Hey, we said the Marquette men’s basketball offseason news was just getting started when Sean Jones went under the knife to repair a ruptured tendon in his wrist. The string of news continued on Tuesday as not only did Zach Wrightsil enter the transfer portal as expected and anticipated, but so did redshirt freshman Keeyan Itejere, according to the always reliable Verbal Commits.
Marquette F Keeyan Itejere has entered the transfer portal. https://t.co/T1erRTm2hX— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 28, 2023
Itejere was one of three players — Emarion Ellis and David Joplin were the other two — to make the move from Texas to Marquette along with head coach Shaka Smart. All three were committed and signed freshmen for the Longhorns, but when Smart made his move, they all asked for and received their releases. Much as was the case with Emarion Ellis, who is also in the transfer portal, Itejere never made much of an impact on the court with the Golden Eagles. The 6’9” forward from North Carolina redshirted during his first season on Marquette’s roster as part of what Shaka Smart called a five year plan. 2022-23 became his only season of action for the Golden Eagles, and he appeared in just 13 games, and never more than the five minutes he played against Georgia Tech in November. If you saw Keeyan Itejere on the floor this season, it was almost always with at least one of Marquette’s walk-ons out there as well.
And so, even though he wasn’t even a top 200 recruit in his class when he came to Marquette according to 247 Sports, even though he projected as a project from the get go, no matter if that was in Milwaukee or in Austin, Itejere will pursue something different for himself going forward. From the very brief bursts we did see this year, his athleticism is extremely high, and he’ll definitely have a chance to succeed somewhere at the Division 1 level. I wish him nothing but the best when it comes to reaching that goal.
And so, we have a brand new scholarship table for men’s basketball, less than 24 hours after the new one that was generated by the entry of Emarion Ellis into the transfer portal.
Ellis’ entry to the portal gave Marquette the scholarship availability they needed in order to bring in the three freshmen scheduled to arrive on campus this summer. Itejere’s departure gives Shaka Smart an available scholarship to use for the 2023-24 school year, if he sees fit to use it. If there’s a notable Large Human in the portal for one season, that might be the answer, just to give MU an option alongside Oso Ighodaro in the post.
We’ll keep our eyes open for transfer options over the next few weeks as this is now something that could happen. Anyone that Shaka Smart does bring in for next year is going to have to fit within the culture system that Smart and his staff have put in place. While Ellis, Itejere, and Wrightsil are departing, that doesn’t change the rotation at all from 2022-23. While shifts in the rotation may be welcome to help alleviate total minutes played, no one is coming in and getting a chance to be a major star on this roster, at least as long as the rotation comes back without anyone pursuing a pro career option from here on out.