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Marquette’s most valuable: 14-8

With two days until Marquette Madness, Paint Touches is breaking down the most valuable Golden Eagles, from 14 to 1. The list is not based on talent, but rather who is most valuable to the success of the 2012-2013 Marquette team.

*NOTE* These rankings were compiled by Mark Strotman and Andrei Greska. Write-ups were done by Strotman (odds) and Greska (evens).

Juan Anderson may still be a project in his second year at Marquette. (Marquette Tribune)

14. Garrett Swanson: A transfer from Idaho State with three years of eligibility remaining, Swanson averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game last season as a Bengal. A coaching change prompted his transfer to Marquette  as a walk-on, where he will sit out this season, per NCAA transfer rules. Swanson has length and a decent looking shot, but the strength and athleticism needed to see the floor must be vastly improved before he can think about playing time. Nevertheless, he provides a good-sized body at 6-foot-7 and will be familiar with his teammates having partaken in the Pro-Am this summer.

13. Dylan Flood: Marquette officially added the walk-on last week, though he had been working with the team a good portion of the summer. The redshirt sophomore is unlikely to break any rotation, and may not play at all, but he’s another practice body, at least. Buzz Williams won’t take anyone off the street to join his team (no walk-on made the team after last year’s tryouts), so it’s a safe bet that Flood is a hard-working, committed student-athlete. Just don’t expect it to translate onto the court. He won’t make anyone forget about cult hero Rob Frozena, but he has good size (6-foot-4) and made it through Boot Camp, which has to say something about him.

12. Jake Thomas: A transfer from South Dakota last year, this redshirt junior tantalized Marquette fans with his silky-smooth shot over the summer. It’s become cliche to say players can hit from anywhere on the court, but very rarely do these players warm up by hitting jump shots from half court. There’s no denying his talent (go to the 1:03 mark of this video to see for yourself), but averaging 13.3 points at a low-to-mid-major does not automatically equate to Big East success. Thomas will have a very specific role on this team, and it will be to hit from 3-point land. He won’t see extended minutes most games, but should he get hot, watch out.

11. Jamal Ferguson: Marquette’s first 2012 commitment enters his freshman campaign a bit of an unknown, but the talent is there. His value will be decided by how well Marquette shoots from the perimeter in the early-going. Ferguson can shoot from deep but is still a raw prospect who needs seasoning, much like Juan Anderson a year ago. But if the Golden Eagles struggle from the outside, perhaps their biggest question mark, Ferguson could be called in to log minutes as an offensive threat. Aki Collins was his lead recruiter, but he seems comfortable in Milwaukee and could carve out a nice role if his jumper is there.

10. Juan Anderson: The Castro Valley High School product has been beset by setbacks his first 14 months as a Golden Eagle. He was suspended for the first three games of the season, then suffered a shoulder injury in December, and capped it off by fracturing his shoulder during an open-gym in May—forcing surgery that kept him out of scrimmages and contact drills until late September. As long and talented as he is, Anderson has yet to put it together for extended periods of time. He will be behind Jamil Wilson, Trent Lockett, and possibly Steve Taylor on the depth chart to start the season, but barring injury, should see a steady increase of minutes and production from last season’s 4.5 minutes and 0.7 points per game.

9. Derrick Wilson: The stocky point guard’s role as a freshman was carved out from Day 1, and he was invaluable as a defensive stopper on the second unit. That role should stay the same playing behind Junior Cadougan, but he needs to be more consistent on offense. He attempted just 16 shots in 292 minutes. If Wilson can average even 4.0 points per game it will allow Todd Mayo and Vander Blue to play off-the-ball, where they’re much more efficient. That being said, his calling card is defense. He will need to cut down on his hand-checks as he averaged a whopping 7.0 fouls per 40 minutes. That can happen in an expanded role, which he should see as a sophomore.

8. Steve Taylor: It’s a dangerous proposition to assign value to a freshman in Buzz’s system, but Steve Taylor isn’t your average freshman. He’s long, he’s agile and he’s team-oriented. Sharing the stage with the country’s best high school player, Jabari Parker, last season, Taylor was content to do the dirty work, battling for rebounds and defending opposing centers. Not that he didn’t put up some big numbers himself, averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds en route to Simeon’s third consecutive 4-A state title. Expect more of the same from the ‘big fella’ this year, as he floats from the basket to the perimeter. He won’t be a huge scoring threat right away, but his defense and rebounding acumen will have him in the lineup early and often.

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  1. Marquette’s most valuable: 7-1 | Paint Touches - October 11, 2012

    […] Podcasts ← Marquette’s most valuable: 14-8 […]

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