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Preseason Previews: Grambling State

Marquette Madness has come and gone. The season is so close, we can taste it. Marquette fans know who we will battle but might not know anything about our future opponents. To remedy this, Paint Touches is taking an in depth look at each of Marquette’s opponents, both conference and non-conference, to see what we have to look forward to. These will be released in order of what Paint Touches believes to be the easiest matchups to the toughest. The creamiest of cupcakes all the way to the most unbeatable of opponents. We start with Division 1’s favorite punching bag, Grambling State.

Opponent: Grambling State
Mascot: TigersGState Logo
Conference: SWAC
14-15 Record: 2-27 (0-18)
14-15 RPI: 351
14-15 KenPom: 351
Coach: Shawn Walker (2nd season)
Date: 12/02/15
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center

Departures from 14-15:
A’Torri Shine: Starting SF: 31.6 mpg, 12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.2 bpg, 2.0 tpg, .333 3P%
Richard Freeman: Starting C: 23.8 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.1 tpg, .182 3P%
Telvin Marshall: 1st off bench: 19.4 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.8 tpg, .000 3P% (only appeared in 5 games)
Lonnie McElwain: 3rd off bench: 10.3 mpg, 0.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 0.7 tpg, .000 3P%
Robert Wiley: 5th off bench: 9.8 mpg, 1.2 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .091 3P%
Valerio Altheimer: 6th off bench: 8.8 mpg, 1.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.6 bpg, .154 3P%
Carlton Lowe: 7th off bench: 7.5 mpg, 3.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.6 tpg, .355 3P%
Isiah Patterson: 8th off bench: 6.5 mpg, 1.6 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.4 tpg, .360 3P%
53% of Scoring, 42% of Rebounding, 34% of Assists, 41% of Steals, 54% of Blocks, 72% of 3PM

Arrivals:
Deonte Hearns: JUCO SF, unranked
Ervin Mitchell: JUCO SG, unranked
Javier Roper: 3 star SF, ranked as 7th best player from LA by ESPN
Alpha Ndaw: JUCO PF, unranked
R.J. Moses: JUCO SG, unranked
Jack Ocwieja: JUCO C, unranked
Ugur Hortum: JUCO C, unranked
Raekwon Harney: JUCO PG, unranked
Mike Bethea: JUCO SG, unranked
Nigel Riberio: 2 star PG, unranked

Probable Starters:
PG: Chase Comier: 6-0 165 JR: 29.4 mpg, 4.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.0 bpg, 2.5 tpg, .333 3P%
SG: Ervin Mitchell: 6-4 200 JR: 31.1 mpg, 23.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.2 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.0 tpg, .259 3P% (for Genesee Community College)
SF: Javier Roper: 6-7 185 FR: Unranked 3 star FR, ranked as 7th best player from LA by ESPN
PF: Deonte Hearns: 6-6 220 SO: 34.6 mpg, 19.2 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.7 tpg, .353 3P% (for Seminole State College of Florida)
C:  Mark Gray: 6-7 220 SR: 27.0 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.9 tpg, .395 3P%

Probable Bench:
Alpha Ndaw: 6-8 220 JR PF
Remond Brown: 6-3 200 JR SG
R.J. Moses: 6-4 180 SO SG
Kyle Williams: 6-9 240 SO PF
Jack Ocwieja: 6-10 240 JR C

Probable Benchwarmers:
Ugur Hortum: 6-11 245 JR C
Raekwon Harney: 6-0 165 SO PG
Mike Bethea: 6-6 170 SO SG
Jefkins Agyeman-Budu: 6-5 185 SO PG
Nigel Riberio: 6-0 160 FR PG

Quick and Dirty Analysis: What can one say about a team that finished 351 out of 351 in both KenPom and RPI, ranked dead last of all D1 teams in ppg (52.0),  and went winless against D1 competition in 14-15? “They can only get better” is about the only positive takeaway you can possibly have. And get better they will. Grambling coach Shawn Walker was in his first season last year, and he wasn’t given the reins until the middle of July. As a result, he had five different walk ons playing significant minutes for him. Walker has ditched the walk ons and brings in what is possibly the best recruiting class in Grambling State history. Now keep in mind the standard we are using, they are still terrible, but Walker’s recruiting is leading them in the right direction. The class features two JUCO transfers who averaged 19.0 ppg or more last season. Unfortunately, they played for awful JUCO teams, but having players who know how to score is something Grambling desperately needs. Walker also managed to reel in Javier Roper, a local product who is listed as a three star by most services and is the seventh best HS senior in Louisiana according to ESPN.

Grambling is making some nice strides (compared to where they were) but they will still be one of the worst teams in D1. It will take a few more years for them to escape the basement of the SWAC. Marquette fans should not stress about this game. Grambling doesn’t have the size, strength, or shooting to even come close to competing with Marquette.

Early Prediction: This game will be embarrassingly one sided. Somewhere in the realm of a 25-35 point blowout for Marquette.

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Categories: Home, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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