Marquette, seemingly looking to model its 2016-17 season after the quick, guard-centric, lights-out shooting of the champion Villanova Wildcats, has been active in finding the pieces to improve upon a better second season under Coach Wojciechowski.
Enter the only transfer coming into Marquette this season: Katin (KATE-inn) Reinhardt (RINE-hart). Originally a UNLV commit, Reinhardt played one season in Las Vegas (2012-13) before transferring to USC, sitting out one year before averaging 11.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 1.6 APG in two seasons in Los Angeles.
With one year left as a graduate transfer, Reinhardt chose to take his talents to Milwaukee to help and improve a young, explosive squad looking to climb the Big East ladder and prove itself against some of the best basketball competition in the nation.
How Reinhardt fits into the Marquette mold is still up in the air. With only two true bigs on the roster for this season, Marquette will truly be playing some four guard/wing sets. Reinhardt is known as a 3-point shooter, and will complement Andrew Rowsey (a transfer who sat out last season), Haanif Cheatham, Sandy Cohen, incoming freshmen Markus Howard and Sam Hauser, and (to certain extents) JaJuan Johnson, who showed a much improved 3-point shot last year but has been known to be inconsistent. Duane Wilson and Traci Carter are also here to help the cause as well.
Reinhardt shot around 38% from the 3-point line and about 41% from the floor overall in his two seasons at USC, which is a good number if not overwhelmingly efficient. He attempted around five 3-pointers per game, making around two. That’s a decent statistic and doesn’t really point to wasting offensive possessions on unnecessary deep 3s early in the shot clock, which is encouraging.
However, because of Marquette’s lack of size, Reinhardt, standing at 6’6” and 215 lbs, will be asked to play as a small ball ‘4’ at times, which means he’ll have to play good defense against some elite big men and, most importantly, REBOUND. His lower rebounding numbers, which can be attributed to playing as a guard, are certainly something to look at. If he puts in the work on the defensive end and on the glass he will find a spot regularly in Coach Wojo’s lineup, and I find it hard to believe that he came into the Marquette family not knowing about what size the lineup has and what is expected of him.
Intangibly, he brings senior leadership to a team that is still finding an identity. While Luke Fischer and JaJuan Johnson are both seniors, having a third, outside perspective on the game will be great in the locker room. He’ll be able to bring a slightly different experience and style to the Marquette tradition and complement the rest of the roster well. I see him as a sixth man to start the season with a chance to maybe crack the starting lineup sooner rather than later, coming off the bench to add a different dynamic as a small-ball ‘4’ or true wing player and provide valuable, veteran minutes for Wojo.