If you've been around Anonymous Eagle long enough, you've noticed our yearly player preview series for men's basketball. In the past, we've gone with a concept of "Minimum Expectations/In Our Wildest Dreams/In Our Worst Nightmare" model for what the baseline for each player is for the coming season, plus where we think they could achieve or lag behind.
With new head coach Steve Wojciechowski running the show, things get a little complicated. It's hard to have minimum expectations for each player when we really don't know how Wojo will see fit to use them in the system that he's running... which we also don't know a lot about at this point.
So we're changing the system up. We're deploying a new set of criteria to preview each player:
- What I Think We'll See
- What I Want To See
- What I Don't Want To See
It's a little more open ended, so there's a bit more freedom to explore what we're thinking about each guy. This might stick around going forward, so be sure to either email us - firstname.lastname@example.org - or comment on the posts to let us know what you think.
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Matt Carlino has taken a long and winding road through his college basketball career. He initially committed to play for Smarmy Tom Crean at Indiana, before changing his mind and accepting a scholarship to UCLA. But an injury kept him on the pine, and he departed Westwood after just one semester. His next stop was BYU, where he played 3 seasons, before graduating and departing Provo. Then in April, he decided to join Coach Wojo and the Golden Eagles for his senior season.
The addition of Carlino helps provide some depth, experience and scoring punch to backcourt that appeared to be lacking in all those areas - especially after the departure of Todd Mayo. He's a good guy to have as we try to bridge the gap from the previous coaching staff, to the new era that Coach Wojo has begun to build.
What I Think We'll See
I tend to stay up late and when I do, I watch hoops. Since BYU joined the West Coast Conference, they wound up being the nightcap to ESPN's hoops coverage far more frequently. This meant, I wound up watching an inordinate amount of Cougar hoops last year. And whenever I watched those guys play, I always saw Carlino and thought, "Man that guy would make me mental if he was on my team."
Well folks, prepare to be made mental.
Carlino spent the majority of last year as the BYU sixth man, in the role of the "energy/scoring off the bench" type of player. He was an exciting guy to watch, because he had the ability to come into the game and change the entire feel of things right away. The down side was that he didn't always change the feel to the benefit of his team. His energy and aggressiveness sometimes morphed into recklessness and general bone-headery. That's what makes him so maddening to watch: One night it's 30 points on 11-16 shooting, the next it's 8 points, 2-9 shooting, and 5 turnovers and everyone is pulling their hair out. As one BYU fan told us after the transfer was announced: "He's going to win you 2-3 games single-handedly but he's also going to lose you a couple of games as well."
I expect that we, as Marquette fans, better be ready to ride that Carlino roller coaster all year long, because he's going to be a big part of the equation this season. I'm not sure if he's going to play point guard, or if he is going to be off the ball (smart money's on some of each), but the senior is going to be counted on to carry a big chunk of the offensive load this year. And I think he'll be ok with that. Carlino attempted 426 shots for BYU last year. The entire returning MU roster only attempted 633. So he's not shy about launching. He also becomes Marquette's best current 3-point shooter. He had 69 more attempts from distance than the rest of the roster combined last season, and more than doubled their total 3-point makes as well. So you can see, we're going to be leaning pretty heavily on this guy in '14-'15.
Sometimes it will be good. Sometimes it will be bad. Sometimes it will be ugly. But that's Carlino. Buckle up.
What I Want to See
The good: We get more of the high shooting percentage, low turnover type of games. Carlino scores at a high clip, and vaults himself into Big East Player of the Year discussions.
What I Don't Want to See
The bad: We get too many games with turnovers, ill-advised shots, head long charges into 3 defenders, and shots of Coach Wojo looking exasperated.
Cross your fingers!