College basketball season is just about two weeks away from kicking back up. After a disappointing season for Marquette, they finished 13-14 during the 2020-2021 season and going 8-11 in conference play. Marquette looks to turn things around for this upcoming year. Starting with a new coach, more recruits and a more experienced team as a whole.
There is a New Coach in Town
After Marquette parted ways with seven year head coach Steve Wojciechowski, the team went shopping and acquired one of the most mentally skilled coaches in the NCAAB, Shaka Smart. Previously with the Texas Longhorns, Smart has already made long strides in strengthening his new team.
Recruits and Transfers
Before the season had even started, Shaka had Marquette as the 16th best recruiting class in the nation. The Golden Eagles were able to acquire Stevie Mitchell, Emarion Ellis and Kameron Jones. Mitchell was listed as the 91st overall recruit in his class, along with Ellis being listed at 110th and Jones at 159th in the nation.
On top of those three very skillful recruits, Marquette was also able to sign the 120th ranked player David Joplin from Brookfield Wisconsin and the 202nd ranked player in the country, Keeyan Itejere from Raleigh, NC.
Adding to all these recruits, the Golden Eagles were also able to add two transfers to their team who will be active immediately. One of the two being forward Kur Kuath who transferred from Oklahoma. The second transfer was previously ranked 108th in the 2020 recruiting class, 6-8 power forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper who was originally playing for Clemson. Olivier-Maxence is expected to see a good amount of minutes this year.
This being Shaka Smart’s first year with Marquette, it is clear he is already making roster improvements. As far as who will we expect to see as the starting five? My prediction has junior guard Greg Elliot, senior guard Darryl Morsell, freshman forward Justin Lewis, transfer forward Olivier Prosper and lastly senior center Kur Kuath.
First Four Opponents
Marquette starts the season with an exhibition matchup versus Bowie State, November 4th. The Golden Eagles then immediately start their 2021-2022 season with a home matchup versus Southern Illinois Edwardsville. Their next game is another home matchup versus New Hampshire on November 12th. Marquette’s first true matchup will be their third game of the season where they face off against the No. 11 ranked Illinois team at home November 15th.
Shaka Smart and the Golden Eagles are focused on their upcoming exhibition game. They take on Bowie State on November 4th at 7 P.M.
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Hot take: Marquette a 4 seed w Shaka