Q&A with Assistant Coach Jake Presutti on Marquette’s new jerseys

Image via Marquette Basketball’s Facebook page

With the shock of the new Jordan jersey drop finally wearing off, we wanted to speak with Marquette Assistant Coach Jake Presutti about the process behind creating a new design.

Presutti has been on staff since Steve Wojciechowski arrived in 2014 and has been the liaison between the program and Jordan. So when it came to getting answers about the new uniform set and the process behind them, there was no one better to talk to.

Paint Touches: How long has this been in the works, and what’s the process like on your end?
Jake Presutti: A few years ago, the Jordan brand approached Coach (Wojo) and myself about going to something new. When we went to our previous jerseys, that was kind of a tribute to the 100 years, so kind of moving from that. That’s what programs like to do every 3 years, they approach us about changing them. That’s not an area that myself or coach or anyone on staff have expertise, so we really relied on them.

The process at Jordan was unbelievable. They sent multiple designers to campus and really got a feel for the city and the program. Obviously they studied the basketball side of it, but they really wanted to see the campus, wanted to see Milwaukee. They wanted to touch on some of the major traditions and things like that. They brought us multiple different concepts and Coach really relied on the team. He got their input, specifically Sacar and Markus down the stretch. He really wanted it to be something that they were proud of even though they would never wear them.

PT: Marquette has a history with uniforms that’s unique in the landscape of college basketball, and in general, Marquette is synonymous with bring forward fashion. Did that factor in?
JP: Jordan is well aware of that history. Whenever there is a redesign, their designers who live in that world, they always want to push the envelope in that way. Not that we would ever do anything crazy, coach is obviously aware of the history, but the players also own the idea of it. The best reaction for myself, having been involved in it, was seeing our guys react to it when they opened them. They absolutely loved them. They’re proud of them. Seeing the process some to fruition was really cool.

PT: Have you talked to Sacar or Markus since then?
JP: They’ve been hitting me up. They want shorts. That was the big joke, that they’d never get to wear them, so they would say “you guys better send us some shorts.” Obviously the reaction was really good. Not only were they excited to see the final product, just hearing from our guys and our guys really liked going into a new year with new jerseys it gave great energy.

PT: Was the font/wordmark on the jersey based off of Milwaukee Tools or the Buck’s Cream City uniform?
JP: I think the designers at Jordan definitely wanted to touch on that Milwaukee sense to it. It definitely touches on that. Again, not my world, but the designers when they brought it to us, we thought the same thing, that it has a resemblance to the Milwaukee Tools and the Cream City jerseys. For us, we thought it was really cool. I’ve read some stuff as well, and everyone has different opinions on it, but they didn’t tell us they specifically took the font, but I think it certainly, to anyone’s eye, draws on comparison to those two.

PT: Are the shorts purposefully drawing on the 1993-94 era shorts?
JP: Having sat in some of the meetings with them, and heard how they think about things, they did go back and look at all our jerseys. They tried to pull elements, not necessarily replicate them, but they did want to pull elements from jerseys of the past and bring them into a more modern jersey. That was the idea. They didn’t specifically say this was based on this, but they definitely studied our history of jerseys. Specifically, the coloring.

Obviously the piping is something that everyone loved, including myself, but sometimes you have to trust the professionals and they wanted to incorporate all the colors. Our players wanted to incorporate all the colors because that’s something that we have special. It’s just something that our guys were really proud of. That was the best part. 

PT: Has there been any discussion with Jordan about potentially using replica throwbacks for sale or game use?
JP: There has been. To be honest with you, it gets discussed a lot. To the general public, it’s a lot more complicated. To replicate those jerseys and make them into the modern jersey is a little more difficult, from what I was told. I know it’s something Coach wants to do. And it’s something we are certainly open to do. It just hasn’t happened yet, but is definitely something that is constantly discussed.

The thing the public doesn’t know, that’s like a 2 year process. In preparation for this interview I was looking back at some emails, we were discussing the Fall 20 jerseys in 2018. There’s that much discussion and research done to them. The throwback jersey is something that’s discussed a lot and Coach really wants to do it, it just hasn’t come to fruition.

PT: Are there any copyright restrictions that you know of to using 70s jerseys? Is there any legal barrier?
JP:  I’m not actually sure. We’ve actually discussed that about the script on the jersey. One of Coach’s big things was “Can we use this script on our gear?” That’s something that was discussed among the athletic department and Jordan: Is that something that is now ours? I don’t have the answer. That’s something that Jordan and Marquette are working through.

To answer your question, I don’t know the answer, but I know that those are the topics that come up.

(Marquette SID Scott Kuykendall followed up noting: “It would have to be researched and if possible would ultimately fall under a licensing agreement.”)

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