With Marquette’s season already off to a sour start after a shocking loss to mid-major Omaha on Saturday, it’s no shock to anyone the team hasn’t played well. So, we’ve decided to look at this team individually to try and identify where the problem lies for MU going forward.
Here are player grades for the first three games:
Matt Carlino: B
Carlino has done just about everything we expected him do, just not extremely well. He’s averaging 11 points per game, but not shooting great from the field. He has been and will have to continue to be the go-to-guy from the outside, and as we’ve seen, he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger from deep. I look for him to get some more shots and score more with this team needing perimeter scoring.
JaJuan Johnson: C+
After UT-Martin, many thought this was going to be the slashing scorer Marquette so desperately needs. A 20-point performance on 6-9 shooting will open anyone’s eyes. But a terrible performance against Ohio State (we all know about the botched dunk) coupled with limited time and no points against Omaha may have the youngster questioning himself.
Sandy Cohen III: C+
I think it’s safe to say Cohen doesn’t look like a freshman on the floor. Not only is he 6-foot-6, but also he’s solid offensively and is very willing to shoot. He seems like a guy who can do a little bit of everything, a good sign going forward. Much like other players though, he hasn’t really "wow’d" anyone and the last taste we have is an ugly 2-9 shooting. We’ve seen enough bright spots though to give him a fairly good grade, though.
Juan Anderson: A-
Anderson has done everything he’s been asked except for showing up in the big game against Ohio State. He all but disappeared offensively in his 28 minutes, scoring only six points. But in his other two outings, he has performed extremely well with a combined 39 points on 17-27 shooting from the field. Anderson’s other big role this year is to grab rebounds with the limited height that the Golden Eagles have this season, and he’s done well in that department as well. Anderson’s been the most consistent player offensively, and it’ll need to stay that way for MU to have success.
Steve Taylor Jr.: C
If it was okay to give out an "A" based off of one game, I would do it in a heartbeat with Taylor Jr. The forward played the game of his career against Ohio State, putting up 20 points on 9-14 shooting including seven rebounds. He was scoring at will in the paint and getting excellent position inside despite against the talented Buckeye bigs. But how do you then score two points at home against Omaha? That’s a question no one has the answer to and the exact answer that Wojo will need to come up with quickly.
Duane Wilson: B+
After redshirting last season with a stress fracture in his leg, the Top 100 recruit has shown flashes of why he was so highly touted. Every game so far, his production has increased. Wilson has been the most leaned on bench player thus far and that looks to continue as he comes off a career-high 15 points. He possesses three-point range, flourishes at the charity stripe and can run the point. That extra season from the medical redshirt is looking pretty nice, as Wilson will have three remaining years of eligibility.
Derrick Wilson: B-
As the Golden Eagles’ only returning starter, Wilson must have been as surprised as anyone to find out he would move to a bench role this year. Of returning conference players, he is the fourth leading assist-man from a year ago, but does not add much else offensively. But maybe the bench role was just what Wilson needed. In his last game he facilitated well with 5 assists and managed to score a career-high 17 points. This may be a sign of things to come from the former starter.
Deonte Burton : C+
Like teammates JaJuan Johnson and Duane Wilson, Burton is a Top 100 recruit from the 2013 class. Now a sophomore, Burton has still proven to be inconsistent and has failed to become the player Marquette had hoped it was getting. Offensively, he has struggled to consistently knock down his shot and has been a nonfactor on the boards with 3 rebounds in just as many games. He has shown flashes of brilliance though. In the first half versus UT Martin he led all scorers with 10 at the half, knocking down threes and getting to the line. But he disappeared in the second half, failing to score a point. The sophomore still has room to grow, but this year has been the most disappointing of the three Top 100 recruits from the 2013 class.
John Dawson: D
Even with a short bench, Wojciechowski has opted not to play the sophomore from New Mexico. Through three games, Dawson has seen four minutes of action. In that time, the only stat he recorded was a missed bucket. But to Dawson’s defense, most of the depth deficiencies are at the frontcourt. Dawson is currently the sixth guard on the team. As a sophomore, there is still room for him to develop.
This team was a stretch to make the NCAA tournament heading into this season. Regardless, losing to a team that has been in Division 1 for only four years in unacceptable. MU plays what should be a cupcake against NJIT, but then heads to Orlando to play some tough teams and will be seriously tested once again.