On Monday, Marquette athletics announced the official transfer of 6-foot-11 center Luke Fischer from Indiana. Fischer, who ranked No. 34 in the 2013 ESPN 100, hails from Germantown, Wis. and picked Marquette so he could attend school closer to home. He is eligible to play Dec. 14, 2014 and met the media Tuesday afternoon to share his reasons for making his decision.
"It was a great fit here, close to home," he said. "The future is really bright, so I’m looking forward to it."
Fischer played in 13 games for the Hoosiers this season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game off the bench. He scored a season-high 10 points against Kennesaw State Dec. 22. On Jan. 5, Fischer decided that Bloomington just wasn't right for him.
"It just wasn’t the right fit," he said. "It’s that simple. I think this is a much better fit around here."
He didn't know he wanted to leave right away, however. It was a gradual process that came to a head as he talked to his parents after the end of the first semester.
"It wasn’t at first obviously, because I felt it would be a good fit when I committed," Fischer said. "But after a while, I started to question everything."
Since Fischer arrived on campus for the start of the semester Monday, Buzz Williams and company have thrown him into the fire. He started practicing with the team immediately and had to learn a lot on the fly.
"They threw me right in," Fischer said. "Practice yesterday, I had to catch on real quick to all of their calls and what they do with everything. I don’t think that will be a big problem. I’m a quick learner."
Fischer is excited to work with the other local players on the team, including fellow freshmen Duane Wilson and Deonte Burton. Fischer says Wilson was the first to reach out to him, but that the team has completely welcomed him as well.
"From the first day I was here, it was with open arms, he said. "It’s like I’ve been here for the whole semester already."
Fischer believes that more Milwaukee players should flock to Marquette so they can combine talents.
"We all know how each other plays," he said. "Instead of playing against each other, we can play with each other. With all the great talent around this area, it would be great to see them come together."
He plans to spend the year working out with assistant coach Jerry Wainwright and experiencing everything the rest of the team goes through.
"I’m going to treat it like a redshirt year," Fischer said. "I’ll be in the weight room all the time, I’ve already started doing all that stuff. A lot of individual workouts that I’ll be doing with coaches and I’ll be practicing with the team. I’ll be getting everything that the team is doing, plus a little bit extra."
Wainwright said he is excited to see how Fischer can help Marquette, especially with Davante Gardner, Chris Otule and Jamil Wilson moving on next season. He fancies the big man as a natural fit in the high post as a stretch four.
"The hardest and the most necessary position to recruit in college basketball is the stretch four, just like the pros," Wainwright said. "If you have somebody that can guard a bigger guy and move away from the basket and create space, it’s a great weapon."
The former Depaul head man raved about Fischer's athleticism and natural skill set.
"He’s long-armed, he’s angular and he’s just coming into his body," Wainwright said. "He has a great feel with both hands…his ability to maintain balance, he’s got a great structure for play."
Wainwright's favorite part of Fischer's game is his ability to pass the ball with effectiveness that defies his immense size.
"He’s really got a feel for passing," Wainwright said. "As long as he’s at Marquette, people will remember his passes more than his points."
For Fischer, the decision (which came down to Marquette, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Creighton) was ultimately about academics, competition and Williams' track record for winning.
"(Buzz is) a winner," Fischer said. "Being to the sweet 16 and elite 8 the last couple years., there’s no doubt that he finds a way to win."