t.co/x1oOxvqJcU— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 27, 2023
Ellis was one of three players — David Joplin and Keeyan Itejere were the other two — that followed Shaka Smart from Texas to Marquette. All three were committed and signed to play for the Longhorns, but were never enrolled when the head coaching jobs changed over. Ellis asked for and received his release, but ended up not making much of an on-the-court impact for the Golden Eagles. He played a total of 85 minutes stretched across 14 games as a freshman, and five of those minutes came in the blowout NCAA tournament loss to North Carolina.... and those were his first minutes since February 16th for that campaign.
We’ll never know for sure what the former top 125 prospect’s role was for the 2022-23 season, as he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his knee and had surgery in August to repair it. With a four month recovery time before rehab could start, there was never really a chance that he was going to be able to chip in this season, not as team roles solidified as non-conference play went along, and not if he wasn’t quite back to the physical ability level that he was at as a freshman.
Best wishes to Emarion Ellis as he figures out what comes next for him. I hope it’s as successful as he could possibly want it to be.
And so, we move along to a brand new scholarship chart for next season.
As mentioned up top, we knew that there was going to be roster movement to open up space for Al Amadou, Zaide Lowery, and Tre Norman. In theory, this should be the end of any offseason roster conversations, as Marquette is now right at the 13 player scholarship limit. There’s not even space for a new transfer along the way.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping any of MU’s players from pursuing what they believe to be the best possible futures for themselves, and that honestly should include Oso Ighodaro, Tyler Kolek, and Olivier-Maxence Prosper submitting their names for early entry to the NBA Draft while maintaining their eligibility. There’s no downside to finding out what NBA scouts have to say about your game and your future in the league, and if you get enough people telling you that you’re a first round guarantee.... well, you gotta do that, right?
As always, it’s a long time between now and when decisions have to be made. Early entry declarations don’t have to be made until April 23rd, and withdrawal doesn’t have to be done until May 31st.