The most raw of Steve Wojciechowski’s freshman class has decided to take a redshirt year.
Ike Eke, a big man and monster athlete out of Detroit, is going to sit out the 2017-2018 season. Coach Wojo said in his press conference that Eke will be a very good player, but because he’s so new to the game, that the coaching staff needs to work more with him and the extra year, much like Sacar Anim, will aid in his development.
Eke started playing organized basketball only four years ago at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and while he has all of the athletic tools, he still lacks refined technique.
Most Marquette fans (yours included) would have bet money on Eke being the person to take a redshirt this year. He has a lot of positives to offer as a raw talent, but he will be much more prepared after a year of practicing with and against top-level athletes and players.
The only downside to Eke’s redshirt is that (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) Marquette is going to be thin again in terms of true bigs. Matt Heldt and Theo John are the only two true big men that will be on the roster come Marquette’s first game on Friday night against Mount St. Mary’s. Sam Hauser has experience at the 4 and Sacar Anim and Jamal Cain can be expected to contribute in the frontcourt as well, but Marquette will desperately want for rim protectors and solid low-post defenders, especially if Heldt and/or John get in foul trouble or are not clicking. Transfer Harry Froling gets added to the depth chart in mid-December, but that still leaves Marquette short versus a tall and physical Purdue team and against Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, among others.
Overall, though, this is a great opportunity for Eke to really grow into the basketball player he can be, and Marquette shouldn’t suffer too much for it. I look forward to seeing him play next year.