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We Know What Numbers The Marquette Basketball Newcomers Will Wear

Actually, we’ve known for a while, but things are kind of quiet right now.

NCAA Basketball: Gardner-Webb at Virginia Tech
Jose Perez will be going from #5 to #55 as he transitions from Gardner Webb to Marquette.
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Hello and welcome to another fun installment of Marquette sports blogging that I like to call, “Well, We Have To Get Through This Quiet Time Somehow.” Today, we’re going to look at the history of the jersey numbers selected/awarded to each of the newcomers for both men’s and women’s basketball. Why? First, to help us become familiar with who is wearing what going forward, and second, because learning about program history is fun.

Let’s get started!

D.J. Carton — #21

Carton is the first Golden Eagle to be wearing #21 since Joseph Chartouny in 2018-19. With three years of eligibility remaining, he figures to be the first MU player to wear #21 for more than one season since Traci Carter had it from 2015 through 2017. Charles Luter (1987-91) was the last player to wear #21 for a full four year career at Marquette. There’s a very real case to be made that Carton will quickly become the best player to ever wear this jersey. I think that Mike Bargen currently holds the title, as he scored 688 points for Marquette between 1995 and 1999.

Dawson Garcia — #33

Since the tweet mentioned it, we should probably point out that Derrick Wilson only wore #33 as a freshman and then switched to #12 for the remainder of his Marquette career. That would make Garcia the most notable #33 for Marquette since Jimmy Butler wrapped up his collegiate career in 2011. I feel like it’s kind of an uphill climb for Garcia to become the best #33 in MU history, as surpassing Butler will be quite the feat. Chris Grimm (2002-06) is the most recent MU player to wear #33 for a full four year career.

Oso Ighodaro — #13

While Oso Ighodaro will be the ninth player to wear #13 for Marquette, he has the opportunity to become the second to ever wear it for a four year career. Roney Eford is the only other Marquette player to do that, going at #13 from 1992-1996. Each of the last four occupants — Alton Mason, Vander Blue, Matt Carlino, and Henry Ellenson — wore it for just one year, although in Blue’s case, that was a switch from wearing #2 for the first two seasons at Marquette. Eford is top 20 in program history in both points and rebounds, so that’s a pretty lofty mark for Ighodaro to shoot at as the best #13 in program history.

Justin Lewis — #2

Lewis joins Ighodaro as the ninth player in program history with his number. Here’s a weird one for you: James Blask wore #2 from 1933-35, and then no one wore it again until Odartey Blankson put it on in the fall of 2000. That’s wild. Maurice Acker was the first Golden Eagle to wear the number for three seasons, holding onto it from 2007-2010. Sacar Anim is the first MU guy to wear it for a full run of collegiate eligibility, and he gets credit for having the best career while wearing #2. I think we can agree that Vander Blue had a better MU career than Anim did, but Blue spent his best and final season in #13, thus giving the top #2 title to Anim.

Jose Perez — #55

Perez will be just the eighth player to wear #55 for the Golden Eagles after he finishes his transfer redshirt season and starts playing during the 2021-22 season. Gary Rosenberger and Greg Clausen both had it for a four year career, and weirdly, they had it back to back with no one between Rosenberger in 1978 and Clausen in 1997. Robert Jackson technically had #55 for two seasons, but that’s because he was occupying it during a transfer season just like Perez will. It’s been sitting idle and vacant since 2010 when Youssoupha Mbao finished his one year at Marquette and departed.

The women’s basketball team has also assigned numbers to their incoming freshmen. We don’t have cool graphic tweets like we do for the men, but they’re all listed there on the roster. Let’s dive on in....

Liza Karlen — #32

Karlen will be the first #32 for the Golden Eagles since Chelsey Gibson had it from 2015-17. The jersey had a good run of usage in the 2010s, staying in use for most of the decade thanks to Lauren Tibbs picking up where Angel Robinson left off. Since I just mentioned Angel Robinson, I think you just figured out that Karlen is going to have one hell of a time of trying to become the best player to wear #32 in MU history. However, Robinson only wore #32 as a junior and a senior, so I suppose the door is open to having the best career while wearing #32.

Danyel Middleton — #25

Check this out: Middleton will be the first #25 for Marquette in this millennium. The most recent player to have the number was Clare Barnard, and she wrapped up her career in 1997. Barnard is currently #16 all time in scoring and #15 in rebounding, so she put up a pretty strong case as the best #25 ever there. Kerri Christianson has an interesting case as she has over 1,000 career points and holds the program record for blocks in a career. However, based on what I’m seeing in the ol’ record book, she clearly didn’t have the number for her whole career. She’s listed under #10 as well, and there’s a lot of overlap with other #25s during her four years with MU. Pam Suplicki had a nice career, too, as she currently sits at #7 all-time in rebounding.

Rose Nkumu — #3

#3 has stayed pretty active in the last 20 years or so after Nicki Taggart picked it up in 1997 to make her just the second MU player to ever wear it. She had it til 1998, then Rashida Gales had it at some point between 1999 and 2003. She’s also listed as #14, so I can’t say how much Gales actually wore it. After a few years off, Courtney Weibel wore it from 2007-11, and then it belonged to McKayla Yentz from 2013-17. I think the argument for best #3 in MU history is either Taggart or Yentz. Taggart is #8 all time in assists, which is pretty great. Yentz ended up #9 all-time in MU history in made three-pointers, and considering that she really only did that in two years, that’s pretty impressive. Given that Taggart had a overall longer contribution even after transferring in, I’ll give the edge to her. No bonus points for currently being the head coach of the Atlanta Dream, though.

Julianna Okosun — #0

This one is going to be short and to the point. Okosun will be just the second Marquette player to ever wear #0. Jasmine Collins is the only other Golden Eagle to put that one on, carrying it from 2007 through 2011. For whatever it’s worth, the official Marquette record book shows Collins listed for both 0 and 00, so I’m not sure if that’s a technicality issue or what is going on there. Collins made 90 appearances in four seasons for Terri Mitchell, totaling 344 points and 221 rebounds. She mostly played spot minutes off the bench for three seasons, and then wrapped up her career averaging 9.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while playing 22 minutes a night off the bench for an NCAA tournament team. That’s pretty wild. In any case, 344 points and 221 rebounds wouldn’t even be freshman year records for Marquette, so it seems that the door is wide open for Okosun to rapidly become the best #0 that the program has ever seen.