We apologize for these player reviews being so late into the offseason — Marquette played its last game nearly two months ago — but that pesky thing called the real world got in the way. That, and the coaching chance made us put these bad boys on the back burner. We’ll try and give you some good information while also linking back to the stellar work Anonymous Eagle did on its respective player reviews. We’ll have a dab of Synergy, a touch of KenPom and our own eye-test analysis to break down exactly what each player did well, where he struggled and how he can improve for next season. For the seniors, that final part will be replaced with where he’s headed post-Marquette.
Past player reviews
4/28: Deonte Burton
When Juan Anderson asked for his release last offseason and, weeks later, then opted back into Marquette for a third season, it was a good sign for a Marquette team shallow on the wing post-Trent Lockett. A source told Paint Touches that Anderson spoke with Pac-12 and MWC schools after his release but did not receive as much as interest as he thought he would, ultimately leading him back to Milwaukee. There was hope that Anderson, a player who had been marred by injuries his first two seasons would make the jump as an upperclassmen from “plug-in guy” to “solid contributor,” but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
For one reason or another, Anderson started 31 of 32 games for the Golden Eagles, trailing only Jamil Wilson (32) for most starts on the team. But in his third season, nearly every one of his core statistics stayed practically the same from his sophomore season, when he averaged 2.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13 minutes. That move to the perimeter never really came to fruition, perhaps in part because he was needed inside following Jameel McKay’s transfer and Steve Taylor’s foggy rift with Buzz Williams throughout the year. The result was five made 3-pointers all year, seven fewer than the 12 he made as a sophomore.
His offense as a whole has been lackluster (to put it lightly) after he averaged 16.6 points and 5.0 assists per game as a senior in Oakland. He came to Marquette as a versatile scoring threat, and there was hope he’d finally become that in his third season. Instead, he shot 38 percent from the field, failed to score in double-figures in all but four games and made 9 of 37 field goals (24 percent) in his final 18 games.
One of the more intriguing statistics attached to Anderson was his work on the offensive glass. His 10.5 percent o-rebound rate was second on the team, and, per Synergy, he went 10-for-11 on put-backs. Those are stellar marks, but it also means that on non-offensive rebound possessions Anderson shot just 27-for-87 (31 percent). For an offense that shot 44 percent, offensive rebounds were important, and for that Anderson should be applauded.
Anderson didn’t really play “inside” all that often, as he defended just 16 shots around the basket. Most of his work was still done on the perimeter, though his PPP-against numbers were third worst on the team (behind Deonte Burton and Todd Mayo). Those numbers aside (which we’ve said before can be misleading), Anderson corralled 31 steals, or 3 steals per 40 minutes, second most behind Deonte Burton’s 3.5 steals per 40 minutes. His defensive 18.1 rebound rate was third on the team, behind Steve Taylor (21.4; #FreeSteveTaylor) and Jamil Wilson (18.3).
And that’s essentially where we stand with Anderson. Miracles won’t occur over the course of one offseason, though it’s fair to expect him to improve on his offensive numbers as a junior. Where his true worth will be seen is on the glass; with Marquette losing Chris Otule, Davante Gardner and Wilson to graduation, Marquette is losing its three best rebounders, who made up 43 percent of its total boards a year ago.
With Luke Fischer ineligible until the school’s second semester, Anderson’s ability to rebound will come in handy. He’ll play out of necessity, again seeing more time inside as more a power forward than anything else; Marquette will have to play a three-guard offense, meaning Anderson will be in the paint more often than not.
Narrative or not, there’s also value in a senior leader who has started 90 games. He’s been around the block and, even with a new head coach, will be one of the leaders on a team that has none to speak of right now. Every team needs an energy guy, and that’s exactly what Anderson can be in his final season.