Marquette Basketball: Breaking down the Golden Eagles’ 2018-19 rotation

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MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 28: Sam Hauser, Jamal Cain

Marquette Basketball goes 12-deep this season. Let’s run through the big names, the key role pieces, and the likely benchwarmers.

In his fifth season in Milwaukee, Steve Wojciechowski has built one of the deepest rosters in the country. The Golden Eagles return 78.5 percent of last year’s minutes, which ranks 46th nationally and 10th among high-major programs, and added two transfers and three freshmen.

Marquette has 12 eligible scholarship players this season, all of whom deserve playing time on a normal roster. But on this team, several players will be squeezed out of real minutes, even if Wojo emphasizes an equal opportunity rotation.

The Golden Eagles still have a relatively young team, so ideally the coaching staff would be able give the up-and-coming sophomores more looks. That’s not going to happen. Nine players on the roster have played college basketball before, be it for Marquette or in a different uniform; in their most recent seasons, those nine players averaged a combined 219 minutes per game. Of course, Wojciechowski only has 200 minutes to divvy up on any given night, and he still has to work in freshmen Joey Hauser, Brendan Bailey, and Ike Eke. The coaching staff is going to shave off minutes from many, if not all, of the players.

Wojo cannot feasibly squeeze all 12 players into the rotation. He will limit some scholarship players to mostly spot duty off the bench. On the surface, the two obvious bench-warming candidates are Bailey and Eke. Bailey is a talented player – he was a four-star, top-100 recruit in 2016 – but he recently returned from a two-year Mormon mission. It’s hard to know what kind of basketball shape he is in, so for now, he might only slot into the rotation as a mop-up option.

The same goes for Eke, who redshirted last season after undergoing back surgery and was always going to be a bit of a project for Marquette. Look for the coaching staff to ease him into college basketball with limited minutes, especially because the Golden Eagles already have well-stocked frontcourt.

Here is the breakdown for the rest of the rotation.

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