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2022-23 Marquette Men’s Basketball Player Review: #12 Olivier-Maxence Prosper

When the season ended, I don’t think anyone expected this review to be about a potential first round NBA Draft pick, and yet here we are.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 04 Butler at Marquette Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 2022-23 season long, long since in the books, let’s take a few moments to look back at the performance of each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles this year. While we’re at it, we’ll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We’ll run through the roster in order of total minutes played going from lowest to highest, and today we discuss a player that appears to have somewhat unexpectedly played his final game for the Golden Eagles......

Olivier-Maxence Prosper

Junior - #12 - Forward - 6’8” - 230 pounds - Montreal, Quebec

Olivier-Maxence Prosper Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
36 29.1 4.2 8.1 51.2% 1.1 3.2 33.9% 3.1 4.2 73.5% 1.7 3.0 4.7 0.7 0.9 0.1 2.3 12.5

Olivier-Maxence Prosper Fancy Stats

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
115.5*** 19.6% 18.7% 57.9%** 61.7%** 7.0% 12.2% 3.9% 14.0% 0.5% 1.8% 3.2 4.4*** 51.5%**

** — notes a top 150 national ranking per
*** — notes a top 500 national rankings per


Reasonable Expectations

The answer to what to expect from Prosper this season comes down to what you think his role on the team is going to be. We talked about it a little bit in the Kam Jones preview, as I think Jones is set up to be a massive scoring star for the Golden Eagles this season. The fact of the matter is that someone has to start scoring for Marquette with Justin Lewis and Darryl Morsell, last year’s only two double-digit averages, no longer around.

I think it’s not wrong to think that Prosper could be that guy. O-Max has probably the most exciting collection of physical attributes and talents on the team. Between his size, his strength, his agility, his ballhandling, it’s easy to draw a straight line from “Marquette needs a top end scorer” to “O-Max could be the top scorer that Marquette needs.” T-Rank is right there, projecting him as the leading scorer at 13.6 points per game this season while playing about 30 minutes a night. 4.6 rebounds as well, along with 1.5 assists per game is the underlying statistical stuff there.

I’m not 100% sold on O-Max as a big time scorer, but this projection has Marquette playing ultra-fast, nearly a possession and a half faster per game on average. If you want to subscribe to an idea that Prosper will end up being the leading scorer by average on a team that’s not 100% quite dominated by any single scorer, I can get behind that idea pretty easily.

Why You Should Get Excited

My biggest question mark in my head as to why O-Max might not be the tippity top scoring threat on this team probably has more to do with what he’s capable of doing on both ends of the floor. I think it’s possible that the Golden Eagles’ coaching staff turns him loose on defense as well as on offense. However, maybe that defensive effort means that he doesn’t live up to his nickname. Get it? He’s not going to be O-Max?

Yeah, it’s not that funny, but I refuse to apologize.

But think about this: O-Max is the bulkiest dude on the team, outweighing David Joplin and Ben Gold by 10 pounds and clearing both of Marquette’s two most likely center options — Oso Ighodaro and Keeyan Itejere — by 15 pounds each. Is there a world where Shaka Smart elects to play some “small ball” with Prosper at the 5 just because his physical talents and measurements give the team the best matchups against the bigger centers that MU will face this year? Remember, watching Ighodaro tangle with the Adama Sanogos and Ryan Kalkbrenners of the world is one of the things to worry about for his season. What if the solution is rolling 10 or 15 minutes a game at center over to Prosper? It’s wild to think about, but Marquette could, in theory, pop out a lineup that can shoot it, 1 through 5, and they would be playing an incredibly mobile guy at the 5 who would swallow up opposing guards with his wingspan on switches as well as be able to be physically imposing.

Maybe it’s not going to be the version of getting excited that makes you jump out of your seat every time he does something, but I think O-Max’s most notable contribution to this team can (should?) be on the defensive end of the floor. Maybe in that “small ball” situation I described, maybe just playing a normal forward position. He has the tools to be a problem for whoever he is guarding, and if Marquette isn’t going to have a notably dominant scorer and they’re going to get by with whoever’s hot on a given night, then they’re going to have to be strong on defense on every single possession. If O-Max is causing the kind of dysfunction that a guy of his abilities is capable of, then I think Marquette’s going to be scary good at coming up with stops.

Potential Pitfalls

I don’t even know if there’s a real downside for him this season. What’s the worst case scenario in a world where he’s available for every game this season? He just repeats last year’s 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds with an assist and a steal per game as well? That would probably be disappointing from a player development perspective, but if he’s doing that while making an impact on defense and Marquette’s winning, are you really going to care all that much?

If Prosper figured out how to excel for Shaka Smart in the later stages of last season, and I think it’s clear he did, I don’t see any way he doesn’t clear that very low bar of a worst case scenario.

Because I tend to drag my feet writing and publishing these Player Reviews because 1) they’re evergreen and 2) we’ve got a long summer to get through, we have found ourselves an interesting situation as it is now time to evaluate Olivier-Maxence Prosper’s second season in Milwaukee. We’ll get around to the details of it, but here’s some basic facts and/or commonly understood statements about him here in late May.

  1. Prosper didn’t lead Marquette in any traditional counting stats for the 2022-23 season.
  2. That shouldn’t be considered a condemnation of his contributions to the team, as he was a heavily valuable component to what the Golden Eagles did this season, both in terms of minute to minute and overall final success.
  3. The only surprising part about Prosper putting his name up for early entry to the 2023 NBA Draft was that it took him so long after the season ended to do that.
  4. That’s not to say that it was a good idea or a bad idea looking at it from the outside, it’s just that it was — past tense — hard to see him getting taken seriously as a draft prospect when you could easily say he was the fourth most noticeably important component of Marquette’s rotation, and depending on how much you noticed Stevie Mitchell defending his butt off, you could argue for OMax landing at fifth in that sorting order.
  5. And yet, since we’re writing this after the NBA Combine has concluded and after the deadline to withdraw from the draft while maintaining your eligibility and publishing it during Draft Week, not only is Prosper 1) staying in the draft, but also 2) is effectively a lock to be selected at some point in the 58 men that hear their name called, and 3) will apparently have a better than even chance of being a first round pick, thus earning himself a guaranteed contract in the NBA.

Keeping all of that in mind: How do you evaluate a season that’s not knock you over with a feather obviously great but is apparently going to lead to a player getting picked in the NBA Draft???

No, I’m seriously asking you, because I don’t know the answer. That’s bad, of course, because I’ve got to figure out a way to spend another 750ish words doing exactly that.

I guess the first thing that we can say about this season is that since I wasn’t convinced that OMax would end up as Marquette’s leading scorer, I’m not going to ding his evaluation just because T-Rank’s projection thought he would be. While he wasn’t the leading scorer, I don’t think we’ve quite given Prosper his proper flowers for how good he was at scoring around the rim. According to Hoop Math, Prosper took just barely short of 50% of his total shots on the year at the rim. He shot over 68% on those shots, and that’s somehow not the most impressive thing here. Prosper registered an assist for a teammate on over 64% of his buckets at the rim. That’s a lot of shots that weren’t drives by Prosper or putbacks. Might have been a decent amount of awesome breakaway slams in there, because he had more than a few of those this season, but registering an assist on those can sometimes be up to the official scorer more than the pass made by the Tyler Kolek’s of the world.

On the topic of making the most and best use of a pass.... want to know why Prosper’s going to be an NBA Draft pick other than he had one of the best agility drill performances at the Combine? According to Hoop Math: Olivier-Maxence Prosper generated an assist on every single one of the three-pointers he made this season. Now, we can talk about his 33.9% shooting percentage which is only fine at best, but that’s 39 assists on 39 makes. Prosper’s obvious role, at least right out of the gate in the league, is a three-and-D switchable guy. We have to point out that Prosper shot 36% from long range in Big East play, and by the way? His season long numbers actually suffered in the postseason as he shot 7-for-22 in the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament, so he was doing a little bit better than 34% up til then, and that’s pretty good.

That’s the “three” of that Three-And-D role for Prosper in the Association next year. Let’s turn our attention to the defensive component of it. The fact of the matter is that OMax didn’t exactly light the world on fire in terms of counting stats. He averaged less than a steal per game and he recorded just five blocks all season. In terms of rates, those don’t translate to anything special. Quite honestly, OMax’s lack of an average north of 1.0 per game in both assists and steals left him with one of the more lackluster listings amongst the starters on the Game Threads all season long. That kind of a thing is definitely contributing to my brain’s assessment of his future as an NBA prospect, but as we all know, the scouts are looking at more than just stats.

For example, they’re looking at stuff like Hoop Explorer, or at least their team’s internal version of it. If we look at Marquette’s numbers from last season, Prosper was an integral piece of what the Golden Eagles were doing on both ends of the floor, even if his individual stats weren’t lighting the world on fire like maybe you would expect for an obvious NBA Draft pick. If we filter out what HE determines to be garbage time:

Marquette’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency when OMax was on the floor? 123.8 points per 100 possessions. With him on the bench? Just 110.1. Good, but not elite.

Marquette’s Adjusted Defensive Efficiency when OMax was on the floor? 94.1 points per 100 possessions. With him on the bench? Waaaay up there at 101.9, and that’s actually pretty bad since it has a not-so-nice pink hue to it, on its way towards red in terms of a national average.

That’s the kind of thing that scouts see: Impact on winning. It’s very clear that Olivier-Maxence Prosper had a big impact on Marquette winning this past season, it’s just that we have to start getting out the fine tooth comb a little bit to start explaining it.


There’s two candidates here. They’re both MVP games, two of the four that Prosper had this season. The first one is the home game against #6 Baylor, and I will let my recap explain it:

You know who was an absolute assassin in this game? Olivier-Maxence Prosper. 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including 3-for-4 from the arc, 5 rebounds, and a steal in 27 minutes. An absolute machine, and he may have been personally responsible for demoralizing Baylor after treating Flo Thamba like a turnstile in the first half.

The other one is the road trip to St. John’s to start the new year. Prosper scored 25 of his league play high 29 points in the second half as the Golden Eagles took a 48-41 deficit at the break, rattled off a 16-2 run out of the locker room, and set a Carnesecca Arena visitors’ record for points in a game with a 96-85 win. Not only did he lead the team in scoring, but his seven rebounds led the team as well, and he added a steal in his free time.

I’m going with the St. John’s game, I think. Trashing the #6 team in the country was very important for the team this season, but lots of guys had great games in that one. Marquette needed someone to step up in a big way in the second half against the Johnnies to move to 4-1 in Big East action, and that someone was Prosper.


I’ve made the case, I think, as to why we’re going to hear Prosper get his name called on Thursday night. However, all of that doesn’t retroactively make Prosper’s season better than what we thought about it back on March 20th, one day after the loss to Michigan State. It was good! He was productive! Other than his propensity for falling down more often than perhaps he should when going to the rim and maybe his slightly odd biomechanics that make him slightly disconcerting to watch from time to time, there’s nothing to dislike about Prosper’s game. He was an obviously big part of what Marquette was doing this past season as they won a Big East regular season and tournament title while ascending to the program’s highest NCAA tournament seed in program history.

It’s just that it wasn’t a blow you away type of season.

So I’m giving him a 7. Prosper was pretty much about what we expected from him in a Marquette uniform this past season. He was perhaps a perfect example of what Shaka Smart talked about all season long as “being a star in your role.” Prosper did what he was asked to do well, it’s just that 1) he wasn’t asked to carry the team and 2) what he was asked to do was exactly the kind of thing that NBA teams love to see from guys with Prosper’s size.