According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Marquette has emerged as the front runner for Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett.
Lockett, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was granted his release from Arizona State last week. The junior is looking to transfer closer to his home in Golden Valley, Minn. to be closer to his sick mother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Doug Haller, Arizona State’s beat reporter at the Arizona Republic, first reported Lockett’s intentions to leave the Sun Devils.
Haller said that Gonzaga, Iowa State, Marquette, Creighton and Minnesota had all shown interest in Lockett, but Rothstein’s tweet is the first to hint that the Golden Eagles may be in the lead for his services.
Lockett shot over 49 percent from the field and averaged 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior. He also shot over 41 percent from beyond the arc and racked up 41 steals for the Sun Devils, who went 10-21 a year ago.
Lockett has the look of a Buzz Williams player. With a solid, 210-pound frame, Lockett could play a Vander Blue-type role and has the athleticism to drive to the paint and guard multiple positions.
Without seniors Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, Marquette will lose almost 47 percent of its scoring from a year ago. Lockett would provide an instant scorer, a senior leader and, from all accounts, an excellent student.
Lockett, a business communications major, has a 3.32 grade point average and was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team. Because Lockett is scheduled to graduate this spring, he could receive a waiver to play immediately.
His special circumstance, wanting to play closer to home because of his mother’s illness, would also help his chances to play right away as well. Last year, point guard Momo Jones transferred from Arizona to Iona to be with his ailing grandmother, and was not required to sit out a year.
Milwaukee is approximately six hours from Lockett’s hometown. Iowa State (3 hours, 45 minutes) and Minnesota (20 minutes) are the closest schools that reportedly have shown interest.
The issue with Marquette is that it currently does not have any open scholarships. The Golden Eagles had 12 scholarship players last year, and with Johnson-Odom and Crowder leaving, and Jake Thomas moving back to a walk-on role, four scholarships remain.
High school seniors Steve Taylor, Jamal Ferguson and Aaron Durley, and junior college freshman T.J. Taylor have all signed national letters of intent to play next season.
Three possibilities could open up a scholarship for Lockett: a current scholarship player transferring, one of the four incoming recruits not attending Marquette, or a current scholarship player not qualifying academically.
Reports that Lockett and Marquette had mutual interest were one thing, but Rothstein’s tweet appears to have some legs to it. Lockett does not have any visits set up, but it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.