Kalif Young, a three star prospect from north of the border announced via twitter that he will be taking his talents to Providence. You can find PT’s initial coverage here. The 6”9 Orangeville Prep product had narrowed his list down to just Providence and Marquette. The announcement means that Marquette is left with one open scholarship and no obvious recruiting targets. 12 scholarship players is more than enough to field an effective team, hell, it’s the most Wojo has had since taking over at Marquette.
However, Marquette has a gaping hole at the PF position, not only for this year but the 17-18 season as well. Marquette can probably be successful next season with a four guard lineup and Fischer/Heldt roaming the paint, but the 17-18 season could be a disaster if Fischer were to graduate and no replacement was found. With that in mind, Paint Touches has put together a list of possible recruits who could take that 13th scholarship and fill Marquette’s need for a post player. In true Clintwood style, the list is divided into the good, the bad, and the ugly (good players with some concerning baggage). Also, important to keep in mind, this is simply a list of who’s available, it is not a list of players MU has had any contact with to this point.
Christian Jones- 6”7 230 lb Grad Transfer from St. John’s
25.2 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, .478 FG%, .333 3P%
In in interest of transparency, I have no idea of Jones would actually be allowed to transfer to Marquette. It has been shown at other power conferences that there are different rules when it comes to grad transfers. Spike Albrecht from Michigan is transferring to Purdue and Adam Smith from Virginia Tech transferred to Georgia Tech a season ago. To my knowledge, there has never been an intraconference grad transfer in the Big East and despite my best efforts have been able to find anyone who can give me a solid yes or no. Jones in a lot of way is exactly what Marquette is missing. He is a wide bodied, powerful forward who tenaciously goes after rebounds. Marquette fans might remember him from the Big East tournament where he went off for a career high 29 points and 7 rebounds in a losing effort to Marquette. Jones does all of his work around the rim but is a bit slow on the defensive end. Though he would towards the back of the rotation in terms of talent, he would see significant minutes at Marquette purely for his size and rebounding ability.
Norville Carey- 6”7 228 lb Grad Transfer from Southern Mississippi
27.0 mpg, 10.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, .456 FG%, .294 3P% (14-15 stats)
Carey is a bouncy, pogo stick of a forward from Southern Mississippi. In the 14-15 season he started for a very bad Golden Eagle squad and was third on the team in scoring, second in rebounds, and led the team in blocks. He also had the teams highest eFG% and was very adept at getting the ball into the basket. Carey has limited jumpshooting ability but does a vast majority of his damage close to the rim. On defense he uses quick hands to disrupt interior passing and his athleticism to reject shots. When Southern Miss was hit with NCAA violations, Carey was allowed to redshirt the 15-16 season so he could preserve his last year of eligibility. Carey would not wow anyone at the Big East level but his size, rebounding, and rim protecting ability could all add much need depth to the Marquette front court.
David Skara- 6”8 215 lb Sophomore Transfer from Valparaiso
19.7 mpg, 6.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, .442 FG%, .328 3P%
Skara spent this past season coming off the bench for a very talented Valparaiso squad that made the NIT championship this past season. Skara is a prototypical stretch 4. He made 21 of his 68 FGM from range this past season, hitting about a third of them. He is a capable rebounder and has excellent vision and passing ability for a big man. He would have been a starter for the Crusaders this season, if not for the presence of double double machine and NBA hopeful forward Alec Peters. Skara would have to sit out a season and would have two more years of eligibility.
Michael Gilmore- 6”10 215 lb Sophomore Transfer from VCU
11.5 mpg, 3.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.2 bpg, .474 FG%, .382 3P%
Gilmore was a back of the rotation player for a very talented VCU Rams team this past season. Gilmore has superior size, athleticism, and a strong shooting ability. His offensive toolbag is actually quite impressive. He has back to the basket moves, limited driving ability, and has shooting range out past the three point line. Using this he netted an impressive eFG of 55% on the season. The thing holding Gilmore back has been his defense, where he is often lost and fouls a lot. Gilmore would have to sit out next season and would have two years of eligibility remaining.
Taurean Thompson- 6”9 200 lb High School Senior from Brewster Academy (NH)
#75 ranked player on 247 Composite
The Jersey City native does not seem to be in a rush to commit anywhere. Thompson has supposedly been a Syracuse lean for a while but he continues to add new schools to his list. He has taken three official visits already but has recently been quoted as saying that he is “open to adding new schools.” Thompson is very thin at the moment but has the kind of frame that you can add a lot of muscle to. He has no back to the basket game in his toolbox currently but is quick and athletic enough to take guys off the dribble. He also has a decent mid-range jumper. He needs to hit the weight room and learn his role in the offense better but he has the talent and athleticism to be a dynamic college player. Competition will be very stiff as the likes of Michigan State, Arizona, and Kansas have all started contacting him.
Romello White- 6”8 215 lb High School Senior from Wheeler High School (GA)
#77 ranked player on 247 Composite
White is already on his third recruiting process. He originally committed to Tennessee as a junior but decided to reopen his process this past season. He committed to local Georgia Tech but decommitted at the end of April when Coach Gregory was fired and the Josh Pastner show was coming to town. White is a back to the basket, blue collar type forward. He fights hard for rebounds and is an above the rim shot defender. His offensive game is limited to around the basket. Schools have been jumping on White quickly since he reopened his process. He has already taken a visit to Arizona State and has set another to Iowa State. He has been quoted as saying his looking for a school with playing time immediately available at the 4.
Mo Jeffers- 6”8 215 lb Grad Transfer from Delaware
22.8 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.2 spg, 1.1 bpg, .402 FG%, .000 3P%
Picking up Jeffers would be the definition of a “warm body” pickup. Jeffers was the starting C for a very bad Fighting Blue Hens squad. He did show some ability as a rebounder and a shot blocker but his offensive game is limited to putbacks and shots right next to the rim. What he could bring is some size and a guy with 5 fouls to go hard after rebounds and block shots. Whether he could actually do that at the Big East level is highly questionable. But the nice thing about grad transfers is that they are gone after one year.
Brekkott Chapman- 6”8 215 lb Sophomore Transfer from Utah
13.4 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.6 bpg, .434 FG%, .270 3P%
Chapman was a local recruit for the Utes, coming from just north of Salt Lake City. He had a promising start to his career at Utah. Coming out of high school he was a consensus 4 star recruit and ranked in the top 60 by the 247 Composite. He was a solid bench player as a freshman, using his talents as stretch 4 to give himself and eFG of well over 55%. His defense struggled initially but he had knack for disrupting passes and blocking would be layups. Chapman unfortunately declined his second season. His shooting numbers dropped as his 3P% fell from 44% all the way to 27%. There was even a notable drop in his FT shooting. He actually improved on defense his second season but not enough to make up for the season long offensive slump. Transferring to the right program could allow him to fix his shot and get back to how he was performing his freshman year. Chapman would have to sit out next year and would have years of eligibility left.
Kameron Chatman- 6”8 215lb Sophomore Transfer from Michigan
7.2 mpg, 2.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, .382 FG%, .265 3P%
Chatman arrived in Ann Arbor with a lot of fanfare. He was a very highly rated recruit, 5 star by several services, top 30 in the 247 composite. Scouts knew he wasn’t a finished product but a player with his length, athleticism, and talent was supposed to be a can’t miss recruit. He struggled immediately upon arrival at Michigan, shooting miserable 32% from the floor and 26% from beyond the arc. But the talent seemed to be there and every once in a while he would show a flash of something amazing. Things didn’t improve much his second season, where he found his playing time cut to 7 minutes per game. His shooting numbers did get better but he still struggled as a whole. The highlight of his season was when he hit the game winning three against Indiana in the B1G tournament that likely secured the Wolverines’ spot in the NCAA tournament. Chatman has the raw physical tools, if he can find a program that can shape them into a basketball player, he could be a star. He is a true boom or bust option. Chatman would have to sit out next season and would have two years of eligibility left.
Kostas Antetokounmpo- 6”9 190 lb High School Senior from Dominican High (WI)
#102 ranked player on 247 Composite
Is an Antetokounmpo with any other first name just as good? The blunt answer is, no. The younger brother of Giannas “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, Kostas has yet to show anything close to the level of talent that his NBA playing brother does. While he does have great length and some athleticism, Kostas often struggled against much smaller opponents at the D5 level of WIAA basketball. He wasn’t even a starter for his high school until this past season. Those who have seen him play describe him as unremarkable. He hasn’t shown an ability to dominate at his current high school level which frankly any Big East player should be able to do. He also isn’t a big in the traditional sense. He’s got height and length but he is extremely skinny and plays like a wing. The honest truth is, if Kostas’ last name wasn’t Antetokounmpo, no one would be looking at him. However, he does have height, length, and good blood lines. He is also right in Marquette’s backyard. Signing a local project with your 13th scholarship isn’t the worst option. A few other high major programs have been kicking the tires on Kostas including St. John’s, Purdue, and Florida.
Paris Bass- 6”8 185 Junior Transfer from Detroit
29.8 mpg, 18.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.4 bpg, .465 FG%, .324 3P%
Bass is one of the best players on the transfer market this season, at any position. After his freshman campaign where he was named Horizon Newcomer of the Year, Bass elevated his game by becoming one of the best players in the country. A dynamic scorer, bass has a very diverse offensive tool bag that he used to score on opponents at will. He can shoot the three, pull up mid-range, or back an opponent down in the post. More than anything, pass loves to slash to the basket. Defensively, he is a monster. His high motor led to healthy rebounding, steal, and block numbers. Bass is a complete player who could make an immediate impact on any team. Unfortunately, he comes with some red flags. Bass spent his first year at Detroit redshirting due to the NCAA not recognizing some of his high school classes. He also started this past season suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules, missing the first seven games of the season. He was also kicked off the team at the end of April for another undisclosed violation of team rules. Bass is too talented not to be picked up by somebody. Coaches will need to make the judgement of how damning Bass’ behavior truly was. Bass will have to sit out next season and will have one season of eligibility remaining. There is an unlikely chance that he could ask the NCAA for a waiver to make up for his first year and then would have two years left.
Elijah Minnie- 6”8 210 Sophomore Transfer from Robert Morris
29.5 mpg, 12.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.9 bpg, .427 FG%, .327 3P%
Minnie was a beastly presence in the post for a very bad Colonials team. Blessed with good size and length, Minnie beat out NEC defenders for rebounds, putbacks, and swatted his fair share of opponent layups. Minnie has range out to the three point line. He only shot about 33% last season but his freshman year he was shooting over 40%. He certainly has all the tools high majors look for, but his work ethic has always been a question. He had games where he looked dominant like his 23 point, 12 rebound, 3 block outburst against Duquesne. But he also had games where he was nonexistent, such as when he put up a whopping 0 points and 1 rebound in 26 minutes against Mount St. Mary’s. Not only that, but he was dismissed from Robert Morris at the end of January for an undisclosed violation of team rules. He has the skills but his attitude may keep several teams from giving him a look. Minnie would have to sit out next season and would have two years of eligibility remaining.
Torren Jones-6”9 235 lb Junior Transfer from Fresno State
26.3 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.6 bpg, .520 FG%, .000 3P%
Jones spent the last season roaming the paint for the Bulldogs of Fresno State. At least, when he managed to stay on the court. When he was playing, Jones was an athletic pogo stick of a player, scoring around the rim and grabbing every rebound within his grasp. Jones has the size, length, and skill to make an impact at Marquette or most other squads. Unfortunately, he comes with a whole slew of baggage. First off, this will be Jones’ fourth school in four years. He started at Mizzou but transferred to a JUCO in Texas after a disappointing freshman campaign. His time at Fresno State was marred with off the court issues. On January 28, Jones was caught with Xanax and Marijuana by campus police. He was suspended for one game but that sat out the rest of the season with an “undisclosed medical issue” which may have just been an extension of the initial suspension. Earlier in the season, Jones was involved in a bizarre incident when he was removed from a game against Cal State Bakersfield and instead of sitting with his team on the bench, he decided to go sit in the stands with the fans. Despite Jones being the starting center and getting suspended, Fresno State actually seemed to get better in his absence. The Bulldogs went 11-2 without him and had a nine game winning streak that included winning the Mountain West tournament. Jones might have the talent but it is unlikely to see Wojo or many other coaches looking past all of the off the court issues.
CJ Turman- 6”9 250 lb Sophomore Transfer from Florida Atlantic
28.7 mpg, 9.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.0 bpg, .513 FG%, .000 3P%
Turman is a wide bodied center who was starting for the Owls down in Boca Raton before being dismissed from the team mid-season. At the time, he was Florida Atlantic’s leading scorer and rebounder and was known for having a soft touch around the rim and an aggressive one on the glass. Further investigation shows that Turman’s dismissal might be related to charges of domestic violence filed by his former girlfriend earlier in the year. What’s worse, she has also accused the men’s basketball coach of attempting to intimidate her to try and get her to drop the charges. Turman has responded by filing his own charges of domestic violence against the complainant. I can’t imagine Wojo would go anywhere near this situation and as a fan and alum I pray that he doesn’t. Unless the charges are proven to be 100% fabricated, there is no place for that kind of behavior in college basketball.
This is the best of what is available right now at the PF position. Honestly, in this writer’s opinion, it is unlikely that Wojo will target anyone on this list. It’s too late in the game for most of them. Other coaches have been going after these players for weeks, months, even years already. To try and break in on them now would likely be a waste of time and resources. I expect that for now, Wojo will concentrate on the 2017 class. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him lock down one or two players by the early signing period in the fall. However, don’t take this as us being done with that 13th scholarship. I fully expect Wojo to have his ear to the ground for new transfers that will become available. Marquette fans might remember Wojo making a hard run at Austin Nichols last summer. Nichols ended up at Virginia (under some suspicious circumstances) but he is proof that Wojo is willing to play the transfer game late in the summer.
There might also be a rush of new transfers becoming available shortly after May 25. With the new NBA draft rules, players have the opportunity to declare for the draft but retain their eligibility, provided they don’t hire an agent and they return by May 25. There are still 70ish players who have declared for the draft but have yet to hire an agent. Most of them will return for another year of school. Some of them, especially grad transfer eligible players, may look to transfer to new programs where they could showcase themselves more and get drafted the following year. Names like Jaron Blossomgame, Marc Eddy Norelia, and Andrew White all come to mind. All pipe dreams, but ones that I would expect Wojo to target, should they become available.