"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Name, Image and Likeness Possible Impact on Marquette

The NCAA is getting ready to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL) starting July 1st.

About. Darn. Time.

The NCAA and its member schools for decades have profited in the range from millions to billions off a labor force paid in tuition, room and board. Also me thinks the NCAA is doing this to avoid any further appearances in front of the Supreme Count. 

Either way, it is time for players to be able to make some money of whatever personal brand they build during their time in school.

Really let's face it, amateurism is now just a matter of is the player actually being paid to play in the game. Disagree? Just at look at the Olympic model (You know the event that outside of basketball, hockey and baseball events celebrates amateurism) and see how much amateurism there is when it comes to landing endorsement deals.

While it is not officially approved by the NCAA, this is coming based on some state passing legislation allowing NIL deals starting July 1st and the NCAA’s recent defeat in the Supreme Court.

Big deals are on the way in the college basketball world especially the big time players.

Talking with a friend who has worked for a major marketing firm in the past said 100% they would use college athletes for campaigns. It makes sense as you can pay that athlete for the social media reach and also a lot less (figuratively speaking) compared to a pro athlete.

Since the framework is loose, it will be a wild world in the beginning. 

How will that affect Marquette? Does the Athletic Department have a plan in place already?

The Marquette Athletic Department when reached for comment advised me it was best to check back later. The main is with so many unknowns and moving parts, they would like some clarification from the NCAA on what the world will look like after July 1st and from there more details will follow on what the plan will be. 

Should we worry then?

Marquette does have a top 40 market in its favor along with a Deputy Athletic Director with an extensive marketing background, and at least when it comes to the men’s hoops program, a head coach with forging relationships as a pillar of the program. In addition, Marquette did roll out an initiative back in August 2020 to start preparing for this change. 

Really, I do not see the landscaping changing that much. The top talent will still seek out the best coach and program it feels to get him or her towards the pros. The only difference is the top players can now make some money in college.

Who this can really benefit is the three of four-year player. You know the player who becomes a star at the program but maybe doesn’t have the chops to go pro early or be in the pros at all. This is where their earning potential is at its highest (Danny Parkins at 670 the Score in Chicago made a great point on this).

Those are going to be typically your lower ranked four and three stars recruits which is in Marquette’s recruiting wheelhouse. Heck, I would be more worried about the transfer portal than what can Marquette offer a player for endorsement deals.

One thing is for sure, July 1st will mark a big change in the college athletics world. Marquette is getting ready once it knows what that world will specifically look like.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Reigning B10 DPOY Darryl Morsell transfers to Marquette

Darryl Morsell, a senior guard from Baltimore who completed four seasons as starter at Maryland, today announced his decision to transfer to Marquette University. Morsell, the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, selected MU over Louisville, Providence, Arkansas and DePaul.

In College Park, Morsell distinguished himself as a consistent, reliable contributor with a ferocious defensive reputation. Last season the 6'5" Morsell averaged a career-high 9 ppg and was particularly effective inside the arc, along with an admirable assist rate for a player with a defense-first reputation.

But let’s face it, Morsell is coming to Milwaukee as the defensive totem for the Smart era. Marquette, a program that refused to defend at a high level for the past seven seasons, now values elite defense.

As Alan Bykowski noted in March, "(Shaka) Smart ... managed to maintain a top-40 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency every year with the Longhorns." Adding Morsell to a very young roster will be critical in developing the defensive toughness that ought to define this program going forward.

Marquette fans might remember Morsell from the 2019-2020 season where he helped shut down a white-hot Markus Howard in an 84-63 Maryland victory.

Darryl Morsell has been a quiet key for Maryland this season. He's not the scorer than Cowan or Wiggins is, but he is Maryland's Swiss Army knife. He spent more than his share of time guarding Howard, who had totaled 91 points in his previous two games, teaming with Wiggins and Cowan to shut down the All-American. Late in the game, with Marquette switching to a zone defense that had Maryland slumping, he found a spot near the baseline and played quarterback to perfection. In the span of less than two minutes, he hit a short jumper, bounced a dime to Makhi Mitchell for a layup, made a free throw and fed Wiggins for a 3-pointer.

In between, he made play after play, including a couple of 3-pointers and his typical scrapping defense and rebounding. In the semis and finals of the tournament, he totaled 30 points and 22 rebounds.

Morsell fills an immediate need for Shaka Smart’s 2021-2022 squad: an accomplished, mature guard and backcourt defender. The good guys only return Greg Elliott from last season’s backcourt (!!!!) and welcome a cadre of freshmen and transfers who will be in a hyper-competitive battle to contribute straight away. Morsell, long on experience and productivity, figures to be a day one starter who keys Marquette’s defensive pressure.

Morsell is following assistant coach DeAndre Haynes from College Park to Milwaukee, and has been linked to the program since Haynes joined the staff a few months ago

Shaka Smart has one more open scholarship for the upcoming season. With Dawson Garcia in the transfer portal – and likely to move on, it says here – Smart could still fill that slot with a capable scorer, though the market is tightening up for immediate impact scorers.