Surely by now you have heard about the impact Marquette’s stellar recruiting class is having for the Golden Eagles of late. In particular, you have no doubt seen how stud Henry Ellenson has lived up to and (perhaps) exceeded all the expectations placed upon him.
But did you know junior center Luke Fischer is also having a standout season, as well?
Predictably, Ellenson does lead the Golden Eagles in both scoring (15.2 points per game) and rebounding (9.8 rebounds per game), but Fischer is not that far behind. Through six games Fischer is averaging 14.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while shooting a team-best .660 percent from the field.
Fischer is Marquette’s true low-post player. While Ellenson can do a lot of things for a 6’10” player, he plays inside and out with his diverse set of skills, whereas Fischer loves to camp out in the lane and work for the high-percentage shot. Fischer has been the Robin to Ellenson’s Batman. Fischer, who started his career at Indiana, has been super effective in his role for head coach Steve Wojciechowski and a great complement to Ellenson.
Granted, Ellenson won the MVP honors in the FanDuel Legends Classic, when Marquette took down Ben Simmons’ LSU club and then Arizona State in the championship, but Fischer was just as important. Fischer was named on Monday to the Big East weekly honor roll after he averaged 16 points and 7.3 rebounds in the Legends Classic, while also making the All-Tournament Team.
Henry Ellenson, Luke Fischer Claim Weekly Honors: Freshman Henry Ellenson has been named BIG EAST Freshman of … https://t.co/q59RwYTols
— Marquette Basketball (@muathletics_mbb) December 1, 2015
What was significant of Fischer’s performance in the Legends Classic was the fact that it appeared Wojciechowski and the Golden Eagles made a concentrated effort to get the ball into Fischer’s hands.
Just prior to the Legends Classic, Marquette got stomped on by Iowa, 89-61, and in that game Fischer scored just eight points, but was perfect from the field (4-4 from the field). In that same game, the Golden Eagles hoisted 30 three pointers (making just seven) while largely ignoring Fischer.
Fast forward to games against LSU and Arizona State where the Golden Eagles attempted a combined 33 three-point attempts in those two contests, while Fischer attempted a combined 23 field goals (while converting on 13 of them). Now that’s what you call efficiency and a nice recipe for ways to win ballgames.
On a team with five freshmen and two sophomores, the 6’11” junior from Germantown, Wisconsin, is one of few veterans Wojciechowski can lean on. After the Golden Eagles struggled to a 13-19 record last season (4-4 in the Big East), Fischer is starting to see this team grow and mature as they get used to playing with each other.
“We started off on the wrong step the first game,” he said (per Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel). “The past couple days have been really good for our team. It shows us how good we are, and it sends a message to everyone else that Marquette is back and we can play with everyone.”
Considering there is a chance that Ellenson could potentially be a one-and-done player, Fischer’s role with Marquette for the next year and half will be vital, as he figures to be around until he graduates. His stability and dependability is an asset Wojciechowski can rely on night in and night out.
That can not be simply understated.
— MarquetteMBB (@MarquetteMBB) November 29, 2015
With other players stepping up too, and the team starting to mature and gel, the Golden Eagles are starting to become a force in the Big East and they look like they have the pieces to certainly contend for an NCAA bid.
Again, while Ellenson grabs all the headlines, it’s Fischer’s veteran experience and reliability that could be the backbone to Marquette’s success this season.