Way-too-early Marquette minutes projections


(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

There’s a lot I want to talk about in regards to the 2019 season, and I planned on doing that most of the summer. But the Hauser transfers just completely killed my vibe. Not that I don’t think there will be plenty to talk about both past, present and future, I just still haven’t gotten over the shock of it enough to move on.

With that said, it is well past time to start, so take this as a baby step. And what better way to do so than to dive right into minute projections. Now even I admit doing this in June is pointless in terms of importance. People get injured (see Greg last season), people transfer (see McKay circa 2014), and the roster is still in plenty of flux (see open scholly). Heck, we don’t even know yet if Symir Torrence will redshirt.

So don’t take these are scientific hypotheses, but rather general instinct on how the roster might break down. And the instinct can and will change before the season tips.

2019 Results

I fleshed out my thoughts on the minutes breakdown before last season, so prior to starting the new projections, it’s only right to analyze those predictions.

Here are the predictions, in case you didn’t want to read the full post:

Fairly dead on with Markus and Sam, decent for Sacar, and then the wheels fell off.


I drastically underestimated Joey’s minutes, as did most fans and pundits, which helps pour some fresh salt in the wounds, as well as Theo’s ascent from a bench player to defensive rock. The 41% for Brendan looks garish, but playing 14.1 on a 10 minute projection isn’t too bad for a player who was a complete unknown.

I very much overshot the impact two veteran transfers would have, missing both Chartouny and Morrow by 40%, overshooting their minutes by 10 each. Morrow’s limited role wasn’t a huge issue, but Chartouny’s is still, in my estimation, the difference from that MU team winning an outright Big East title and getting to the 2nd weekend in the NCAA Tournament. It was a big miss, but I feel comfortable in knowing I wasn’t alone on the Joey Steals hype train.

I don’t think we’ll ever know what impact Matt Heldt’s late summer weight room foot injury had on his season, but even in his relegation to bench/mop-up player,  it wasn’t that far off from the initial predictions. Jamal didn’t have an injury question, but never could find a place in the rotation, though I didn’t expect him to in the first place.

Overall, I think the 2019 projections deserve a solid C. Got 3/5 of the starting rotation within a few ticks, and just underestimated the growth of the other 2.

2020 early projections

Since we still have 5 months to go, I’m going to stop short of breaking down by position, but instead give a general area. We can/will drill down later in the summer into fall.


Studs (30+) – Markus Howard, Sacar Anim, Koby McEwen

No words need to be spent on Markus. He will get over 30 minutes every game, barring injury.

Same for Sacar. We were early on the “Anim will be 3rd in minutes” train last year, when a good number of people had his role decreasing.

He simply does too much on the court. As a 5th year senior, with a 3-point shot that morphed from ok to lethal last season and the size and strength to guard 1 through 4, I see him spending more time guarding wings than guards. But in any case, he will be tough to take off the court.

With Koby, I’m falling into the same trap I’ve fallen into over and over since Buzz’ days, thinking transfers will have a bigger impact sooner than history tells us is likely. In the last 10 years, transfers to Marquette have played 44% of minutes on average their first season, with only one player topping 70%, Matt Carlino on a terrible team in 2015.

Type Player % Min Y1 % Min Y2 % Min Y3
Grad Joseph Chartouny 37.2
Trad Ed Morrow 36.1
Trad Harry Froling 17.5
Grad Katin Reinhardt 58.3
Trad Andrew Rowsey 51.9 80.8
Trad Wally Ellenson 19
Grad Matt Carlino 71.6
Trad Luke Fischer 54.6 69.5 59.7
Trad Jake Thomas 14.5 72.5
Trad Jamil Wilson 58.6 62 70.2
Grad Trent Lockett 65.6

So of course I have Koby projected at 75% of possible minutes. I don’t think this MU team will be terrible, but like on that 2015 team, there is a distinct lack of scorers. Koby won’t have to carry the offensive load like Carlino, hi Markus, but I do think he will be given the green light to attack and shoot on a high volume.

Key Contributors (20+) – Theo John

I’m as high on Theo as almost anyone. I’ll let this thread do the talking.

Rotation (10+) – Ed Morrow, Brendan Bailey, Jayce Johnson, Jamal Cain, Greg Elliott

In the past 10 seasons, only 3 Marquette teams have had 4 or fewer players average at least 20 minutes per game. So while it is definitely not likely, I do think this will be a case where the rotation is pretty set at certain spots, limiting the minutes distribution.

Of course, there’s a big different between playing 11 minutes and 19 minutes, so it’s not exactly right to lump them both into this group. I just don’t have enough of a feel yet.

Jayce Johnson is a very nice second option at the 5, and with Theo’s foul trouble, will see good minutes each game as the staff is very high on what he can provide.

Recent history tells us the 2nd year is when traditional transfers start to shine, but I just have a very tough time seeing Ed playing 20+ minutes this season with Jayce and Theo both being strict 5s. He will see most of his time at the 4, but I still hesitate to pencil him in for over half the game when he hasn’t shown the ability to shoot beyond 4 or 5 feet.

Brendan Bailey saw more minutes than I envisioned last year, and will have some opportunities to show his versatility between guard and wing positions, I just don’t have enough confidence to say he will be the main 4 just yet. Cain slots in as a perfect college 4, spotting up from the corners and crashing the boards hard, but like Bailey, I don’t think he’s clearly at the top of the pack.

Greg Elliott is a tough case. I’m about as high on him as anyone in the MU community.

However, he’s not a PG and well behind both Markus and Koby, so may not see extended runs just yet. I do think he is a fantastic option to guard the speedier Big East guards, so will have plenty of opportunity to make his mark.

Spot Player (0-10) – Symir Torrence, Dexter Akanno

It’s always easy to say so and such should redshirt from a computer screen, it’s not my career that is being delayed. But I do think either could benefit from a redshirt year this season. Just throwing that out there.

Symir is a very promising prospect and can fill a gaping need on this team, which is a true point guard that can set up teammates without having to look for his own shot. But I’m still not positive using a year of eligibility where he will play a minor role is worth it for a guy of his potential.

I think I’d be fine with whatever choice he and the staff go with, though I do think he could provide enough this year to make it worth losing a potential 5th year. (And with Wojo on a warmer, if not hot, seat, why save him for a potential season that may never come.)

Dex has not been paired with whiteboard redshirt rumors, but he looks to me to be very similar to Sacar. Defensive upside is there, but the offense just not close. Using a year to hone his shooting and ball handling makes too much sense, particularly with 3 players at his possible positions locked in for 30+ minutes.

One last time, this is still way too early to know anything for sure. We’ll be back to this in October or early November with better, more detailed projections.

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason


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2 Comments on “Way-too-early Marquette minutes projections”

  1. JL Alonso
    June 19, 2019 at 1:55 pm #

    What about Ike Eke? Any update on his injury rehab?

    • June 20, 2019 at 8:16 am #

      No real updates from the team and I haven’t seen him on the court just yet in any of their videos. So while I definitely should have listed him, I don’t think he gets anything but walk-on minutes this year, if healthy.

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