Maybe you heard about Marquette’s superb 2015 recruiting class. Heck, I’m partly responsible for feeding that monster by hyping them up here. Still, as good as that class is, we hardly talk about some returning players set to some damage.
I’m talking of course about Duane Wilson and Luke Fischer.
Golden Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski has a couple of guys in Wilson and Fischer who know what to expect this coming season. Both key returning players learned a lot of valuable lessons last season, their first with the program.
Wojciechowski’s first season was one of trial and error, as he struggled in his first year in Milwaukee en route to a 13-19 record (4-14 in the Big East) while finishing tied for last place in the conference with Creighton. He was handed a roster barren with little-to-no experience and talent, and he made do with the best he had.
In the process, he found two more-than-capable players in Wilson and Fischer. They will be the glue guys while freshmen like Henry Ellenson and company get used to the rigors of major college basketball.
And they are not role players either. Don’t expect them to just lay down and let Ellenson and crew do all the work.
No, this will be a team effort, and look for Wilson and Fischer to both shine in their own right.
Both Wilson and Fischer are coming off great trips overseas, where Marquette went 4-0 in exhibitions in Europe last August.
Player to watch in 2015-16: Marquette guard Duane Wilson. Wilson will average 15+ per game. Book it. #Marquette
— CollegeHoopNews (@CollegeHoopNews) August 18, 2015
Wilson averaged 17.0 points, 6.8 assists and 3.0 steals per game in four games overseas. Meanwhile, Fischer averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, while shooting 64.3 percent from the field. To say in the least, those numbers have to be encouraging to Marquette fans.
Wilson, a 6’2″, 185-pound sophomore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is set to log significant minutes in the backcourt with freshman Traci Carter. They each can play both guard positions, and wherever he ends up Wilson should thrive. He is coming off solid freshman campaign in which he averaged 11.9 points per game, while being named to the Big East All-Rookie Team.
As one of the more reliable assets that Wojciechowski can lean on, expect Wilson to be more of a leader, too. And as the Golden Eagles get set to open the 2015-16 season, Wilson and Marquette are starting to see a difference in work ethic while participating in early practices.
Wilson told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Matt Velazquez that the team is hard at work in the gym at all hours of the day.
Wilson had a hard time deciding who was in the gym the most.
“That might be a tough one,” Wilson said. “I’d have to say it’s probably between me, Henry (Ellenson), Traci (Carter), Sacar (Anim) and Jajuan (Johnson). Those are the guys I see often when I come in around my time, late night, those are the guys that are in here late night.”
Fischer, a 6’11”, 245-pound junior from Germantown, Wisconsin, is also coming off a great first run with Marquette after transferring in from Indiana last season. He is coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 11 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting a solid .609 percent from the floor.
Highly efficient, Fischer can be in line for a breakout 2015-16 season as Ellenson should draw more attention away from him. Simply put, Fischer and Ellenson playing in the same frontcourt has to be a scary thought for opposing Big East coaches. They should complement each other perfectly.
Like Wilson, Fischer is also impressed by how the team is coming together.
“We’re always trying to get better and I think you’ll be able to tell, definitely,” Fischer told Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Again, while Marquette’s freshmen class will grab all the headlines, a steady pair of returnees (not to mention other vets like Sandy Cohen, Jajuan Johnson and Wally Ellenson) may be the calming voice that the team needs. If the young guns mesh well with the veterans of this squad (and early results indicate that should not be a problem), Marquette could have a rebound season that could perhaps end with themselves dancing next March.