Marquette spent a lot of time in Detroit recruiting over the past few years, and it paid off in a big way. The Golden Eagles managed to snag three of Top 10 recruits from the state of Michigan, all from the 313. Jamal Cain managed to just top his new Marquette teammate Greg Elliott as being ranked the #3 recruit in the state compared to Elliott’s #4, according to 247Sports.
Jamal Cain brings to Marquette what the Golden Eagles lacked at times last year: Elite-level athleticism, explosiveness, and grit. MU fans will recognize a bit of JaJuan Johnson in his game: A wing player who excels at getting to the rim and finishes tough plays (and not to mention really, really fun dunks when the opportunities present themselves).
He was a finalist for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2017, averaging 24.0 PPG, 14.0 RPG, and 4.0 APG. He also averaged 26.0 PPG and 15.7 RPG as a junior, being named Michigan’s Class C Player of the Year and earning First Team All-State honors.
Not only does Cain finish well in traffic and offer a physical presence on the wing both offensively and defensively, he also displays a nice shooting stroke and the ability to create shots, both in the lane and outside utilizing a decent-looking pull-up jumper.
Cain will fill in well on the wing at Marquette, who will be looking for replacements for Katin Reinhardt and JaJuan Johnson. He’s long and, as mentioned, athletic. He can contribute on the defensive end as a rebounder and defensive presence, but his ceiling lies on the offensive end, in my opinion. He’ll be a good backup for Haanif Cheatham and Sam Hauser at the 3 and 4 spots, and I think he’ll be invaluable as the season goes on.
His athleticism will keep him in the playing rotation consistently, and he’ll be asked to match up with tough players such as Ish Sanago, Kelan Martin, Rodney Bullock, Mikal Bridges, and others, which will keep him on his toes night in and night out with different looks of athletes, shooters, high-motor defensive menaces, and more.
Just keeping up and holding his own in the Big East will prove to be a success. If he can contribute to the dynamic Marquette offense at a decent pace and grow over the season into a consistent two-way player for the Golden Eagles, Jamal Cain will prove to be invaluable. Cain will then prove to be an asset in Marquette’s effort to repeat and improve on an NCAA Tournament appearance.