What can you expect from a transfer at MU?

Rowsey ovation

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

We here at Paint Touches don’t do much recruiting analysis, and instead focus most of our efforts on the transfer market every spring and summer. It’s partly because we don’t have a ton of sources, but mostly because we spend more time on analysis than news, and it’s very difficult to analyze high school stats no matter how good a school the recruit is coming from.

But despite the many years of data and video a transfer provides, that does not mean you can simply plug some stats in and project how a player will do in a new setting. We’ll call it the Chartouny Fallacy from now on. (Heck you can even call it the PT Chartouny Fallacy, since I was one of Joey Steals’ biggest proponents and called landing him a grand slam.)

Nevertheless, I figured taking a wider look at how transfers have fared at MU under Wojo would make more sense than simply looking at individual cases, as data can be terribly misleading. And for the sake of this analysis, we left Wally Ellenson off the list, much like Wojo did once Henry left.

In order to gauge a transfer’s impact, I limited the data compared to the following:
% of minutes: To see how much burn they gained or lost
ORtg: To gauge offensive efficiency
Usage: To see how their offensive role changed
PRPG!: Another efficiency gauge, but one taking usage into account
BPM: To sort of add a defensive component

Obviously this doesn’t capture everything, and there may be certain factors that you might want to know, but again, this is meant to be more of a generic guide.

And crunching those numbers, here’s how transfers have fared at Marquette their first year of eligibility.

Min% Ortg Usg PRPG! BPM
Total -38% 5.0 -3.6 -0.1 0.6

Plummet in minutes

On average, transfers have lost about 2/5ths of their playing time from their previous institution in their first season at Marquette. In fact, the only player to not lose minutes is Matt Carlino, and that had a lot to do with how shorthanded at guard that 2015 team was.  But in general, transfers should expect to see the floor less.

Rise in Efficiency

For all of the (justified) defensive angst in Wojo’s tenure, it’s pretty remarkable how good and consistent his teams have been on offense. And nowhere is that more evident than in the transfer data. On average, players have seen a 5 point bump in ORtg donning the Blue and Gold (and White and Black and Teal and Gray).

Again, only 1 player really bucked that trend and that was Koby McEwen (-1.8) who had his power zapped Space Jam style the last 7 games. Seriously, before those 7 games, his ORtg, while not stellar, was up 2.5 points compared to his final season at Utah State.

Smaller Role

Even though the sample size of 8 transfers isn’t huge, it is nuts how synchronized the trends have been across 6 seasons. On average, transfers have seen their usage drop 3.6% points with only Katin Reinhardt seeing a small increase from 19.2 to 20.8%. It’s understandable that with more talent and better opponents, their role would go down, so this would be another one I’d be comfortable generalizing to any incoming transfer.

Similar Value Added

Bart Torvik’s PORPAGATU! (PRPG!) basically measures how many points a certain player scores over a generic replacement player, and is extremely useful because it takes usage into account. Since we already know ORtg is up but Usage is down, it makes sense that PRPG! remains basically unchanged. Chartouny was at one pole, losing 1.3 PRPG points, while Carlino was at the other, gaining 1. For the most part, though, what you’ve seen is what you’re going to get.

Muted Box Score Change

Another way to gauge a player’s contribution when he’s on the court, BPM also has a defensive element, so there’s at least a nod toward 50% of the game in here. But like with PRPG!, on average there is a slight bump up from transfers. The only outlier, and it truly is an outlier, is Andrew Rowsey, who saw his BPM go up a whopping 5 points. (And again, Chartouny is on the other pole, dropping 2.3 points in BPM.)


So as we prepare for a few players that may join Marquette next season, you can generally expect them to see their role and floor time drop, while seeing their offensive efficiency increase by a decent margin. That doesn’t guarantee they will follow these trends, hello Chartouney Fallacy, but in general, the results have been quite stable under Wojo at Marquette.

And if you’re wondering if there is a difference between first year impact of a sitout and grad transfer, there is. I just don’t think halving a sample of 8 gives us any sort of meaningful data. But here it is anyway.

Min% Ortg Usg PRPG! BPM
Total -38% 5.0 -3.6 -0.1 0.6
Sit -18% 7.3 -4.1 -0.2 1.7
Grad -25% 2.7 -3.1 0.0 -0.4


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Categories: Home, Offseason


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