Freshman Impact: Marquette
Golden Eagles lose a lot of talent, but five newcomers will help fill the void
For the "Freshman Impact" series, Insider's college basketball and recruiting experts will be teaming up to examine how 15 of the nation's best recruiting classes will fit in with their teams in the 2013-14 season.
Seth: The culture at Marquette is winning basketball. You can't take that for granted. We're so used to the Golden Eagles losing key guys and then plugging new ones back in the next season, but that isn't easy. It's not by accident they reload every season; it's a process.
Vander Blue, who always had the ball in his hands at the end of games, is difficult to replace. Guys like Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett, who did a little bit of everything and made winning plays, are difficult to replace.
So we can talk all we want -- and we will -- about this incoming class, and there's no question that they're a good group of freshmen. But not only are they going to have to rely heavily on these freshmen, they'll also need some of their returning players to step up. They'll play in a new conference next season -- what should be an easier league -- but they'll need someone to emerge as a go-to scorer. Guys like Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson are the top candidates to do so, but I would not be surprised to see Steve Taylor Jr. become an impact player.
Adam: You're right, Seth, they definitely have a couple of key players to replace, and that won't be easy. As far as the freshmen are concerned, I really like this group. It's as deep a class as Marquette has had in Buzz Williams' tenure.
It's interesting watching Williams evolve on the recruiting trail, because in some ways he's becoming more of a brand himself. He's become much more well-known in recent seasons, even among recruits, and players really want to play for him. That's reflected in this five-player class, which includes three in the top 100 of ESPN's rankings.
So from a pure talent standpoint, the guys they've got coming in have the potential to right away help fill the voids left by Blue, Cadougan and others.
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