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2014-15 Marquette Basketball Player Preview: #1 Duane Wilson

We wrap up the "Haven't played for Marquette yet" section of our previews with the redshirt freshman from Milwaukee.

Duane Wilson hasn't seen the court anywhere but the practice gym so far for Marquette.
Duane Wilson hasn't seen the court anywhere but the practice gym so far for Marquette.
Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

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 - anon.eagle@gmail.com - or comment on the posts to let us know what you think.

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No one was excited to hear that Duane Wilson had suffered a stress fracture in his leg last season.  Well, okay, maybe Derrick Wilson was excited because he was going to play all the minutes he could handle, but it was an injury to his teammate, so even his excitement was tempered.  The abject lack of excitement over finding out about the injury was somewhat mitigated when word came through that Wilson would redshirt the 2013-14 season. That meant we were going to get access to four full seasons of a fully healthy Wilson, instead of him trying to jam his way into some playing time while the team was getting started with Big East play.  Seeing a lackluster freshman campaign from a still recovering Wilson while the entire team was enduring a lackluster campaign and his fellow freshmen were being blatantly ignored would have been incredibly depressing.

What I Think We'll See

Reports coming out of the McGuire Center indicate that head coach Steve Wojciechowski is just going to be playing guards on the floor.  This benefits Wilson.  Instead of having to figure where he slots into a rotation in, around, or behind Derrick Wilson and Matt Carlino, it's possible that Wilson will make appearances on the court with each one at varying points, not to mention stints along side both of them at once, or even a lineup with Wilson, Jajuan Johnson, and John Dawson.

I went rummaging around the internet for a mention of Wilson's three point shooting in high school, because while I could say "he was good at it," it helps to have something to link to as proof.  I found this article about the Journal Sentinel's 2012-13 all-area team which named Wilson Player of the Year and contains his stats from distance during his senior season (55-100, 55%), but also included this line:

And he played with a style that reminded Milwaukee Washington coach Freddie Riley of a New York City point guard.

Well.  Marquette certainly has a history with guards from New York City.  That would be a welcome sight to see.

The point I wanted to make about that article was about Wilson's three point shooting.  He was GREAT at shooting in high school.  55% is NUTSO.  Yes, the distance is longer in college.  Yes, Wilson played for Whitefish Bay (WI) Dominican, who competed in Wisconsin's Division 4, meaning they were a smaller school than a wide majority of the state, so the pool of possible players that they competed against was much smaller.  But with Wilson and Diamond Stone on the roster, Dominican challenged themselves in non-conference action, too: Wilson shot 6 of 9 against Division 2 Washington, and scored at least 30 points in games against D1 Vincent and eventual Division 1 champion Germantown, which featured noted Marquette transfer Luke Fischer.  Yeah, Dominican lost both of those games badly.  But they couldn't stop Wilson.

What I Want To See

Well, I suppose it starts with that throwback to the great guards of the Al McGuire era, but that would heap expectations onto Wilson's back that he doesn't deserve before he plays a game in blue and gold.  Let's adjust backwards then.  I want to see an electrifying guard that is dynamic and can attack the basket in multiple ways on the court.  If Wilson can translate his high school shooting to the collegiate level, not to mention take advantage of the shooting regimen that assistant coach Brett Nelson advocated, then Wilson could provide a dynamic to this Marquette team that has been woefully missing over the past two seasons.  Please? I like good three point shooters.

What I Don't Want To See

I saw Wilson play his senior year of high school.  It was an away game against St. Thomas More, and I apparently picked the worst possible game to watch.  Perhaps because of a overall mismatch between the two squads, perhaps because of specific player mismatches, but Wilson had a pretty quiet game.  One thing that was immediately obvious to me in that game was Wilson largely playing off the ball and Dominican not running any kind of plays for Wilson.  I don't mean "he didn't get the ball in plays," I mean Wilson floated around the three point arc and just kind of stood around most of the time.

It was a lackluster performance that ended early.  Wilson was ejected from the game after receiving two technical fouls, both for needlessly pulling on the rim.  Dominican ended up pulling away in the fourth quarter thanks to the play of Diamond Stone, but from the perspective of watching a guy who was already signed to play at Marquette, it was a disappointing trip to Thomas More's gym.

Now, both plays probably could have been complete accidents, and maybe the referees could have allowed a little leeway to keep one of the best players in the state in the game, but according to the rules, they were justifiable calls.  What I'm saying here is this: I don't want to find out that I'm a massive curse on Duane Wilson's ability to play basketball at a high level.